Living a life, where Real Food takes center stage, can take effort and time.
But. I have good news. It doesn’t always have to. For those of you who are really busy but would love to have some truly easy and healthy meal ideas to throw together, then this post is for you.
For starters, let’s understand what Real Food is. Real Food, for me, is:
Eating as many foods from scratch.
Eating foods that are minimally processed.
Eating foods that are close to nature.
Eating foods that my great grandma Teeny (she was all of 4ft. tall) would make.
Eating foods that rarely come from a restaurant and/or box.
This is how I keep my family healthy. This is what I love. This is what works for us.
But… A life full of Real Food based on those bullet points above takes time. Quite a bit of time, in fact.
Yes, there are quick recipes that can be made in a slow cooker, (we do this on Wednesdays) like this chicken tortilla soup recipe, this grass fed beef recipe, or these vegan quinoa black bean crockpot stuffed peppers. And, with my recent experience in a Raw Food school (with world renowned chef, Russell James), I’ve learned how easily fresh and delicious plant based, raw foods can be made (20 minutes of prep max with about 15 minutes of “creation” time) and how to quickly sear a grass fed steak (a couple of minutes each side and finish in the oven – that’s pretty simple) topping it with a brown sauce, and properly steaming some vegetables for the side. As well, scrambling up some home raised (we have 6 chickens laying two each daily) eggs or blending a smoothie can be a fairly “fast”, food experience.
Still… even those simplest of preparations actually do take time and maybe more importantly they take forethought. I have to thaw the grass fed meat. I have to wash the organic vegetables, prep, and steam them. I have to make sure I have demi-glace made (and thawed) for the sauce. As you can see, it can still be a bit of a draining experience from thinking about the process to actually making the food, even if the ultimate food prep is only 20 to 25 minutes for a fabulous dinner.
Where am I going with all this? Well, even though I do those things most of the time, there are times I just can’t.
Enter: Real Food Fast Food. I have a stash of foods that qualify for decent, if not great, Real Food, but make the fastest meals ever: Real Food Fast Food.
There’s a very real place in life for Real Food Fast Food. For those days I’m:
- tired or not feeling like supermom
- running around all day with no time to make a proper meal
- running around all day and need food in a cooler (here’s my latest favorite eco-friendly cooler I love)
- just coming back from vacation (and nothing is thawed or the refrigerator is pretty empty of fresh produce)
- working extra hard because someone is in need of just a bit more sweetness (attention) (thereby making my CEO of household job busier)
- needing a simple break from all out warrior planning, prepping, coaching and teaching with a passion that’s on fire. Quite frankly, that’s a tough one to need a break from!
Real Food Fast Food is not food that I want for every meal, every day of the week, because that would be boring and not much fun. Real Food Fast Food is food with a purpose… Real & Fast.
Here is my list of ideas that can help you have Real Food Fast Food meals when you need a break from the kitchen or you simply have no time to spare.
To qualify for Real Food Fast Food, the food must require MINIMAL preparation, if any at all(!), apart from putting it on a plate or in our hand. It should not require cooking or blending either. Real Food Fast Food is food that you can grab (quickly) when you walk in the door from a long day, and feel satisfied by the deliciousness, high nutrition, and not guilty in the least that it took you all of three minutes or 26 seconds to put together. Yes, some of these foods are packaged, but they still include minimally processed ingredients so they make the cut for me.
Real Food Fast Food Options (Most of these ideas are not to stand alone as a meal. Depending on my mood, I mix and match any of the ideas together to make a satisfying and nutritious meal):
Fresh fruit or frozen fruit
Raw nuts and hemp seeds
Gluten free crackers and homemade avocado butter spreads
Home made dried fruit leather. Mostly mango from our 26,789 mangos on our property
Low mercury canned tuna fish
Bell peppers (I bite into it just like an apple), raw carrots, raw celery
Raw sprouted almond butter (and other nut butters, especially for dipping with raw veggies and fruit)
Dried fruit, like those holy-&!$&! awesome Calymara figs
Organic coconut oil
Complete Plant Based Protein Shake -Use a shaker cup – add water, complete, a scoop of raw chocolate powder and a few drops of stevia, if desired, and shake it up – no blender required. You can also keep canned coconut milk on hand for adding to complete protein shakes in one of these seriously bad-ass travel mugs, MCT oil or coconut oil, . Put the tight lid on, SHAKE it up. Done. See? That’s fast.
Wild caught fish
Pasture-raised(!) raw egg yolks. You can separate the yolks, usually three at a time, and put them in a shot glass, and chug them down like a handful of pills.
Epic’s Grass fed bison
Gluten free fig cranberry bars
Sea spaghetti Eat it straight out of the bag for a mineral boost like my daughter does.
High Vitamin Butter Oil
Kit’s organic raw vegan bars
Here are some ideas for combinations to make a meal:
Wild caught salmon roe and a large Ramone Nut Coffee Shake on the side
Gluten free crackers with grass fed butter and raw carrots. Maybe a spoonful of coconut oil on the side.
Organic bell pepper, raw cashew cheeze, raw hummus and nut taco meat
Coconut yogurt granola Parfaits with high vitamin butter oil, frozen fruit, and hemp seeds
Apple, raw caramel date sauce, and grass fed summer sausage (old German tradition) (a favorite combo for my daughter)
Low mercury tuna fish in a cabbage cup ( the leaf ) with a salad of mixed greens eaten with slices of cucumber
Avocado, sea spaghetti, and a plant protein shake like this one
And if you want to take it just one step further there’s this meal plan too.
So whether you are new at this or you’ve been going at it for a long time, keeping it Real and making it Fast is really the key to your journey.
In good health, Jackie