Apartment Living - How to Eat Healthy with less space and time
Eating Healthy when you have a small kitchen and few kitchen gadgets
Our friend Lys Bradley from New York wrote to ask us a question:
“You asked what other issues we are struggling with. I have one that you can maybe help us with - trying to live healthily in New York when living part time in an apartment with limited cooking gadgets.
I put on weight whenever I do a stint over there - partly because of the bigger portions, partly because the schools I review are so hospitable that they thrust food at me, partly because a city life style makes it easier to reach for a bottle wine to relax, instead of making for the beach or the river, and partly because we don't have as much time to shop healthily.
I would love some easy suggestions for exciting and healthy meals and snacks that can be put together really quickly, where the ingredients can be bought from the supermarket and where I don't need a battery of kitchen gadgets to put them together. After my first year's experience, I recognize that it makes sense to invest in some cheap equipment to extend our repertoire, but I won't have access to a juicer, food processor or blender.”
My answer to Lys
Keep it simple. Simple can also be delicious! Generally a good sharp knife and chopping board are the most important requirements.
For evening meals salads or steamed /stir-fried veggies are the way to go, with beans or fish/meat/eggs as your protein option.
Here area couple of rough easy evening meal guides. Roger and I have meals like this all the time. I have not used precise ingredient quantities. These are general ideas. If you need more precise quantities, contact me .
If you want a hot meal:
Choose to go Asian or Italian for a ‘one pot hot meal’:
Start with sautéing onion and grated fresh ginger (for Asian) or Onion and crushed garlic (for Italian).
Add Asian spices or Italian herbs.
Add your chopped vegetables of choice staring with the longest cooking time first to shortest cooking time last.
Finally add in canned tomatoes (and/or coconut cream for Asian).
Simmer until veggies are tender.
Add cubed fresh fish or cooked beans. Fish only takes a couple of minutes to cook. Likewise beans just need to heat through.
Serve in a bowl with chopped coriander (cilantro) on top (Asian) or grated chopped goats/cows feta (Italian).
If you want salad:
Mix up a salad with plenty of salad greens/sprouts/grated vegetables like carrot and beets.
Add chopped avocado or soaked nuts/seeds
Top with cooked beans or fresh grilled fish (or canned salmon).
I like simple dressings to finish off such a meal:
The ingredients for my favourite easy ‘no blender dressings’ are:
1. Tahini/soy sauce/finely chopped ginger/cider vinegar or lemon, plus water to thin.
2. Soy sauce/balsamic/olive oil (this is also a lovely marinade to pour on roasting vegetables.)
How to be more efficient in the kitchen:
Important time saving point no.1
With both cooked and salad meals: Always make enough for lunch the next day (if you wish to save $$$ and have a healthy lunch).
Important time saving point no.2
Beans are an easy and healthy protein source. You can either cook up large batches of beans and freeze in small portions or use canned beans.
Important time saving point no.3
If you like to have grains with a main meal, cook up enough for dinner and breakfasts for two-three days and refrigerate. We choose quinoa, buckwheat or brown rice. They are all easy to cook, gluten free and yummy for breakfast when topped with yoghurt, honey, fresh fruit, and mixed nuts and seeds.
Important time saving point no.4
If you were to get one machine to improve time management and healthy eating, get a ‘Tribest Personal Blender’. They are so good for sauces, dressings and smoothies. It is really small, so easy to pack and take with you too. It would be ideal for apartment living.
You can make a smoothie in less than five minutes, pop a lid on and take it to work. Awesome… see the recipes for super green smoothies on the website.