How to Make Healthy Meals in Less Than 15 Minutes

Today’s song choice – listen while you read  🙂

Ok – so although I’m not a food blogger, I know that one of the biggest things people want to know about the vegan lifestyle is, “What do you EAT?!”

I also know that, like me, most people want to be healthy, but just don’t have the time to be following crazy complicated recipes.

We’re all busy – we have jobs, families, social lives & at least 27 different social media profiles to keep up with….. 😉 Free time is hard to come by sometimes.  We don’t want to exist on take-out or microwave meals, but we don’t want to have to spend our lives in the kitchen either. Sometimes take-out gets tempting when we’re too tired or busy to cook (& little splurges now & then ain’t gonna kill us), but there are so few options which are plant based or not full of oil & salt, that we end up spending the rest of the night in a major food coma, wishing we’d just cooked something ourselves after all!  Sound familiar?

What about this:

  • Maybe you don’t actually like cooking, and only do it because you know you have to?  Most people don’t have aspirations to be a chef – they just want to eat, dammit!
  • Maybe you think you can’t cook?  Many schools & a lot of parents don’t think to teach their kids basic cooking skills anymore – and even if yours did, the likelihood is that you weren’t exactly taught to cook the kinds of things you’ve now decided to eat on a plant based lifestyle…

So What’s the Answer?

Well, I believe it’s having an arsenal of quick options at your disposal.  Things you know you can just knock together in a matter of minutes, with ingredients you already have.  Go-to meal ideas that keep you nourished, without keeping you chained to the kitchen.

This is the idea behind my Crazy Quick Kind Eats series.

<img src="Crazy-Quick-Kind-Eats-by-Claire-Dicarlo.jpg" alt="Crazy Quick Kind Eats by Claire Dicarlo" />

High carb, low fat, whole plant food meal ideas that you can make in 10-15 minutes, even if you hate cooking.

Big claim, I know – and I’ll definitely be seeking input from others for these posts, because I’m by no means a chef myself.  But this is how I like to cook myself, & I want to help others do the same.  I’ll also be making videos that you can follow along with at home, to make this even easier for you & save you the trouble of reading the blog posts!

To kick off, here’s my first lunch idea, based on a lunch I ate myself a couple of days ago:

Nice Cream & Fruit Platter Lunch in the Sun

*Important Note:  The ‘sun’ is optional.  I can’t guarantee that making this lunch will transport you to sunny Australia – but you can close your eyes & pretend!*

 <img src="Crazy-Quick-Kind-Eats-Nice-Cream-Fruit-Platter.jpg" alt="Crazy Quick Kind Eats - Nice Cream & Fruit Platter" />

To make this lunch, I first grabbed my fruit bowls (yes, bowls, plural – I have 4!!) & had a look to see what was left in them.  This was the day before our usual weekly shop, so it was slim pickings…

I had:

  • 1 very ripe mango
  • 1 kiwi
  • 2 nectarines
  • Lemons & limes

I decided to make a nice fruit platter with them, so simply cut them all up and popped them on a tray. This only took a couple of minutes, max.  I arranged them nicely for the photos, but there is no need to do this!

I then sliced up the lemon & lime & popped it into some water, which I sipped from for the rest of the afternoon.

For the nice cream, I already had the ingredients I needed. They were:

  • Frozen bananas (I ALWAYS have frozen bananas in my freezer.  If there’s a zombie apocolyse, I’m pretty sure I’d out-survive everyone by at least 2 weeks, eating my nana stash…)
  • Rawnola, inspired by Loni Jane (see below)
  • Organic coconut syrup

To make the nice cream, I simply blitzed up the bananas in a food processor (see my post ‘How to Make Nice Cream that Doesn’t Suck‘ for a fail safe method to making banana ice cream).

This took around 5 mins from start to finish.  I promise.

I then topped my nice cream with rawnola, which was also pre-made in my fridge.  But wait!  Before you cry out, “That’s cheating!” – you can easily blend up your own rawnola at the same time at the bananas.

I based my rawnola (raw granola, for those scratching their heads) on Loni Jane’s recipe, and added my own twist.  If you have trouble combining fruit with other foods (ie. if your digestion isn’t great), then you can omit ingredients, or just omit the rawnola altogether.

Rawnola inspired by Loni Jane - clairedicarlo.com

 

To Make the Rawnola:

Combine the following ingredients in your food processor:

  • 7 pitted medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup of Oats (I like to buy the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Jumbo Rolled Oats)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar

I also added some cinnamon & nutmeg, for a little spiced twist.  It smelled divine.

As I mentioned, if you don’t have all of these ingredients, don’t sweat it.  Something to add to the shopping list for next time perhaps.

I then drizzled my nice cream with organic coconut syrup.  I’ve actually never bought this before & only got it this time because I was looking for another sweetener which they didn’t have at the shop. By all means, either omit this, or use something else like maple syrup, rice syrup, or another sweetener you like.

And that’s it!  Less than 10 minutes after deciding to make lunch, I enjoyed this bountiful platter or goodness on my balcony; watching swans swim by on the river and soaking up the sun.  (I mainly included that detail to make my friends at home in Scotland very jealous.) 😉

For a post about having no time to do anything, I think I’ve kept you reading long enough! Let me know what you think of the idea of having a catalogue of crazy quick meal ideas on here to refer to (& if you can come up with a better name than me!).  I’ll keep adding more ideas & videos all the time to help you.

Please continue the conversation below.  But before you do, remember this:  Debate is great, hatred is not.  Think before you type.  “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama

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