Eating out of the box is common among very busy people. These people know food delivery numbers by heart and are human navigators for every drive-thru restaurant. Perhaps, they also think that ready-to-eat and microwavable foods are the best thing ever invented since sliced bread. The most popular excuse: “I don’t have time.” But how come some people can cook their own meals? The truth is: time is not the issue. Anyone can live a very busy life and still make sure that he eats healthy meals.
Living in a condo must also not be used as an excuse to be unhealthy. After all, kitchen spaces in most condos in the Philippines are now designed to be more functional while being stylish at the same time. Why not use them? Preparing your meals at home has a lot of benefits. A research by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found thathome cooking is the main ingredient in a healthier diet. People who cook at home tend to consume fewer carbohydrates, calories, fat and sugar.
There are a lot of recipes that can be made from your condo. They won’t eat up a lot of your time nor need fancy equipment to prepare. Best of all, they are healthier. We compiled 15 of the best and easiest healthy meals under 400 calories from different food experts. Be your own chef and prepare them at home.
This calcium-packed soup is a great starter. Mix low-fat cheddar cheese and low-fat milk with low-sodium chicken broth. Add carrots for beta-carotene if you wish. Serve it with whole wheat toast for a dose of fiber. This soup is so flavorful that you won’t think you can consume guilt-free. This will surely boost your appetite for healthy living.
Peanut butter and banana sandwich topped with bacon is the King’s favorite. Make a healthier version by replacing the meat with blueberries. All you need to do is spread each half of a toasted whole wheat bread or muffin with a tablespoon of peanut-butter. Top each half with sliced banana. Eat it open faced and serve with 20 blueberries on the side.
Yummy veggie omelet
The next time you whip an omelet for breakfast, use one whole egg and two egg whites. Fill it with spinach, tomatoes, and sprinkle shredded mozzarella. Eat this cheesy omelet with two slices of whole wheat toast. P.S.: skip the butter.
Pancakes are a drive-thru and fast food favorite. Give yours a nutritional punch by mixing oatmeal with whole wheat flour. This adds fiber to your diet. Top with berries.
Pork chop and potato
Here’s a really easy recipe that can be made from your condo for lunch or dinner. Broil a 3-oz. pork chop and serve with sautéed green beans and boiled sweet potato. Potatoes are a healthier alternative to rice. You can sprinkle cinnamon on top for added flavor.
Savory fried rice with chicken
Yes, you can eat rice. Sauté ginger and garlic in oil and soy sauce. Add cooked brown rice, chicken strips, and your favorite veggies. Sauté all ingredients until the rice gets all the flavor. You can eat this on its own and be satisfied.
Okay, a 400-calorie diet will not be complete without some greens. But don’t worry, the cherry on top is sirloin steak. Cut 3-oz. cooked sirloin steak into strips. For the greens, whisk oil, lime juice, and soy sauce and toss lettuce and red pepper. This healthy meal will definitely give your usually boring salad a kick.
Tasty pita pizza
Yes, you can have pizza and be healthy. In a blender, puree pepper, oil, and vinegar. Spread it on pita and top with spinach and cheese. Broil it for eight minutes or until cheese is bubbling. Pita is a healthy substitute for the dough which you can get at the grocery. This healthy meal under 400 calories is perfect for afternoon snacks or something you can pack and bring to work.
Grilled salmon with potatoes and spinach
It’s time to use your indoor griller. Grill a 4-oz salmon for about ten minutes. Sauté garlic in oil then add spinach. This mixture will add flavor to the salmon. In the microwave or skillet, warm potato slices. Season with salt and pepper.
Garlic chicken and pasta
Sauté garlic in oil then add 3-oz. batch-cooked chicken breast and whole-grain pasta. Cook for about six minutes then toss in tomatoes, beans, chives before seasoning with salt and pepper.
Improving your appetite for healthy living doesn’t mean skipping fast food favorites like burgers. You can always make a healthier version. Grill 3-oz. lean sirloin burger. Melt cheese on burger and serve on whole-grain bun. Add tomatoes, onions, or lettuce.
Here is another healthy snack that even kids will love. In a skillet, cook 4-oz whitefish then drizzle with lemon juice. Mix together with two tablespoons of salsa and ¼ cup of broccoli slaw. Make tacos in corn tortillas with fish, slaw, and avocado slices.
Guilt-free peach parfait
A healthy dessert? Of course! Use yogurt to make a parfait. This adds calcium to your diet and helps boost your immune system. Fill half of a nice-looking glass with a low-fat or artificially sweetened vanilla yogurt. Top it with low-fat granola and sliced fresh peaches.
Strawberry ice cream
No fancy ice cream maker is needed to make this ice cream. Process berries until finely chopped then transfer to a bowl. Next is process plain greek yogurt, sugar, and vanilla extract. Put the mixture in the freezer but don’t let it go too hard.
Refreshing lemon shake
Instead of iced latte or a milkshake, make a refreshing lemon shake instead. In a blender, place 8-oz lemon chiffon yogurt, two tablespoons nonfat milk, three tablespoons lemon juice, and ice cubes. This drink will surely quench your summer thirst.
You can be satisfied and be healthy at the same time. Preparing and eating healthy meals should not feel like depriving yourself of the good stuff. It also shouldn’t feel like you are wasting your time. Enjoy home cooking — it’s fast, easy, satisfying, affordable, and worth it.