With a pretty hectic schedule and two growing boys, I need to have a few healthy fast food recipes in my back pocket so when unexpectedly someone is hungry and just can’t wait – you need to whip up something fast. Just to be clear – healthy fast food in isn’t burgers and French fries, but good home cooking with little prep time.
Fair warning – you won’t find recipes here. Firstly I don’t want to risk breaking any copyrighting laws and secondly I rarely use recipes while cooking. Maybe only a few times a year and I really can’t remember when I last time used and followed a recipe. If I find something new then for the first time I follow with measuring and weighing, but after that, I cook it by feels. But it must be totally new food for me. For examples cake recipes I look only ingredients, not measurements since I know what the texture has to be. If you need more guidance for cooking then check out my Pinterest – I have two boards where I collect cooking ideas. Some of them are to use with a multicooker you can check out why I love multicookers.
Since most recipes are for 1 or 2 persons I have to recalculate them anyway, so for me, it’s easier to add the right amount of the main ingredient and then add by feels everything else so the proportion is right and I season my taste.
How to speed up cooking dishes with meat
So when you don’t have magic pots that cooks pork and beef within minutes to tender – switch the meat. I was very used to putting certain dishes together with certain meats. For example one of my favorites is pilaf and solyanka soup, which I always knew should be done with beef or pork. So I rarely did them from scratch, because cooking beef or pork perfectly tender melting stage takes really long time. I once tried…. I had lunch in the middle of cooking.
A few years ago I came across a pilaf recipe with the notice that it takes 30 minutes. I was intrigued – like how? And the secret – chicken! I still wasn’t quite sure, but I tried. And yes, 30 minutes instead of 3 hours and it tasted good! I like to add some smoked bacon, just for extra flavor. And now the most timely part is waiting for rice to cook.
Same with solyanka soup – just change the meat and cooking time melts away. I used to buy these as premade from stores, but now I make it at home from scratch and it takes approximately same time.
The best part of it is, that using chicken makes them healthy fast food containing less fat and being easier to digest. And I have used this hack with all the dishes since then. And yes this means I almost always have chicken in my fridge. When there is sale – I always buy them at bulk and stick to freezer. When planned out right others won’t even notice they eat chicken several days. Tss! Don’t tell!
Just be careful if you use chicken minced meat – this will cook on a frying pan quickly and can easily turn into tried-out pieces.
My kitchen healthy fast food king – chicken pizza
One of my quick option is chicken pizza. Have you tried it yet? No! OK, let’s fix it.
You need a chicken fillet (one fillet=one pizza) – so take as many you want to eat. I usually prep 1 for me and 2 per boy – they are growing boys so… they eat a lot more than me 🙂
Put fillet on the hot frying pan and cook it from one side. Prep and keep close by toppings to add right after flipping it.
Some tomato paste, some light toppings like sliced onion, jalapeno, pineapple, mushroom – what you like on the pizza. Just on that fillet has a bit less room. I usually add slice/two of everything and.
Cover with cheese – by your choice and cover with lid. Bu the time cheese melts – chicken should be done. Serve! When I am really lazy – I just add paste, pineapple slice and cheese. Still damn good and half the hustle.
Healthy fast food and Delicious!
Frozen veggies to the rescue!
Chopping is often one of the most time consuming part of cooking. I am fairly quick and got excellent knives, but when I have several different veggies to clean and chop it might take some time.
For those “I am hungry now” moments I have stocked up my freezer with different frozen veggie mixes and I choose from there most suited one. One of my 15 minutes soup is frozen veggie mix and meatballs with broth. I use powder broth cubes, 2 for 1 liter water and when boils – just add veggies and meatballs – wait for it to boil again and then about 5 minutes more for veggies to be perfectly soft but crunchy and ready! Serve with sour cream.
But I always don’t want soup! That’s fine. Frozen veggies can be also fried. I often toss one of the mixes on hot frying pan, add some favorite spices. Sometimes I add cutlets, fish or something like this to the side. Sometimes I boil some rice on separate pot and mix them together. I also have added some broth to the pan and used wok noodle’s.
The thing I love about frozen veggies is that they go with EVERYTHING. You can add them to soups, mix them up with noodles, rice, or add some eggs – stir up quick frittata or with just sunnyside up eggs. And why not – just fry or steam veggies, add favorite sauce and you got a meal. Healthy, easy, quick. My favorite kind. There are really endless ways to use frozen veggies in a dish – quick and healthy.
Veggie casserole – my quilty pleasure
Some say this one isn’t healthy. But I think it’s … it’s cauliflower and broccoli casserole. I have done it from fresh and frozen ones. Last one is quicker, but depends how good you are chopping their buds. I am not, so frozen ones for me. Throw them into boiling water, boil about 5-10 minutes and drain.
Take your oven mold, crease it up or add cooking paper (depends hoy you are used to). Take a bowl and mix (for 400gr cauliflower/broccoli mix) 3 eggs, sour cream, mayo and some grated cheese. The mixture should be a bit thick a bit runnier than a cake dough. Add spices – pepper and salt – and veggies. when they are all covered pour it on the mold, top with grated cheese and in to the oven until mixture is solid and cheese melted. It should take about 20-30 minutes in preheated oven with 180C.
And important part – wash your bowl right after you have put to casserole to the oven. The more it waits, the harder it is to clean. Right after with correct water pressure you mostly need to lightly wipe it.
Should I spill more?
I still struggle sometimes with the length of my posts. But since I think I have reached the limit I would like to read – I will stop now.
Let me know have you tried some of these tips before? Or what are your secrets to cut down cooking time?
Would you like me to do another post about fast and healthy foods or tips on how to save time in the kitchen?