How to Cook Healthy Meals at Home When You’re Busy AF
Working full time AND eating healthy, homemade meals can feel impossible, which is why you may want to turn to this YogaGlo series Better Than Takeout, created by yoga instructor Kathryn Budig. She shows you how to make six delicious, plant-based recipes that you can realistically cook up on weeknights. Here are her tips on how to eat well (and at home) even when you have zero time.
“The easiest way to take care of yourself is learning how to cook,” says Budig. “You get to see every single ingredient that goes into your meal, [you] avoid processed food, [and] you always have the option to add something green.” If cooking after a long day of work feels incredibly daunting, it’s time to reconsider. The Aim True author believes if you keep your kitchen stocked with staples, you can whip up a meal faster than it takes to order delivery. She suggests always having the following five essentials stocked up your kitchen:
- Cooking and Finishing Oils: Budig explains you need “a solid neutral oil for high heat cooking and a beautiful extra virgin oil for sautéing and finishing dishes.”
- Grains and Beans: Keep an assortment stocked “so you can make a big pot of grains and beans, and then you have the base for a quick and delicious meal. You just need to add fresh veg, protein, and an epic sauce,” she says.
- Flavorful Toppers: No meal is complete without pickled or punchy additions. “Think capers (instant flavor upgrade), preserved lemons (which amplifies any kind of protein or salad), kimchi (mix into fried rice or serve with eggs), or pickle your own assortment of veggies. Fermented food is great for the gut and makes any boring dish special. And hot sauce or dried chili peppers,” she says.
- Canned Light Coconut Milk: “I used this for everything. It’s my go-to dairy replacement, and is a wonderful addition to soups, sauces, and quick curries,” Budig tells us.
- Nutritional Yeast: “This might be random, but it’s a great way to get your B vitamins, the perfect dairy-free ‘cheesy’ flavor, and one of my favorite salad dressings when mixed with lemon, olive oil, and sea salt,” adds Budig.
If you do finally make it to that afterwork yoga class (go you!), here’s what to eat when you find yourself getting home around 9pm and having to wake up for work in less than 10 hours. “I’m a fan of coconut water, which packs the extra electrolytes,” she says. “I like to eat something with protein after my practice… I don’t recommend eating late, because you’re kicking your digestion into gear (high gear if it’s something heavy), which will mess with your ability to sleep soundly (and often results in some seriously odd dreams).”
When you do come home from a workout at a reasonable hour, Budig has two easy go to protein packed meals ideas. “I whip up grain-free pancakes. It’s basically egg, nut butter, and banana — filling and who doesn’t love pancakes?! I’m also a big fan of anything in a tortilla. Siete makes my favorite grain-free tortillas, and I warm them up filled with organic, local eggs, pickled red onions, and a quick sauté of whatever veggies I have on hand,” explains Budig.
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(Photos via YogaGlo)