This is the first in a series of posts that will include healthy make-ahead “Nutritarian Fast Food” recipes that I have developed to make my life a little simpler and our health and nutrition goals a little more realistic.
A few years ago, during another attempt to lose weight and gain health, Bob and I kind of created our own system. We called it “Soup and Smoothies”, and it WORKED, to a point. We lost weight. We felt better. And the secret to that success was “Fast Food”. (The downfall was the lack of variety, if you were wondering. One day Bob just said “I am sick of soup.” And so was I. And I got tired of making smoothies, too.
I am a very busy person during the day. Most of us are, right? Who has time to spend an hour in the kitchen to create a meal that you will slurp up in 5 minutes? Three times a day? Not I! What’s more, in the evening, when I am very tired from a long day’s work and activities with 14 kids, I do not want to cook. Unfortunately, I do want food, and I want it now! Evenings are my most emotional eating times. Binge eating, if I am not careful.
I started back then by making huge pots of soup, mostly chicken soup with tons of veggies in it, and then I would freeze it in 3 cup freezer boxes. And I still do that. And it still works! Anytime I want to eat something, I have boxes of soup in the freezer that I can just throw in the microwave for 7 minutes and BAM! A reasonably healthy Fast Food!
With the introduction of the Eat to Live theory into our life, the foods have changed a bit, the emphasis has shifted a bit, but I still know that the secret for our success is making stuff up in advance to be ready when we need it and want it. Prepping raw veggies, fruit, beans, soup and salad is time consuming, let me tell you! It isn’t overly fun, either, to be honest. If I have to tackle that chore every time I want to eat something, then I will more likely go get a burger from Dairy Queen. That has always been our downfall, is when we want something to eat but neither of us wants to cook.
My kitchen is often busy with other people in it throughout the busy day cooking for the kids in my childcare, and I don’t like working in a busy kitchen. The only way this is going to work is if I prep stuff in advance. For me the best time is early in the morning, right after my walk, before anyone wakes up. I put on my headphones, and I either listen to a Dr. Furhman book, or a Pro-blogger podcast, or music, and I chop, organize and prepare as much as I can in advance.
I have developed several recipes that are working for us. Here is one of the first ones I have recently come up with:
Smoothie Super Green Freezer Box
I make several of these boxes up in advance (usually about 14) and freeze them. It is packed with about 6 ounces of greens, a banana, raw beets, berries, ground flax and we’ve started adding walnuts as well. When we want a smoothie, we take out one of these boxes, put it in our Ninja blender, and then we add about two cups of carrot juice…or sometimes we do a bit of carrot juice and a bit of pomegranate juice, and blend thoroughly. It will make two 12 ounce smoothies for us, and if we add a little more juice we can squeeze out a small smoothie for our daughter as well.
The last time, when we were doing our soup and smoothies, I spent a great deal of time every single day making smoothies. I kept adding more and more stuff to it in an attempt to make it taste better. The smoothies were unpredictable, huge, and they started to get very calorie heavy. And they weren’t always very good, either. With this recipe, I think I have finally nailed it on the head. It is mild. It tastes so good our 8 year old daughter loves them, and I feel like it is in line with the Eat to Live theory. Everything in this smoothie is “nutrient dense”.
This is where you can get a Ninja Blender if you want one. We burnt up countless blenders before we finally found this one, and it has been running like a champ for several years, now. We love it!
Do you have any healthy recipes that you like to prepare in advance? Please share!