February 10, 2015
Picking up your phone to call for pizza delivery from the nearby joint may seem all too easy, especially with the incessant growling of that bottomless pit of yours… (Gosh, its such a distraction!?) But piling up that many calories in a day? Whatever happened to that new year resolution you just made?
Fret not, with this guide, you’re guaranteed to be able to return to your Scandal TV marathon in no time.. All the more healthier too with these easy healthy meals.
With this comprehensive collection of easy-to-make meal recipes, you CAN be that couch potato, albeit a healthier one. I’ve also planned it so that all the ingredients you can just buy from a local NTUC supermarket (some ingredients might require you to visit the NTUC Xtra though, those super big ones for example at NEX mall). Just 1 trip to make a simple healthy meal, rather than using recipes that require Flaxseed, Kale or some other fancy ingredient which you have to source from the ends of Singapore.
Enjoy a healthier year, the lazy way:
Why it’s Healthy: Roasted chicken for protein, salad for vitamins, half-calorie Japanese sesame dressing for flavour – Everything you need in one healthy meal. The ready-to-eat roast chicken can be bought at bigger NTUC’s, while everything else should be pretty easy to find. This is what Seth eats when he’s not food binging during a review.
How to make it easily: Toss the ready-to-toss salad mix (wash it first) and add a tablespoon of half-calorie sesame dressing together. Shred the roasted chicken or if you’re super lazy, just pull out the chicken drum stick like I did. You can just buy prepacked salad mix rather than buying several different vegetables. I added more baby spinach as well which again, can be found prepacked already, but type of vegetables really depends on you.
Why it’s Healthy: Bananas are brimming with potassium, the best way to counteract a bloated stomach from a heavy meal you just had. Almost fuss free, this fruit- based salad is one of my favourite meals here. If you’re a fan of caramelised bananas, this is one for you! Add macadamia nuts and dark chocolate to balance that lingering sweetness of the honeyed bananas, as well as a firm bite to the otherwise rather soft blend.
How to make it easily: Add a mixed salad as the base, topped with sliced bananas, macadamia nuts, dark chocolate. Drizzle honey on top for the perfect touch.
Why it’s Healthy: It’s boiled beehoon soup. Enough said. This homely dish might not be as simple to concoct as with the other meals here in this guide, but what allows it to earn a spot here is the amalgamation of simple, buy-from-your-nearby-mama-shop ingredients to create a delicate, uncomplicated dish that tastes like what your mum made. But all the more easier, of course.
How to make it easily: Boil chicken bones and meat, carrots and onions to create a soup, then add seaweed, fishcake, tau pok, egg yolk and shrimp wonton. Top off with sesame oil/ seeds for an enhanced flavour, and yes add some salt too. If you’re super lazy but want good flavoured soup, use ready-made chicken stock in the soup.
Why it’s Healthy: Packed full of antioxidants and Vit-C, Strawberries are great for every salad. Besides, that pop of flavour may just be what you need to wolf it all down in record time!
How to make it easily: Toss Spinach, sliced Strawberries, Mozzarella cheese, Pine nuts, boiled Broccoli in a bowl and mix with dashes of Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Squeeze in just a hint of lemon to give that extra zest and you’re done!
Too lazy to boil? Skip boiling that Broccoli and replace with some cucumber. It gives the same crunch you would expect with less work! (Ladies, you can slice some for your eye masks as well)
Why it’s Healthy: Cranberries are rich in phyto-nutrients (naturally derived plant compounds), essential for all-rounded wellness. Do not belittle the seemingly inconspicuous little red cranberry. Encompassing cancer -fighting properties and anti- aging components, its hard to believe something so tiny could be, well, so healthy. Adding a fried egg in this humble sandwich seems to bring out the flavour all the better, counteracting the slight dryness of that chicken breast. Atop with cranberry and cheese, this combo is guaranteed to please (both you and your diet alike).
How to make it easily: Toast your favourite multigrain bread (This one is from BreadTalk), and place wild rocket (or any vegetable actually), shredded chicken breast, a fried egg, together with sliced cheddar cheese and cranberries wedged right smack in the middle.
Why it’s Healthy: Walnuts are filled with good fats that can help to boost brainpower.
How to make it easily: Add Spinach, Grilled Chicken, Greek Yoghurt, Walnuts, Cranberries, Tomatoes to a salad bowl and mix. Add just a dash of lemon juice for some citrus goodness.
Too lazy to grill the chicken? Use ready-to-eat roasted spring chicken from an NTUC Xtra.
Why it’s Healthy: Just as its name suggests, an unpretentious fruit salad full of vitamins and anti-oxidants. However, do not underestimate what a refreshing blend of fruity goodness just one bowl can bring. It may seem that there is nothing much to a fruit salad except sliced fruits, but adding just a dash of lemon, or slathering on a dollop of greek yoghurt is exactly what you need to transform it into something enticing to the eye, yet pleasing to your palate.
How to make it Easily: Slice your favourite fruits into a bowl (Green Apples, Oranges, Strawberries, Blueberries) and spritz some lemon juice or spoon a dollop of greek yoghurt into your bowl and mix. (TIP: choose fruits with the same level of ripeness)
If you’re really lazy, just eat the fruit whole. Eat a lot of whole fruits.
Why it’s Healthy: A protein-centered meal by itself, it is seemingly difficult to comprehend how easy it is to whip up this savoury delight. Aiding in cardiovascular health and one’s general immune system, onions are considered a superfood by many. Paired with slightly succulent and tender beef chunks, the sweet onions naturally enhance the flavour of the beef, adding different textured layers to this simple dish.
How to make it easily: Sauté chopped onions in a pan over low heat (Let them sit for around 5 minutes to enhance health-promoting properties), then add chopped beef shanks marinated in salt and pepper. Pour a slightly-generous portion of BBQ sauce into the frying pan as well (not too much, BBQ sauce is not that big on the ‘healthy food list’).
Stir-fry for about 5-7 minutes depending on how well done you want your beef to be, and voila, you’re done. Oh wait, add some sliced cheese for that melted goodness you so love in KFC’s cheesy meltz.
Why it’s Healthy: A simple Japanese rice dish with green tea. Green Tea is proven to boost one’s metabolism, not forgetting its many antioxidants which could help to improve brain function and reduce the risk of cancer. On top of all that, this delectable dish is light yet pleasant, a perfect blend of ingredients that the Japanese have held dear to for generations beyond.
How to make it easily: Top off white rice with salmon chunks, spring onion, sesame seeds, seaweed. Pour green tea over until it covers all the rice, or until desired level.
If you’re really lazy, you may choose to purchase a premade o’chazuke mix from the nearby supermarket.
Why it’s Healthy: Greek yoghurt makes this wrap just as creamy and delicious as with the classic mayo, but without all the fat and cholesterol. Add in those blueberries for that extra antioxidant punch. Not to mention, that soft, subtle sweetness of those blueberries is what adds that extra oomph when paired with the delicate firmness of the chicken thigh.
How to make it easily: Just throw in lettuce, grilled chicken slices, blueberries and slather greek yoghurt atop your favourite wrap. That’s it, you’re good to go!
Too lazy to wrap the salad? The salad version tastes amazing too, just drop the wrap for that less-carbs option.
Why it’s healthy: Duck without the skin is even lower in calories than chicken, and provides a great source of protein and nutrition.
How to make it easily: Bake or heat up the ready-to-eat smoked duck which can be found in the frozen section of NTUC, then slice it. Layer cheddar cheese, smoked duck slices, a handful of romaine lettuce and sliced boiled egg on your favourite bread (ciabatta or wholemeal is good) and add some chili sauce. You can toast it if you want that extra crispiness and to melt the cheese.
Why it’s Healthy: Soba is incredibly simple to whip up, and with just prepacked noodles and sauce, you can sit back and enjoy whatever it was you were doing in no time! Moreover, made from buckwheat noodles, they offer a low calorie alternative to that lovable pasta of yours.
How to make it easily: Set a portion of soba noodles to boil until al dente. Drain and put in the freezer for about 10-15 mins to stop it cooking. Serve atop ice, and submerge in soba sauce before eating (which you can purchase from your nearby supermarket). Sprinkle sesame seeds and seaweed for that extra touch. To add more protein to the meal, you can consider heating up some precooked Japanese grilled Saba (mackerel fish) that is also available in the frozen section of NTUC.
Why it’s Healthy: Avocados are one of the most nutrient-dense fruits around, contributing to almost 20 vitamins and minerals in just one-fifth of the fruit itself. They contain good monounsaturated fats, a satisfying addition to any calorie-reducing diet.
How to make it easily: Top off last night’s leftover rice with some sliced avocados, wild rocket, broccoli, seaweed and sesame seeds. Drizzle some sesame oil over for an added punch!
Why it’s Healthy: Black beans are packed with loads of fibre!
How to make it Easily: Heat black beans in a small saucepan until warm. Transfer to center of a wholemeal wrap or tortilla. Whisk eggs then cook in a small pan over medium-low heat, stirring often, until scrambled. Transfer to wrap, on top of black beans. Top with shredded cheese, sliced avocado and any low calorie dressing or even just BBQ sauce. Wrap it and you’re good to go.
Why it’s Healthy: A healthy substitute for white rice, Quinoa is packed with many vitamins and minerals, including heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acid. Add half a can of tuna for a more protein-driven meal. This is probably the rarest ingredient featured in this list, but you can find Quinoa in NTUC’s organic section.
How to make it Easily: Microwave ½ cup quinoa (rinsed) and 1 cup water for 5 minutes at full power. Reduce to 70 percent power and microwave another 5 minutes. Fluff and stir in chopped bell pepper, chick peas, 1 tbsp. chopped parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
Related Article: Benefits of the Paleo Diet Including Weight Loss
Editor End notes:
In preparation of this guide, I seemingly embarked on a more healthier version of myself, and I was encouraged to incorporate more of vegetables and such in my diet.
It served as a pleasant cleanse in palate amidst all the heavy eating going on throughout the week, and I could say it was a blessing in disguise. To each his own, but I’m sure we all wish to strive for a better version of ourselves, one way or another. What better way than to start than by changing your meal patterns into something a little more easing on our liver/kidneys? I hope this guide can serve as a helpful tool for those days where you just feel like eating healthy, or when you’re too stuffed from all the good food around.
Personally, I would like to thank my friend for helping me out with this menu, as well as various websites such as greatist.com for inspiration. (and certain photos)