Health

21 Easy, Healthy Cooking Tips For Lazy People

Lazy chefs, rejoice.

Eating healthy can be tough — especially when you don’t have time to cook, let alone learn how to make food that’s actually good for you.

FOX / Via reactiongifs.us

So we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community and registered dietician Abby Langer to share their favorite healthy cooking hacks.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. Cook with oils like olive oil and avocado oil because they’re not as processed as some other oils, like canola.

Amazon / Via amazon.com

Abby Langer

Get the two bottles of avocado oil here, for $30.25, and the olive oil here, for $12.00.

2. Or use broth to cook your food, and skip oil altogether.

Abby Langer, Toronto-based registered dietician

“I like to use broth (chicken or vegetable) sometimes instead of using oil. If you want to go minimal on the amount of oil you use, broth is a great option because it’s flavorful and not as fat-heavy. You can make your own, or just buy things like Campbell’s canned broth if you need it quick.”

Abby Langer

Here’s a simple chicken broth recipe so you can make your own.

3. Try poaching and braising your food instead of frying.

“I use bay leaf and peppercorn in my broth to make it tasty and then put something like salmon in and poach it. Braising is basically cooking a tough cut of meat (that’s usually inexpensive), in a liquid for a long time. Braising in a slow-cooker is the original one-pot meal.”

Abby Langer

4. Make and freeze a bunch of healthy breakfasts so you always have something to grab in the morning.

“Find a healthy muffin or egg sandwich recipe, make a shit-ton and freeze them. Then when you’re rushing for breakfast you can just pop it in the microwave and eat it on the go.”

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Get the recipe for these breakfast sandwiches here, and find more healthy make-ahead breakfasts here.

5. Stock up on frozen veggies and add them to everything.

Bravissimos / Getty Images

“Frozen vegetables are the best. They keep in all the vitamins and minerals, they’re ready to cook, and you can keep tons in your freezer without running out of them like the harvested fresh ones.”

gisellav2

6. But don’t overcook them and make sure you eat them with some healthy fat.

“You don’t want to kill your vegetables because then they’ll lose all their nutrients. Try to keep them just a little crisp. You also need fat to absorb those nutrients, so just steaming your broccoli and not having any olive oil, avocado, broth, butter, etc. with it is going to inhibit the absorption of those vitamins.”

Abby Langer

7. Get yourself a double-decker steamer for easy, steamed veggies whenever you want.

“The best thing I do with vegetables is steam them, four to five different vegetables at the same time, for 10 minutes tops.”

gisellav2

Get it here, for $32.00.

8. And stock up on frozen lean proteins, like shrimp, salmon, and chicken.

Abby Langer

9. Swap out sugar-loaded staples for natural sweeteners — or at least things with less added sugar.

“I totally stopped getting the high-sugar flavored coffee creamers. I drink a lot of coffee, and was probably using close to a cup of those creamers every day. I switched to soy milk and almond milk and just by making this one change, I lost a lot of weight in about two months and have kept that weight off for close to three years now.”

—Erin Hicks, Facebook

10. Start grilling your meals.

“It’s a great way to make lean meat without using too much cooking oil.”

Abby Langer

11. Or try roasting them.

“Two words: roasted vegetables. Take whatever veggies you have, fresh or frozen, toss them in a little olive oil, and add whatever seasonings you fancy. I always use seasoned salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Roast them at 400°F until they start to brown. I haven’t met a veggie I didn’t like roasted, even if I don’t like it in other forms.”

raebea

Buy this roasting pan here, for $18.33.

12. Actually read the ingredients on a nutrition label. If it doesn’t make sense, look for a less processed version.

Warner Bros. Pictures / Via instagram.com

“If I can’t pronounce any of the the first five ingredients, or don’t know what they are, I don’t buy it. If it looks dyed, I don’t buy it. It sounds so extra, but if there’s one thing you should be extra with, it’s what goes on/in your body.”

Laura Genevieve

13. Invest in a spiralizer and slicer so you can easily (and creatively) add vegetables to every meal.

“Spiralizers are fabulous for creating new dishes! Spiralized vegetables don’t taste anything like pasta, so people need to not have that expectation. However, they’re a fun, easy-to-use tool for anyone’s kitchen if they want to eat more vegetables via spiralized salads, cooked or raw ‘zoodles’ with sauces, etc.”

Abby Langer

Get one here, for $29.99, and go here for 21 different ways to use it.

14. And quality non-stick pans so you can use less oil when cooking.

Abby Langer

Buy it here, for $69.00.

15. Stock your kitchen with whole, minimally processed foods that are versatile so that you can use them in a lot of different recipes without getting bored.

Martha Stewart / Via marthastewart.com

“If I know I can spend only 15 minutes on a healthy meal, I can convince myself it’s better than spending 15 minutes stopping for fast food. So I try to make sure to have low-fuss ingredients on hand that make dinner easier. For example, I make shredded chicken in a crockpot and freeze it in one-serving portions. Then I’ll throw a serving in with quinoa, black beans, canned green chilis, and some salsa. Takes no time at all and is much more nutritious than Taco Bell and cheaper than Chipotle.”

bekahwestcott

16. Keep complex carbs like sweet potatoes, quinoa, and brown rice on hand.

“Whole grains and complex carbs are great because they’re slower to digest and will keep you full longer.”

Abby Langer

Here’s more info on the difference between simple and complex carbs.

17. Experiment with fun spices (and maybe even grow your own) to make those same veggie and protein combinations taste more interesting.

Abby Langer

18. Buy plastic freezer bags and good tupperware so that you don’t have to cook as often.

“Every few months I chop a load of onions, garlic, ginger, chili, coriander, parsley, mint, etc and put it all in individual freezer bags then I use it as needed for soups, stews, sauces and stir-frys. Freezing preserves all the goodness and if I have all that stuff on hand I’m not temped to buy ready-made meals or pre-made sauces which can be full of additives and preservatives.”

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19. Bookmark a bunch of healthy one-pan or one-pot recipes that you really enjoy.

Gimme Some Oven / Via gimmesomeoven.com

“I like cooking dinner most nights for my spouse and I try to cook as healthy as possible. But I HATE clean up. I recently discovered a ton of one-pan recipes, most of them with chicken or shrimp, and lots of veggies! The seasonings you can use will make it all taste delicious after cooking in the oven for 20 or 30 minutes, and the meat is always cooked through perfectly!”

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Here are some (mostly-healthy) one-pot chicken dinners that require basically no clean-up.

20. Buy a food scale if you’re the worst at eye-balling portions.

“Lots of serving sizes are indicated in ounces or grams, and using a food scale can help you to become aware of how much you are actually eating, and what a serving size actually looks like. They’re fairly inexpensive and a great investment!”

catawampus

You can get this one for less than $15.

21. Also consider getting a dependable slow cooker for making low maintenance one-pot recipes.

“Slow cookers make things so easy and are perfect for those nights where you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to cook. Throw all your ingredients in the pot during the morning and come back to a meal already made. Plus, if you’re cooking meat, it’s usually really lean and tender by the time you serve it because it’s been cooking in liquid all day.”

Abby Langer

Buy one here, for $29.50.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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