A week of amazing healthy menus!

Freely inspired from an article I found on http://www.topsante.com, here are healthy menus for a week. Usually in that kind of article, they suggest menus with weird ingredients that you have never heard of before, or very difficult to find or very expensive. What I liked here is that every menu is adapted to everyday life, easy and quick to cook, tasty and with “normal” ingredients (even though I adapted a few things). I tried everything and loved it!

I could prepare all the menus with a single pan and a single pot (even if it sometimes requires a bit of organisation! but I had no choice, it is all I have in my student kitchen) and it always took me less than half an hour to prepare.
The lunches can also be eaten cold so it is very convenient to bring to uni or work (and they can be prepared the day before: usually I cook only once a day in the evening). I am now in exam revision period so I need meals that are quick to cook, healthy and filling and these meet all the requirements!
(Note: I might have added a few squares of chocolate at the end of these healthy menus, too tempting after Easter 😉 And I also drink a lot of tea and infusions, and when I get hungry in the afternoon, I eat an apple)

As far as price is concerned, I kept all my grocery tickets to compute the total cost of the experiment and for the whole week, it cost me around £9 per day, including breakfast. It might seem expensive, but London is expensive and there is always a trade-off between eating well and eating cheap! But for good quality meals, it could be worst! Also I am cooking for 1 person only, but if you cook for 2 or more people, you do economies of scale!

Breakfast

breakfast1

– a cup of tea or coffee (better unsweetened!)
– a yoghurt (with bifidus)
– oats or wholegrain bread
– almonds
– fresh fruit
– you can add dried prunes

 

 

Day 1

Lunch

– avocado and tomato salad
– poached egg
– smoked salmon
– wholegrain bread

(+ a lot of Easter chocolate 😀 )

Diner

– leeks and ham risotto (recipe here)
– salad with balsamic dressing

Day 2

Lunch

– chicken fillet (150g)
– broccoli (200g, boiled or steamed)
– Semola (60g)
– an apple

Diner

– Vegetarian Chili (recipe here)
– salad with balsamic dressing
– a yoghurt with agave syrup (or honey)

Day 3

Lunch

– grated carrots with olive oil and lemon juice dressing
– salmon fillet with lemon
– stired leeks with fresh cream (just a tbsp!)
– boiled potatoe

Diner

– broccoli with vinaigrette
– pasta (I use whole wheat penne) with tomato sauce*
– yoghurt and fresh fruit
* for homemade tomato sauce: plunge the tomatoes 30 seconds in boiling water, peel them, chop them. Put in an oiled pan. Add salt, pepper, herbs. You can add tomatoe puree, onions, etc.

Day 4

Lunch

– salad with vinaigrette
– green asparagus (200g)
– boiled potaoes (100g)
– parma ham (110g)
– ananas

Diner

– asparagus with vinaigrette
(initially it was supposed to be artichoke but I couldn’t find some, my grocery options being very limited, as well as my time)
– avocado (1)  and prawns (200g) salad, with olive oil, lemon juice and parsley
– wholegrain bread with goat cheese

Day 5

Lunch

– leeks with vinaigrette
– chicken fillet (150g)
– pasta (complete, 100g)
– fruit

Diner

tofu and sun dried tomatoes quinoa
– salad wuth baslsamic dressing
– fresh fruits

Day 6

Lunch

– cod fillet (150g)
– potatoes and cauliflower mash (200g)
– goat cheese

Diner

– spinach leaves salad
– “niçoise salad”: rice (80g), green beans (60g), cherry tomatoes, tuna, olive oil, lemon juice
– a yoghurt

Day 7

Lunch

– tomato and cucumber with feta cheese
– veal with tomatoes and carrots red lentils*
– fruits

* cook 60g of red lentils for 15min in boiling water. In a pan, fry a copped shallot, chopped carrots (very small dices) and a peeled and chopped tomato. Add the lentils, mix and serve. You can add tomatoe puree. I also added cumin, salt and pepper

Congratulation for reading this long article until the end
If you tried the menus, I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did!

Healthy Veg Quinoa Salad

Here is an idea of super healthy and delicious salad. I made it yesterday for lunch and it was very good and filling!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Servings: 1
Level: Easy
Equipment: pot

Ingredients:
– 40 g quinoa
– cherry tomatoes
– 1 avocado
– 40 g of sun-dried tomatoes
– 100 g tofu
– salad
– baslamic vinegar, olive oil
– salt, pepper, mixed herb

Cut the tofu in cubes and let it marinate with a tbsp ob balsamic vinegar and mixed herbs.
Cook the quinoa.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves and the avocado in cubes.
When cooked, let the quinoa cool down.
Then mix everything, season and enjoy!

Tofu and sun dried tomatoes quinoa

Here is an amazing recipe I found on the site Journal des Femmes (in French unfortunately). I tried it and loved it! The balsamc vinegar makes all the difference!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Level: Easy
Cost: cheap

Equipment: pans, chopboard

Ingredients:
– 100 g quinoa
– 1 onion
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 40 g of sun-dried tomatoes
– 150 g tofu
– baslamic vinegar

Cook the quinoa in a pot for 15 min (follow instructions on pack or see article about quinoa)
Chop the onions and fry them in a hot oiled pan, add the tomatoes (cut)
Cook the diced tofu in a pan with balsamic vinegar
Then when everything is cooked, put it alltogether in a pan. Add salt, pepper and serve

Serving tips
Serve with a salad (I usually use a mix of rocket, spinach, lettuce)
You can use a small bowl to present in a nice shape on the plates

Quinoa: so tasty, so healthy!

I recently discovered how simple it was to cook quinoa. It is also very tasty and a nice substitute  if you want to eat starchy food, without eating only pasta and rice. You can buy it very easily from the supermarket even though it is a little bit more expensive than pasta or rice.
Quinoa has a lot of nice properties: full of dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, it is gluten-free and easy to digest. It also a complete protein which makes it very suitable for vegetarians, because it can be used either as a side dish or as a main dish, in a salad.

quinoa

How to prepare it:

It should usually be rinsed or soaked before use to remove its bitter coating, so check packet instructions. Bring two cups of water to the boil to one cup of grain, cover, simmer and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ should have a slight bite to it (al dente) and are translucents.

Be careful, when cooked, its grains quadruple in size.

My recipe with vegetable:

I like to add vegatables directly in the pot with the quinoa (my single pan policy…), like carrots, courgettes, peppers. You peeled them and add them: they will cook with the steam (the healthiest way to cook vegetables). The timing to add them depends on how cooked you want them. Carrots for exemple are quite long to cook so add them at the beginning. Peppers should be added later if you want them a little crunchy.

You can eat that as a single dish or with salmon or chicken (that you can cook in the oven for a completely fat-free meal).
And this can also be eaten cold, so think of quinoa for your lunchbox!

Lunchbox: better, healthier, cheaper!

Sick of sandwiches and sushis? Make your own lunch and bring it to uni/work.

There are a lot of reasons why it is a good idea:
– It is cheaper
– It is healthier
– You eat what you like
– All your classmates are gonna be jealous!

How can you do this?
Very simple. A lot of recipes I post can be prepared in advance and eaten cold. Just bring them to Uni in a box. If you have a microwave, it is always better warm. I’ll also post specific lunchbox recipes.

What you can do is also cook a large quantity of a dish in the evening so that you can have it for lunch the next day!