Easy Healthy Recipes for Lazy Cooks

Photos coming soon.

The American government lays out a template at choosemyplate.org for the correct portion percentages to maintain a healthy diet. According to them, your plate should be divided into "four sections of approximately 30% grains, 40 % vegetables, 10% fruits and 20% protein, accompanied by a smaller circle representing dairy, such as a glass of milk or a yogurt cup."

You know my opinions differ in this regard. Even if you aren't lactose intolerant or suffer from Celiac's disease, I think avoiding grains and dairy make for a healthier diet. 

If you find that you are more sensitive and can't tolerate the meal template the government has laid out, you may find the Whole30 meal template I follow a little healthier. And the measurements are easier to eyeball than percentages.

My Weekly Rotations

I am a lazy cook. I don't like to spend a ton of time in the kitchen. But I also like to eat healthy. So that usually means I make the same easy healthy recipes in heavy rotation every week. About once or twice a week, I search for something new and if it takes less than half an hour and my husband and I both like it, it gets added to the rotation until we get bored of it. 

I make these easy healthy recipes about once a week. 

Oven Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

This one is so easy. It takes about 10 minutes of preparation, including washing your dishes. 

Serves 4

  • 1 lb chicken thighs (Thighs are juicier than breasts. They just taste better.)
  • 1 1/2 T favorite seasoning mix (I like this brand of adobo seasoning, or taco seasoning, ranch seasoning. I put it on EVERYTHING.)
  • Favorite vegetable (we like brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli.)
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped into bite sized pieces

Preheat your oven to 400. 

Lay out your chicken thighs in a baking dish. I use a smaller pan so that they end up sitting in their juices while they bake. It keeps them from drying out. 

Liberally sprinkle your favorite seasoning mix over the chicken. Seriously, go crazy. Chicken can be super bland unless you season it well.

Prepare 2 cookie sheets with strips of parchment paper. (The trick to making crispy roasted vegetables is using a cookie sheet. The deeper pans hold the steam from roasting vegetables, where the cookie sheets let it roll over the edge.)

Spread your vegetables evenly over the cookie sheet. With brussels sprouts, cutting the stems off and quartering them. Keep the leaves that fall off. They're delicious. With other vegetables, chopping them into bite sized pieces works well. 

Drizzle the vegetables with avocado oil (it handles high temperatures better than olive oil, and has less flavor than coconut oil). Sprinkle with seasoning.

Do the same with the sweet potatoes on the other cookie sheet.

When you put them in the oven, put the vegetables on the top rack (see above note on steam), chicken on the bottom. 

Check it after 20 minutes, but it usually takes about 30. When your chicken is browning on the top, your sweet potatoes are soft, and your vegetables are beginning to brown, it's ready to eat. 

*Want to dress it up a little? Add a few slices of raw bacon (cut into strips), and half an apple (diced) to your brussels sprouts. You can try adding chopped nuts, different fruits, or sausage (not necessarily together) to add more flavor and variety.

Taco Salad

Serves 4

  • AllRecipes taco seasoning recipe (Most pre-made taco seasoning has artificial flavors or added sugar. This one takes barely any time to put together.)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 1 can olives
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • guacamole - (You can make your own, but sometimes I like to use Wholly Guacamole individual cups. The ingredients are clean and you can find it at Wal-Mart, Kroger, or Sprouts.)
  • salsa - read your labels, but it's not too difficult to find salsa without added sugars
  • I recently was introduced to Siete Foods lime cassava flour chips which bring this taco salad to the next level. They are available at Whole Foods, online, and their website says other retailers.

Most of the prep time here is chopping. Slice your olives in half, dice the bell pepper and tomato. Chop your lettuce into tiny strips.

Brown the meat with the taco seasoning. I use about half the batch and save the rest for another meal.

Make a salad base with the romaine and add your meat and toppings. Use the salsa and guacamole as a salad dressing.

Bunless Burgers

Preheat your oven to 400.

Using your hands or a potato masher, combine your ground beef, egg, almond flour, and 1 T adobo seasoning. Separate it into 4 sections and form it into patties. 

Prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. On one, spread your brussels sprouts and bacon; on the other, your diced sweet potatoes and potatoes. Drizzle both pans with avocado oil and sprinkle generously with adobo seasoning.

Roast the vegetables for 30-40 minutes.

Heat a skillet oiled with avocado oil. Once it is near smoking, sear your burgers for a few minutes on both sides. Cook until the center is to your liking. To cook it to well done, turn the heat down and cover it with a lid to keep the heat in. 

Mediterranean Tuna

I can't take credit for this recipe. Someone gave it to me when I first started trying to eat clean and wanted to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. I can't remember who gave it to me and if they came up with it on their own or found it somewhere. 

Serves 2

  • 2 cans of tuna
  • 1/4 can black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 can artichokes, diced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic pwdr
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 shredded carrots
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt to taste
  • Mayo to texture (You can make your own with this recipe, or I like to use either Chosen Foods--found at Sprouts and Costco--or Primal Kitchen, which is a little more expensive, for clean mayo.)

Open tuna cans and use a fork to break apart the clumps. Add mayonnaise until it's the texture you like. 

Mix spices in a bowl. Stir into the tuna.

Add the vegetables and stir gently until mixed. 

Eat on crackers, rice cakes, a bed of greens, scooped onto bell peppers or carrots, or with a fork. 

Tuna variations

Tuna is very versatile and you can add all kinds of fruits and vegetables to it for a high protein meal. I buy tuna and Chosen Foods mayonnaise in bulk from Costco and always keep it on hand for an easy healthy meal.

Eat on crackers, rice cakes, a bed of greens, scooped onto bell peppers or carrots, or with a fork. 

Here are a few variations to try:

  • 1 apple and 1 red bell pepper
  • dill pickles
  • juice from one lime, green salsa, cilantro, and salt
  • shredded kale or spinach
  • cooked & crumbled bacon, chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, and ranch seasoning
  • grape tomatoes, fresh basil leaf, lemon zest or juice (or both!). If you're ok with having dairy every once in a while, this one would be good with fresh mozzarella.
  • mandarin oranges and chopped grapes with a dash of curry

Black Beans & Rice

Beans freeze really well, so this is one recipe I make that has more than 4 servings.

This one takes a little preparation. It also makes for a lot of leftovers. I eat the leftovers with rice and toppings and mixed into fried rice and eggs for breakfast. 

Soak the beans the night before in 4-6 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This will eliminate the phytic acid and reduce the flatulence that usually accompanies beans. I start soaking them when I prepare dinner the night before so that they get a full 24 hours to soak.

If you notice bubbles/foam on the surface of the water, it sometimes means your beans are starting to ferment. Just empty the water, rinse the beans, and refill your water and ACV.

*In an Instant Pot

Push the sautee button. Brown the meat and taco seasoning. Add the pre-soaked beans, garlic, onion, and broth.

Press the beans/chili button and set the timer for 25 minutes.

Cook rice according to the directions.

*On the stove

Cover the beans and onion with enough broth to cover them, then bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, and bring to a simmer for 40 min-1 hour. Beans should be tender but hold their shape.

While the beans are simmering, sauté the beef with the taco seasoning. Add the garlic when the meat is almost done. 

Cook rice according to the directions.

Stir the meat into the beans in the last 10 minutes of the beans' cooking time.

Serve over rice, topped with salsa, guacamole, and lime. Eat on chips!

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