Quick HEALTY recipes


Stool Chef
Apr 12, 2005
San Francisco area, CA, USA
2015 Mazda 3 S GT, 2015 VW e-Golf
What are some of your "go to" recipes that are quick, healthy, and mostly use ingredients you generally happen to have around? Like...you get home at 8:30, and starving, but you know you should eat something you won't regret.

Long story short, I need help. I don't open up cookbooks, recipe websites or walk into a farmer's market with a wide-eyed curiosity of unlimited possibility. Instead, I walk into the grocery store, wander through the produce department, and come out the other end paralyzed with indecision, and end up buying absolute crap that's I know is killing me, but is easy and cheap. I'm out-growing the clothes I bought when my last "batch" of clothes started getting too snug. :(

At the same time, I just get frustrated spending $30 on specialized ingredients to make one meal, because I don't have the creativity or know-how to do anything else with them, and they go bad, and end up in the trash :lol:
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Good bread, butter, toppings of your choice such as rape honey or fresh cheese - just don't over-do it, more bread than topping.

Easy to do a meal for 2?, and it doesn't kill you.
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I'm interested in some quick healthy recipes, especially the 'quick' part. I'm not much of a cook and don't really feel like cooking after working all day so I usually just have soup and/or a sandwich. I've managed to avoid getting fast food for dinner so far but I don't know how much longer that'll last.

I've been told I should get a slow cooker. Just toss in ingredients in the morning, turn it on and you'll have stew/soup by the time you get home from work. I'm going to get a slow cooker but I don't want to have stew every night.
Good bread, butter, toppings of your choice such as rape honey or fresh cheese - just don't over-do it, more bread than topping.

Easy to do a meal for 2?, and it doesn't kill you.

So...a sandwich of sugar at fat? :p Might as well be "sketti."
So...a sandwich of sugar at fat?

Yes and no. The main ingredient is good bread, the percentage of fat and sugar is fairly low - unless you coat it in an inch of butter and put an entire glass of honey on top. One glass (250g probably) lasts many weeks for me.
You do need fat and sugar in your diet, it's the quantity that gets people.
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I don?t think a Honey-Butter Sandwich is what he had in mind ... :D

You can steam some veggies in a bag with the microwave in a couple of minutes, also cook rice pretty fast. Top with some hot cock sauce/soy sauce so it actually tastes like something, and off you go ... does not get much healthier or faster ...
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You can steam some veggies in a bag with the microwave in a couple of minutes, also cook rice pretty fast. Top with some hot cock sauce/soy sauce so it actually tastes like something, and off you go ... does not get much healthier or faster ...

See, now your just being like my gf. I'll ask "what should we make for dinner" and she'll just start listing individual ingredients/side dishes.

"spinach" and "rice" are not acceptable answers when asking about a meal. "Stuffing" is not dinner.

Yeah, I know I could eat a bowl full of baby carrots or a bag of salad and a bowl of cereal to get me through the day. Where I fail, is the next couple steps closer to an actual meal...Here's where we, 9 times our of 10, end up.

1) Frozen pizza
2) Pasta (jar of pasta sauce, box of pasta, both Barilla.)
3) Frozen breaded chicken strips with frozen microwave veggies
4) Some sort of frozen "skillet thing"

5) "Frozen things" (Lean Cuisine, etc)

Sevs752, I have a slow cooker...but I don't find that to be the case. I most often come home to bland watery mush, or on the rare occasion, a not bad version of a stew/soup which wasn't worth the efford over pre-prepared.

The only slow cooker recipes I've had positive results required LOTS of prep work...like...real cooking, but then using the slow cooker instead of the oven. :dunno:
Puttanesca? You can have all the stuff in your cupboard.

Spaghetti, capers, olives, tomato (fresh or tinned), a couple of tinned anchovies, olive oil. Season. It should NOT be a tomato sauce with a few bits in it. A small handful of everything and 2-3-4 anchovy fillets.

Yes, it's veggie but everything in it gives it a 'salty', wholesome mouthfeel.
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Well, it really depends on what you consider "Quick" :p

I have one I make from time to time, whatever vegetables you feel like (for instance, mushrooms, onions, carrots, broccoli), and meat (can be diced beef, chicken, even shrimp), start by frying the meat, put it aside, fry up the vegetables and some garlic, put in some oyster sauce and water, and season it with fish sauce, sugar, maybe a bit if salt if needed. Add in the meat, but not for too long, on't want to overcook it :) I don't remember the quantities, but something like half a deciliter of oyster sauce, one deciliter water and a tablespoon of fish sauce. Serve with rice.

It's not 5 minutes quick, but it isn't a huge task either. Oyster sauce and fish sauce might not be something you'd use in very many other things, but they keep well. It's a nice way to get plenty of vegetables, and there's some opportunity to switch things up a bit :) Last time I did noodles instead of rice, worked well too.


Found the original recipe I followed, says 0.7 eciliter oyster sauce to 0.5-1 deciliter water :)
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This is more the sort of thing I had in mind. Like...an actual meal that you wouldn't be ashamed to whip up if you have a friend or two over.

While oyster nor fish sauce will ever find it's way into my pantry, I don't want this thread to be just for me.

However, with my skill level though...that isn't enough of a recipe. "Start by frying the meat" means little to me... For example, I have a few recipes that say "take 1lb of cooked chicken..." :blink: I lack the understanding to do basic things like...starting a recipe with chicken that's somehow already cooked..where did that cookied chichen come from? I'm not saying that I don't know how to apply heat to food, but it always turns out terrible. Either an oily greasy mess, or it's just dried. Not sure if the oil level is off, or if I'm cooking at the wrong temperatures, etc. Very few things I make satisfy me in the end, even when I follow a recipe step-by-step.

Hell, even baked chicken breasts. My oven is so hot that if a frozen pizza says 14-18 minutes, you'd better start checking it at 12. However, frozen chicken breasts take twice as long as the 25-30 minutes that the package says it should...and then it's either dry on the outside, or slimey from its juices. I don't know what "medium" heat is, because food seems to cook too hot when I have my stovetop turned to 2/10. I only use anything higher to boil water.

Growing up, my family's idea of "stir fry" was this. Basically, a chicken soup you put on rice. I also rememeber a lot of caseroles with lots of cheese, and sandwiches.

Mushrooms always flummox me, too. Every recipe I've added mushrooms to turns into a watery mess. When i try and pre-cook them, I apparently don't really know how to do that, and they end up dried out before they seem "cooked" like how I expect them fro a restaurant.
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Well, with beef for instance, you want to get your pan very hot. Like, a bit of smoke coming from the oil hot. Reason being that you want them to fry, not boil, which is what they'll end up doing on a pan that's too cold. When you put the meat on the pan, the pan loses heat, so you basically want to start out with a seriously hot pan. When you have too low a temperature, the meat juices that comes from the meat doesn't evaporate, and you end up with a watery mess :)

Mushrooms, there's a lot of juices in those, one way to do it is by frying them just until there's not juice left, and then carrying on with the recipe. When I talk mushrooms, I'm talking about button mushrooms. I've yet to manage to dry them completely out :p

Regarding your oven, I'd suggest getting a thermometer for the oven, and find out how hot it actually is. When the packaging says "200 degress celsius" it's doesn't "whatever the oven thinks is 200". Chicken in the oven, I would thaw it first. When you're cooking it frozen, you don't get an even heating of the meat. Once the inside is done, you've got an overcooked outside.
For two:

A bag of beansprouts, some chopped pak choi, lemon juice, crushed garlic, some peeled fresh or frozen shrimp and/or scallops and a generous dash of oyster sauce and some chopped red chilli for extra colour and flavour.

Simple, tasty and filling stir fry.
I would suggest looking to stir-fry and grilling (if available to you, which might be hard since you're in San Fran).

Stir-fry is quick and easy and can be decently healthy and tasty. My go to dish is 1 or 2 chicken breasts cut up into small pieces and either one chopped bell pepper or a couple chopped jalape?os. Then I lightly fry them in a pan (with either peanut or sesame). The sauce is a combo of soy/Worcestershire sauce (depends on which flavor you prefer), hunan sauce, honey, and then a preferred hot sauce. Combine until you like the taste. Put the sauce in after the chicken has been cooked through just, then let it simmer until the sauce thickens. Add rice if you like. A bit high in sodium probably, but fat content is cut down.

Prep/Cook/Cleanup time is ~30min.

Grilling is even easier and can be even healthier. Chicken or steak (lean if you want) with seasonings bought from the store can be prepped in no time at all. If you want to marinate it, start it one night and let it sit for the rest of the day, but be careful because that's where you can turn something otherwise healthy into not-so-much. Cooking takes 10-20 minutes depending on what it is. Add seasoned veggies as you please.

But if you want to be heathly, STAY AWAY FROM FROZEN MEALS. I find it disgusting how loaded up on salt these are, and many are filled to the brim with fat.
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^Frozen food. Good for raw veggies/fruits meats...but meals. Eeep.

Usually I go with simple food that has high protein/fiber values. Dal (Lentils) are fantastic in that category...boil a cup for a good 15-20 min and you got a great source of protein and carbs. Throw in some bread or tortillas (or if you can chapatis) and you got a solid meal. Being in SF, should find a Indian/Asian market or even a Whole Foods/Trader joes that sells these items. Also good combo is apple and peanut butter for snacks. Hard boiled eggs are easy too and are quick for breakfasts and snacks.