Sometimes the hardest part about making food is actually deciding what to eat.
However, I’ve come up with a fool-proof method that I’m using often to help me come up with easy, healthy meal ideas. Math is not my favorite subject in school, but the lifehack I’m sharing with you today is as simple as that: math.
Protein + vegetable + starchy carb + sauce + seasoning
Yep, that’s it!
While it might sound simple, and I suppose it is, there are SO MANY meals you can make out of this simple equation. Keep reading for lists in each category that you can choose from when making your meals.
This format also gives you a dose of protein, fat, and carbs, which always makes my body really happy. :)
At the end, I’ll share two of my go-to recipes that I make using this format.
In any given meal, I try to eat at least thirty grams of protein.
I need my protein for workout recovery and staying full. There are tons of different great sources of protein that you can try.
Here are some ideas of what types of meat to eat:
These meats are easy to make and can save you time:
I also like to just cut up leftover meats like burgers and meatballs into bite-sized pieces and then make a scramble using the other parts of the equation.
You may have noticed I didn’t put tofu on the list… I should do another article on why I’m not vegetarian.
Also, nuts and seeds aren't on there because I don't think they should be a main source of protein. Especially if, like me, you try to eat 100+ grams of protein per day, that would be a LOT of nuts and seeds.
Ahhh… veggies. My favorite.
Here’s a little life hack: get frozen veggies because they’re typically pre-cut and last a LONG time. I find myself absolutely balling when I throw out vegetables that have gone bad.
Just kidding, but it does make me a little sad.
These are some great non-starchy vegetable ideas:
You can make veggies a lot of ways, including:
My personal favorite is roasting because it doesn’t take much time-- without sacrificing taste. Just throw some veggies in a pan with some olive oil, add some sea salt, and throw them in the oven!
Life hack: rice cauliflower or broccoli for some delicious (and nutritious!) rice.
I’m a girl who needs my carrrbbss, ESPECIALLY at dinner to help me sleep.
These are a few of my favorites:
I tend to stick to gluten-free grains, which is why you’ll notice I didn’t list any gluten-containing grains on the list.
Some sauces I like:
Salt is my best friend. Actually, I don’t know if salt has quite made it to that level yet, but it definitely is one of my good friends.
Garlic, though… that’s a really good one. It might even top salt.
But definitely everything bagel seasoning. That’s my favorite.
Seasonings make every meal more interesting!
Examples: My go-to recipes
I have a couple go-to recipes that I eat often that I wanted to share with you. They’re both scrambles because that’s the easiest way for me to do it. It takes more time if making them from scratch because I typically use leftovers.
1. Beef and quinoa scramble.
I posted a similar recipe a little while ago. I sometimes just cut up a hamburger if I don’t have any other ground beef.
These are approximations because it’s usually a little different every time, since the recipe is very forgiving.
2. Meatball and cauliflower scramble.
So there you have it: two (delicious) examples of what I do with leftovers in the fridge.
Coming up with healthy meal ideas can be simple-- all you need is a few basic elements, and you’re ready to go!
Especially if you’re like me and you like pretty much all foods, cooking can be easy.
Although I didn’t give you an exhaustive list of each of the categories, they’re pretty good starting points.
Have fun experimenting and coming up with meal ideas!