For when life gets too busy
Let's face it, we all have days, weeks, or maybe even months when life gets crazy out of control and we don't have time to really get in the kitchen like normal…or maybe busy is your normal. It's important to have a plan for the busy days so you can stay on track with your Trim Healthy Mama diet. (or Keto or low-carb, etc.)
You don't want to waste all that progress so you need a backup plan for when life gets busy. Most of what I list below will not require a recipe, but when there IS a recipe I have added a page number or link for your convenience. Where a page number is listed it is the new cookbook.
Here's a few suggestions for meals that will help you get by
Eggs are your best friend, and there are so many things you can do with eggs! Here's my favorite quickie eggs:
- Boiled eggs (we keep these in the fridge at all times for stuff like THIS)
- Scrambled eggs with salsa or cheese, or both
- Big fried-egg trick p. 243
- Eggs and avs p. 245 (but pretty self explanatory!)
- I often grab a bag of butter leaf lettuce at Trader Joe's and throw on some Just Chicken (already cooked chicken breast that's even sliced!) and add a splash of vinegar and olive oil.
- Lettuce and whatever leftover meat you have, I have even done this with a leftover hamburger patty, leftover meatloaf, turkey, chicken, tuna, you name it… Greens+meat= on plan!
- Greens with a can of tuna mixed with your favorite mustard
- Salads in a jar were around long before THM, but you can get several ideas on p. 187-194
Soups are so versatile, ingredients can either be thrown in a pot or just added to a big bowl and heat in the microwave (if you use one). Because I'm at home most days for lunch, I can just throw stuff in a pot, hey, you can even eat out of the pot if you like! Here's my favorite quickie soups:
- Quickie Chicken Chili (my recipe)
- Chicken Broth with leftover meat and veggies heated and spiced
- Just like Campbells tomato soup p. 112
- Bean Boss soup p. 109
- Creamy broccoli and cheese soup p. 111
- Purist Primer on the Go p. 127
Quickie Breakfast ideas:
- Overnight oatmeal (just dump it in the night before!) or follow the recipes on p. 247-249 for Sweet Dreams oatmeals or even p. 256-257 for Crockpot oatmeals
- Greek yogurt with berries
- Greek yogurt with jam or slim belly jelly p. 478
- Greek yogurt with lemon juice and stevia (yum)
- Cottage Cheese with berries
- Cottage toast (cottage cheese on a plan approved slice of toast with loads of veggies)
- Big Boy Smoothies p. 414-417 (all are super fast and full of nutrition)
- Fussless fuel pull quiche p. 151 (you don't really need a recipe for this, but if you are new to THM then it helps to see how they do it)
- Big fried-egg trick p. 243 (or any fried eggs will be great!)
Quickie Lunch Ideas
- Cottage cheese with salsa on top of salad greens
- Lunch meat wraps, just take meat and cheese, add a veggie and wrap and roll (watch the ingredients, lots of lunch meat has added sugar)
- Low carb tortilla with fillings folded in half and melted like a Calzone
- two-minute nutty noodles/lightly nutty noodles p.79
- Crispy salmon siesta p. 80 (that's not a typo…your salmon is taking a nap in a bed of veggies)
- Dr. Mercola's Sweet Potato idea (crossover with avocado, leave off to stay in E mode)
- Muffin in a mug p.
- Green Fries p. 218 (easy to make a bunch! tastes amazing with homemade ranch)
- Brainy blueberry muffin p. 275
- Luscious lemon cake p. 289
- Wasa cracker with Light Laughing Cow cheese wedge
- Celery with cheese or peanut butter
- Veggie, meat and cheese roll up (my favorite!)
Quickie Sides that I love
- Sweet creamy coleslaw p. 230 (use already shredded cabbage)
- Light and Lovely coleslaw p. 231 (use preshredded cabbage)
- Quinoa Salad p. 232 (you can buy already cooked quinoa, just check the ingredient list for oils first!)
- Deconstructed Deviled Eggs
- Egg Roll in a Bowl p. 62
- Cheeseburger pie p. 149 (it really is quick! Here's a tip: when I bring my ground meat home from Costco, I just throw the entire pack in the crockpot with a dash of soy sauce and let it brown, then I drain and divide it so that it's quicker to use in various recipes…plus you skip the greasy clean up you'd have to do if you brown it on the stovetop…trust me, it's easier and it works!)
- Super prepared roasted chicken p. 168 (you can also always pick up a rotisserie chicken and pair it with a salad, steamed veggies or throw it in soup)
- Pay off day candies p. 381
- Orange creamsicle shake p. 409
- Choco chip baby frap p. 421
Quickie Dining Out Options
When you're forced to eat out
Here are a few ideas I used on my recent trip to eight states with my little kids. Don't forget to know your options when it comes to eating out! My favorite options for eating out are:
- Fajitas at Mexican restaurants
- Riceless sushi at Japanese restaurants
- Grilled chicken with steamed veggies
- Steak with butter and veggies (a favorite of mine)
- Steamed or Grilled fish with brown rice or other grains (just make sure they don't cook with oils)
- Salad bars are great, I like to make an “S” plate at a nice salad bar!
- Zoe's kitchen has a delicious Quinoa salad that I add grilled chicken breast to, just watch the dressings!
- Other ideas from friends: bunless hamburger options many fast food chains offer, grilled chicken sandwiches minus the buns are great too!
When you CAN cook, double up! If you are making a meatloaf you know you love, double the recipe! Save extra portions in the freezer for days when you need a grab and go. Same with soups and casseroles. Pretty much any time I make a meal I try to double it.
On your down day (or day off) make a huge pot of soup, or roast an entire bag of sweet potatoes and cook an entire bag of chicken breasts in your crockpot. Then use these as a quickie lunch with Frank's Red Hot and some Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. When I come home from Costco, I often throw beef in one crockpot and chicken in the other, both with soy sauce, then I roast sweet potatoes in the oven. This is an easy and stress free way to “meal prep” without all the work!
Keep your pantry stocked with Wasa crackers, canned tuna and salmon, canned chicken from Costco, etc. so you have something to grab when you are on the go!
Let's chat about it; I would love to know what kind of quick meals you keep on hand. Share in the community.