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Tag: meal plan

Cooking for One 

Whether you live alone or you have different food preferences than your family, it can be difficult to be creative in the kitchen when you are only making meals for yourself. However, with the right tips and tools, it can be possible to cook up delicious single-serving meals that will help eliminate food waste and endless leftovers. Here are five tips that will help liven up any meal plan.  

  1. Use one ingredient in different ways. When you cook a batch of rice, quinoa or any ancient grain don’t be afraid to use a half cup for a savory side dish, another half cup mixed into a salad or some cooked grains with sautéed vegetables in a stir fry.  
  2. Go to the bulk bins to customize quantities. Although the bulk bins are called “bulk” they also allow you to select small portions of unique seeds, grains, nuts, and flour.  
  3. Planning is key. To avoid wandering down the aisles and grabbing what looks good, meal planning can provide focus at the grocery store.  
  4. Frozen fruit and veggies are great options. Use frozen fruit for smoothies or oatmeal. Utilize what you need then put the rest back in the freezer.  
  5. Go to the seafood and meat counter. Instead of purchasing big packages of meat or fish, you can simply get one pork chop, one fish filet or one chicken breast. 

When cooking single-serving meals you should prioritize making balanced and colorful options. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner delicious vegetable and protein-based selections can leave you feeling full and satisfied all day long.

Colorful Plate

We all know we should eat a balanced diet. However, it’s difficult to know what that looks like on your plate every day. One possible guide to good nutrition is focusing on having a colorful plate at each meal. This mantra has been a guide in many diet programs over the years. Health professionals believe that to reap the most benefits from fruits and vegetables we should consume at least one daily serving from each of the five main color groups: blue/purple, green, white, yellow/orange and red.

Blue and purple foods include nutritious items such as blueberries, grapes, eggplant, blackberries, and prunes. Green foods could be leafy greens, spinach, kiwi and honeydew melon. The white color group includes cauliflower, onions, garlic, banana, pears, and potatoes. Yellow and orange options are carrots, oranges, pineapple, peaches, sweet potato, pumpkin, and cantaloupe. Red foods include tomatoes, raspberries, red apples, and watermelon. Now just imagine a daily meal plan with foods from each of these color groups paired with lean meats and fish. Focusing on having a colorful plate is a great guide for consuming a balanced diet with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Can Pasta be Part of a Healthy Meal Plan?

In recent years carbohydrates have been considered friend and foe. During the fat-free phenomenon in the ninety’s, bread and pasta were commonly promoted healthy choices for any meal. Then fad diets swung the opposite direction recommending more protein and low carbohydrates. Now many people are left to wonder if carbohydrates can be part of a healthy meal plan?

The short answer is, YES! Carbohydrates, like pasta, when enjoyed in the right portion size are part of a well-balanced meal plan. When it comes to pasta there are a few important factors to consider when implementing this wholesome food into a meal. Consider topping a serving of pasta with equal parts vegetables and protein. For example, 1/2 cup cooked whole wheat pasta pairs well with 1 cup of marinara meat sauce. Then serve that hot dish with a 2 cup serving of a green salad for a delightful well-balanced meal. Also, be mindful of pasta sauces that have high caloric concentrations. Here are three great recipes showing healthy ways to enjoy pasta.

Creamy Leeks And Noodles

Healthy Alfredo Sauce

Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

See the Clearly Organic blog for more healthy recipes.

Eat More Vegetables

The world of nutrition and fitness has multiple different approaches and opinions, but one thing everyone can agree on is vegetables are a vital part of living well. Veggies can improve your health if you incorporate them into your meal plan on a daily bases. However, that is part of the challenge. Many people find vegetables hard to cook and lacking in flavor. So when you hear that you need to eat vegetables everyday and we need to add more of these super foods to our diet we start to dread what that might involve.

Here are a few easy ways to eat more veggies.

  1. Try a new vegetable based recipe. Scan the web for appealing photos of vegetables, and test out a new way to prepare a veggie you enjoy.
  2. Add extra vegetables to an existing recipe. It’s easy to add extra veggies to a soup or hot dish. Also try adding vegetables to a non traditional recipe like homemade meatballs or meatloaf. You can add minced carrots, cauliflower or broccoli to these recipes.
  3. Try a veggie smoothie. You know you need more greens but the thought of eating another salad is nauseating? Try a spinach, frozen berries and almond milk smoothie.
  4. Make a veggie bag. The prep work for vegetables is usually what keeps people from eating them. If you can set aside one day to wash, chop and prep your veggies you’re far more likely to get your needed 5 plus veggies servings each day.