You’ve heard it a thousand times: “abs are made in the kitchen.” While I don’t think having abs is a very meaningful fitness or health goal, it cannot be denied that what you eat is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When you eat well, your body performs in the way you need it to.
Below I have compiled a list of some of my favourite healthy recipes that made the transition from processed food to real food that much easier. These recipes are staples for me because of how quick and easy they are. I’m not a fan of doing a big Sunday prep, so I need something I can have in the oven, on the stove or barbecue in 15 minutes or less (or else I’m ordering pizza).
If cooking makes you nervous because you lack experience, don't fret! The Kitchn is my go-to website for learning the basics, like how to dice a tomato or how to pan-fry white fish. The articles are concise and pictures are always provided along with the step-by-step instructions to better your understanding.
5 Ingredient Mango Chicken Breakfast Sausage
If you're sick of getting your morning protein by way of eggs, these yummy chicken sausages are a great alternative! I'll put together a batch of these at the starting of the week and put them in the freezer (separating each raw sausage with parchment paper). When I want to eat one or two with breakfast, I'll thaw them in the fridge overnight to cook on the stove in the morning.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Mini Frittata Muffins
This is another recipe that is ideal for making at the starting of the week. Feel free to customize these to your tastes, you really can't go wrong! If you're not a fan of prosciutto, you can either leave it out or substitute it for bacon.
Paleo Granola with Coconut & Almonds
Just making this granola made my mouth water. It filled the kitchen with the most delicious smell. The best part is that it actually tastes as amazing as it smells! This grain-free granola is the ideal ingredient for your next smoothie bowl.
Simple Baked Chicken Drumsticks
This recipe takes literally no time at all. For busy weeks I buy a pack of ten chicken drumsticks and cook them all. I'll eat a serving right out of the oven and put the rest in the fridge for quick lunches or dinners on the go. Keep scrolling to see some of my favourite, simple side dishes.
Golden Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives
This was one of the first recipes I made when I was learning to cook. It's incredibly simple and super delicious. If you don't want to use white wine for the sauce, you can substitute it with white wine vinegar. Instead of making rice with this, I like to do rice vermicelli (found in the Asian food aisle at the grocery store).
Pistachio Crusted Halibut
I was intimidated by this recipe when I first found it, but I promise you it is so unbelievably simple. If you don't have a food processor to grind pistachios, you can use a mortar and pestle or even a hammer. I definitely recommend giving this recipe a try, it's delicious!
One Pan Roasted Shrimp & Asparagus
Sheet pan recipes that have you cook all (or a majority) of your meal in one go in the oven are everything. This one is delicious, but you can also try this one that has salmon or this one with cod. Feel free to add other ingredients to your liking - I like to brush the shrimp with melted butter and minced garlic to make this extra yummy.
Smoked Salmon, Avocado & Arugula Salad
This can work as either a side or a main dish. I'll sometimes omit the avocado and add a hard boiled egg instead. This is yet another recipe that takes no time to make and it's plentiful in healthy fats to help curb your sugar cravings and keep you full for longer.
Crispy Salt & Vinegar Smashed Potatoes
These take some time to make, but they are so worth it! Make sure you keep an eye on them in the last ten minutes they're in the oven so they don't burn. You can use butter instead of olive oil, if you'd prefer.
I try to always have cauliflower rice in my freezer. It's a simple side that goes well with a lot of different meals. If you're planning to freeze it like I do, don't cook it beforehand. Save cooking for when you're ready to eat. You can also cook it on the stove (on a dry pan) if you're using your oven for something else.
Harvest Salad with Apple Dijon Dressing
You really can't go wrong with this salad, especially in the fall when apples are in season. If you're not a fan of fruit in salads, you can substitute the apple for squash or roasted golden beets. You could also sprinkle in some granola if you're planning to have this as a main dish.