Whole Foods Lifestyle - Whole "fast food" ideas?




View Full Version : Whole "fast food" ideas?


molly135
03-27-2008, 09:06 PM
I know the whole food lifestyle doesn't really lend to this, but I'm betting we all have NO TIME nights.
In the winter I throw a handful of red lentils and 1/2 a veg stock cube into 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 tsp (about) of curry and cayanne, then whatever fresh veggies I may have in the fridge. OH also a little fat - olive oil, butter, chicken stock, whatever. Boil while showering heh.

It's getting a little old!
Any ideas on how to balance out a dinner when every minute counts? These are typically the nights when I'm eating alone.


SoulBliss
03-27-2008, 09:26 PM
That's one of my favorite dishes, made vegan with loads of veggies and little coconut oil.

zenor77
03-27-2008, 09:33 PM
Canned wild salmon is one of my go-tos when I'm in a hurry. Usually I'll throw together salmon cakes, but I just tried this recipe that was in Clean Eating magazine and it was super quick and yummy. It makes four servings, but you could cut it down I'm sure. I know I've seen smaller cans of salmon at the store.

Warm Salmon and Couscous Salad

Mix the following in a large bowl:

1 14.75oz can of wild salmon, undrained
1 medium carrot, grated
1 T lemon juice
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 cup spinach, shredded
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
2 t chili powder

Pour 1 1/4 cups of boiling chicken broth over the contents of the bowl. Mix well. Cover and let stand 5 mins.

Add 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, fluff with a fork and enjoy.

Serves 4, Per serving: 345 calories, 11g of fat, 42g carbs, 20g protein

Another thing to think about, do you usually know ahead of time when you'll have evenings like this? If so, you could cook on a day you have free and then freeze portions for times like these. You could just cook and freeze certain parts of meals. For example, you could freeze portions of brown rice and then microwave the rice while you throw a quick stirfry together.

Or you could throw things into a crockpot in the morning (they make small ones.)

Sometimes when I'm super tired I'll just make a big salad. I love spinach, with goat cheese, dried cranberries, and walnuts. YUM!


Sorcha33
03-27-2008, 09:39 PM
I'm lucky in that I have a sushi restaurant close by that will make brown rice sushi on request, so that's kind of become my "fast food" option as far as restaurants go. In a pinch I can always get a grilled chicken salad or sandwich from a typical fast food place, but I'm just really not into supporting the major chains, so it's not something I do often.

For quickie at home meals - well, I almost always have some cooked chicken or turkey in the fridge, and make up brown rice in a big batch every week and store it in portions in the fridge. So, that gets me halfway there in a pinch - a quick saute of some onion, peppers, garlic, ginger and a little soy and teriyaki sauce, then adding in some chicken/turkey and rice, gets me all the way. It's quick, tasty, and can be modified countless ways.

I also always have the makings of a big salad on hand, so it's easy to throw something together then top it with chicken/turkey, maybe a few almonds or walnuts, a few dried cranberries, whatever I have on hand that makes it more of a "meal". Quick and yummy.

Here are a few other ideas:

Omelets!! Egg whites or whole eggs (or a mixture)..whatever your calories allow. Saute some spinach, mushrooms, onions, whatever you like - add the eggs, cook up quickly then add some diced tomato on the side. Add in a slice of whole grain toast for some carbs, if you like.

Make up a big batch of something you really enjoy when you do have some time - either freeze it in single-serve portions, or keep it in the fridge if it will last. That way, all you have to do is heat and eat!! :D

In a pinch, even a quick bowl of oatmeal with some walnuts, banana (or other fruit) and a drizzle of honey can make a good dinner.

A wrap is very fast, provided you have the basics on hand - cover a whole-grain tortilla with a little hummus, black bean puree (whatever you like), then top with some turkey, loads of veggies, and maybe a little cheese.


There's really so much you can do if you get creative. Definitely making up a soup, stew, pasta dish or whatever you really like and storing it in single-serve portions is the fastest, since there's nothing to do but reheat the food. My freezer right now has homemade marinara, bean stew, turkey bolognese, and apple braised pork along with some other stuff - it's so nice to have a selection of tasty (and healthy) things on hand! Pasta sauces are especially great - you can get the water on to boil, put the sauce in the microwave to thaw, then go for a shower - by the time you're out, just add some whole wheat pasta to the boiling water, then within about 10 minutes you'll be ready to eat. :)

I hope something here might help you!

Sorcha33
03-27-2008, 09:40 PM
zenor77 - I should have waited to read your post before I posted mine!! I'm laughing since so many of our suggestions are the same!! :)

missingmyerica
03-27-2008, 10:00 PM
Tonight I made Spaghetti and meat sauce for a quickie meal. I browned onions and garlic in a little olive oil, then added a package of ground chicken and browned that. Then I added a large can of whole tomatoes (after chopping up the tomatoes in the blender), added some salt, pepper, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper. Let it simmer for about 45 minutes and then I served it over whole wheat/flax seed spaghetti. Very easy and my kids ate it without noticing it was chicken instead of ground beef. ;)

SoulBliss
03-27-2008, 10:14 PM
I made vegan "larb" and veggies tonight.

I took soy ground protein, miso silken tofu and cooked it in extra virgin coconut oil with shallots, garlic, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, red pepper flakes and black pepper.

Simultaneously, in another pot, I cooked frozen green beans and a package of broccoli slaw, adding in more spices and herbs and then a little coconut milk.

For DH I opened a can of chickpeas to add to his.

Less than 15 minutes, total!

Tonight I made Spaghetti and meat sauce for a quickie meal. I browned onions and garlic in a little olive oil, then added a package of ground chicken and browned that. Then I added a large can of whole tomatoes (after chopping up the tomatoes in the blender), added some salt, pepper, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper. Let it simmer for about 45 minutes and then I served it over whole wheat/flax seed spaghetti. Very easy and my kids ate it without noticing it was chicken instead of ground beef. ;)
45+ minutes is a "quickie" meal? :o Well, what is a "regular" or "extravagant" meal then?

LindseyLouWho
03-27-2008, 10:35 PM
Zenor, would you mind sharing that recipe for salmon cakes? They sound really good. I swear I saw it posted somewhere on this site, but I couldn't find it.

Edit!: I found it! I knew I had seen it somewhere! Haha. I'll be trying these soon...

Glory87
03-27-2008, 11:53 PM
Oh, I make so many fast things. I don't like to spend a lot of time cooking very often.

1. Veggie tacos - Microwave 2 veggie burgers, chop them up, warm up 3 whole wheat tortillas, sprinkle on a little low fat cheese, shred some spinach leaves, spoon on some salsa, takes 5 minutes from start to finish

2. Home made pizza - I buy a pre-made organic whole wheat crust, spread on some pizza sauce, sprinkle on sun dried tomatoes, red onion, mushrooms, spinach leaves and a little low fat feta. 20 minutes from start to finish.

3. Maple-glazed salmon with Trader Joe's microwaveable brown rice (perfect rice in 2 minutes) with steamed vegetables. 20 minutes.

4. On the weekends, I like to roast a huge pan of vegetables (onions, carrots, chickpeas, beets, garlic, green beans, sweet potatoes etc). I can do a lot of different things with it during the week - add some pesto and make a wrap. Add some balsalmic vinaigrette and add them to a salad. Sprinkle it with feta and put it in an omelet.

molly135
03-28-2008, 06:29 PM
1. Veggie tacos - Microwave 2 veggie burgers, chop them up, warm up 3 whole wheat tortillas, sprinkle on a little low fat cheese, shred some spinach leaves, spoon on some salsa, takes 5 minutes from start to finish



that sounds really fantastic! Ill have to check out the ingrediants on those veggie burgers.

I'm not much for reheating past a day or two =/ i dont know if it's my paranoia but I always think the flavor and consistency changes too much (particularly in the freezer). I may be not doing it right ;)

BlueToBlue
03-28-2008, 09:35 PM
Chicken is super easy and fast. Take 4 to 6 oz chicken breast and use a meat mallet or hammer to pound it to 1/4 inch thickness between pieces of wax paper. This will take all of about 30 seconds. Season it however you want (some ideas to try are sea salt and pepper, lemon pepper, jerk seasoning, celery salt, meskite seasoning, or other seasoning blends). Toss it in a saute pan with a little non-stick cooking spray over med-high heat. It will cook in about 5 min. Turn it once during cooking. Then serve it with whatever topping you want. Try salsa, guacamole, marinara sauce, or chutney. You can also top it with a light cheese. I like to serve it over polenta (pre-cooked from a tube, you can saute in the same pan alongside the chicken) and spinach (also sauteed in the same pan as the chicken). Sometimes I even fry an egg in the pan and serve that on top.

Trade Joe's sells Chile Chicken Lime burgers that are all natural--just chicken, veggies, and spices. They make a great sandwich in a pinch and are only 110 calories per patty. Also, Trader Joe's sells salmon patties that are literally just salmon and a little salt. They also make a great sandwich in a pinch and are only 80 calories a patty.

Another idea is smoked salmon over pasta. Make a sauce for the pasta out of non-fat cream cheese, some lemon juice, pepper, and grated lemon rind (just stir all this into the hot pasta). Then sprinkle the smoked salmon over it. You could also add veggies--try green onions and asparagus or spinach. You can blanch the veggies in the pasta water.

molly135
03-29-2008, 05:18 AM
I keep hearing about light cheese! are you talking lighter calorie cheeses in general or reduced fat regular cheese?

I was a kid during the heighth of the "dietary fat will kill you" America. My mother tried her best to feed us as healthily as the current diet trends informed her of. Then it was "have as much pasta as you like but here's a tsp of lowfat parmesan. eat your potatoes and bread and clean your plate." I adored cheese but I would tell her to hold it on my food ... I just couldn't stand the lowfat/nonfat versions of it.

Nowadays cheese is one of my staple foods and I'm very picky about it. In the same 5 months or so that I lost 40 pounds I ate sooooo much awesome cheese. Fiscallini merlot soaked cheddar. Chipolte and cranberry cheddar from Carr Valley. If you have never checked out Carr Valley cheese buy a chunk of their baby cheddar because it is literally to DIE FOR.

I'm a midwesterner I'm all about the cheddar =)
I realize this is kind of a random rant but it is 4 am right now .... heh.

LessEveryDay
04-10-2008, 06:18 PM
For me, fast food comes from my own freezer. Last night I cooked up a chicken and vegetable curry, making enough for six meals. Making six meals worth didn't take much more time than making one. I made enough Minute Rice for two meals. We had it for supper last night and lunch today. The remaining four meals were portioned into freezer containers and, after cooling in the fridge overnight, went into the freezer. So, another night, all I have to do is pop one of these frozen cubes into a pan (or the microwave). While it thaws and heats, I'll heat water for the Minute Rice. In minutes, we'll be having curry over rice. An entire shelf in my upright freezer is full of such meals, all properly labeled and dated!

kaplods
04-10-2008, 09:26 PM
I use whole grain bulgar a lot (it's cracked wheat that has been parboiled and dried -you can usually find it in the healthfood section of a grocery). You add boiling water to the bulgar and let it sit 20 - 30 minutes to absorb the water. I often do this step in the evening while watching tv, in order to have the bulgar to use the next day.

In addition to a traditonal bulgar salad, I use the bulgar as you would rice and other cereals (and sometimes in place of ground beef)

flavored with sweetener and cinnamon as a breakfast cereal
with tvp (soy) granules and/or ground beef as a taco meat filler
as a rice substitute in
in fried rice (this is really good) or even in sushi (this doesn't get very "sticky" so while it's good, you pretty much have to make hand rolls where the nori is shaped into a cone or folded like a burrito).

Another "quick" meal we often make that is actually a slow one, is using the slow cooker for something that can simmer for a VERY long time. When we were working, during the week, we did this in the morning so dinner was ready when we got home, and now that my husband and I are both on disability, we put it in at bedtime, and it's ready for lunch.

We usually get several meals out of it, most of them very quick with little cleanup. Like shredding the meat and using it in taco fillings, sloppy joes, the "fried rice" mentioned above...

cheetara
04-23-2008, 02:32 PM
Whole wheat couscous takes just a couple of minutes in the microwave.
I try to have a pot o' beans ready in the fridge to put with tortillas, eggs, rice, etc
Drain a can each of black beans and corn, put salsa on top and use as filling for a tortilla or a salad or a side dish

Vates
04-25-2008, 01:29 PM
my favorite is to grill or saute broccoli w/ a little balsamic vinager and pine nuts.

TurboLeda
11-12-2008, 04:17 PM
Zenor, would you mind sharing that recipe for salmon cakes? They sound really good. I swear I saw it posted somewhere on this site, but I couldn't find it.

Edit!: I found it! I knew I had seen it somewhere! Haha. I'll be trying these soon...


Can you post the recipe for the salmon cake?? I can't find it!! :o:o

zeffryn
11-12-2008, 10:05 PM
I try to make a huge pot of soup once every week or two and put it in single portions in the freezer. If we're having a night with no time, I just pull out the amount of servings I need and heat. 10 minutes from freezer to table.

If I make the soup in the crock pot, it is even more simple.

zenor77
11-12-2008, 10:26 PM
My salmon cakes vary depending on what I have in the house, but here are the basics...

Mix together:

1 14oz can of wild salmon mashed (you can remove skin and bones if you want, but I leave them in for the calcium)

1 egg

a handful or two of whole wheat bread crumbs (maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup)

seasoning of choice (herbs du provence and lots of pepper is yummy--but no salt!)

You can also add a bit of capers, chopped pickle, some mustard, chopped roasted red pepper, etc. Not all at once of course. I added blue cheese crumbles once and that was tasty.

Then you just form into patties. I make four out of a 14 oz can of salmon.

I pan fry the patties in a bit of olive oil until hot and browned on both sides.

Amarantha2
12-20-2008, 11:47 PM
Omelets or scrambled tofu dishes.

Veggie creamy soup made with frozen or fresh veggies processed in Magic Blender with water and microwaved.

Mozzarella/tomato salad (slice tomato, chunk mozzarella sticks, drizzle with olive oil, add walnuts or seeds, etc.)

Thighs Be Gone
12-21-2008, 12:11 AM
I make my salmon patties with fresh salmon because it's as fast as canned. The prices have been good here for salmon as of late--in line with Tilapia even. I just dice it fine with an ULU, add in one piece of whole wheat bread, add diced onion, Old Bay seasoning and egg whites and then make into patties.

My topping sauce is fat-free Miracle whip mixed with lime and wasabi powder. Does anyone else have any ideas for replacing the Miracle whip?