Updated: Sep 26, 2021
One thing we hear a lot is how hard it can be to find time to cook since we're all pretty busy. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with finding foods that are fulfilling, but easy to make. It’s okay to have some meals be your favorite foods that take you time to prepare, and other meals that are quick and easy. Angie, our nutrition student/intern & intuitive eater has put together a list of helpful meal prep tips along with five of her favorite quick meal ideas. You can read on below or check out her video at- 5 Quick, Easy Dinner Ideas - YouTube!
Meal Planning Tips
If you are short on time or know that you have a busy week, you can plan ahead to save yourself time. One tip is to cook a protein that you can use in multiple dinners throughout the week. For three of the recipes below, chicken is used, but you could interchange this with any meat or non-meat alternative protein. The idea is to have the protein already prepared to save you time during the week. Another time-saving hack is to put together a salad, or cut up vegetables that could be used as sides for the week. Again, this is to save you time, not to feel rigid or inflexible.
The following is a list of five quick, easy lunch or dinner meals. The hope is that you find these meals satisfying and easy to make.
Mexican Rice Bowls – Prepare your favorite rice according to the package, and add the pre-cooked protein. Top with vegetables (like red bell peppers, corn, lettuce), beans, salsa, cheese, or any sauce that you enjoy.
Chicken and Pasta Salad – Mix together a pasta salad to eat with your pre-cooked chicken. My favorite pasta salad recipe is from Pinch of Yum (The Best Easy Pasta Salad Recipe - Pinch of Yum). Enjoy this with your salad or a side of roasted vegetables.
Taquitos – Use your pre-cooked chicken to make a yummy taquito recipe. This recipe from the Lean Green Bean is great (Baked Ranch Chicken Taquitos (theleangreenbean.com). I love to substitute refried beans for the pinto or black beans in this recipe to save even more time. Add chips and guacamole, vegetables, or a salad to feel satisfied. If you have leftovers, you can freeze them, and use them for another meal.
Breakfast Burritos – Eggs are a great source of protein, and a quick meal option. Scramble eggs and add them to a tortilla with vegetables (onions, peppers, etc.), cheese, and any sauces you like.
Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup – Soups can be a great meal to cook quickly. This soup recipe is warm and delicious (Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup – Oh She Glows). It comes together easily, and makes great leftovers for lunch. It can also be made in the Instant Pot, while you do other things!
Preparing meals shouldn’t feel stressful or overwhelming. Eating should feel pleasurable. Sometimes that might mean eating out with friends or cooking a longer meal. Other days it might be a quick meal that nourishes you. Intuitive eating allows for flexibility and finding what works for you. Try one of these dinners when you are short on time or you want to mix up your dinner routine!
These are just a couple of ideas to help you make quick and satisfying dinners as an Intuitive Eater. Practicing compassion and patience with yourself is super important and working with a dietitian and/or therapist trained in intuitive eating can be tremendously helpful in this journey.
Don't hesitate to reach out to work with a dietitian or schedule a complimentary discovery call to learn more about Intuitive Eating.