Eating healthier food can be mission impossible if we have little time to cook and plan our meals. Life is busy these days and, as much as I like cooking, I don’t always enjoy of enough time all my evenings to do it properly.
That’s why I found that cooking for 2-3 days in one go really helps me to prepare lunch boxes for the working days, and make my dinners easier if I lack the time, energy or imagination to cook.
I’m a big fan of Mixing and Matching, and I tend to do the same with my weekly cooking. Having some basic options, as well as the freedom of choosing the food I feel like eating depending on the day, is something that works well for me and my schedule.
When I say “Cooking Mix and Match”, I’m mainly thinking about the three following nutrition groups I chose from, already mentioned in a previous post:
- Proteins – recently I’m trying to rely on more vegetal-based protein, not just animal
- Veg and fruit
- Fat (I don’t really count with this one as much because it is already within many foods, and specially in my kitchen, where olive oil is always a must)
Now, once you know which ingredients you have in hand for each group, let’s think about the modus operandi… Become a “kitchen octopus” and multi-task for 1-2 hours, think about the time you will save later in the week 🙂
Your kitchen allies – don’t be afraid of using them all at the same time:
- Oven – Good for: veg, fish and poultry
- Grill – Good for: fish, poultry, veg… If you find grill boring, add some olive oil and salt, never fails! For more flavour, spice up your life with herbs and different seasonings.
- Boil – Good for: pasta, carbs in general, veg, eggs, soups, pures…
- Microwave – I don’t use it too much for actual cooking but microwave broccoli is amazing, so crunchy!
- On the go – fruit, salads, tuna cans, anchovies, lentils and beans in a can, tinned fish or seafood, the list is super long 🙂
The key to mix and match is to simultaneously cook food that you can mix with several nutrition groups later one. Here are some of my favourites:
- Roasted… aubergine, courgette, potatoes, tomatoes, onion, or peppers
- Boiled… potatoes, brown pasta, brown rice, quinoa, couscous, wheat, barley, buckwheat, kamut, or bulgar
- Grilled… poultry in any size or type (breast, fillet, tights, dices…), salmon, cod, or sea bass
- On the go… I tend to take tuna and anchovy cans, not to mention infinite combinations of fresh salads already mixed (important not to season them until you’re about to eat them, otherwise they go soft)
Cook big. Go as far as your budget and imagination takes you, and eventually end up with a number of Tupperwares that you can take to work or eat for dinner.
The final idea is to have variety and not having to repeat food twice. Bon profit!