We’ve all had those crazy days when you come home starving and just don’t have the time, energy, or both to spend 30 minutes in the kitchen cooking. Some weeks, it feels like every day is like that.
This post is for any of you who are having that kind of week (month, year…)
These are some of our favorite, no-fuss meals for whenever you are tempted to order take-out or microwave chicken nuggets.
For nutritious, easy meals, focus on the Mediterranean Diet principles: whole foods, lots of veggies, low sugar, and some healthy protein.
Let us know your favorite no cook meals and light cook meals in the comments below!
These meals really don’t require recipes. We invite you to throw them together with whatever you have in the pantry and fridge. But, we’ve included links for similar recipes if you feel more comfortable cooking with one.
Hummus and veggie wrap (no cook): Slather a wrap with clean-ingredient, store-bought hummus and add in any veggies you have in the fridge (lettuce or greens, tomatoes, chopped peppers, and chopped cucumbers are all great options). Add in canned beans for extra fiber. If the hummus is not flavorful enough, you can drizzle with a little salad dressing. Then roll up and dig in!
A big old salad with some protein (no cook): Choose a base (lettuce, raw spinach, leafy kale, etc) and add any veggies that you have on top. You can add a little fruit for variety (sliced oranges or raisins are nice with greens). Then make sure you have some type of protein so you have a complete meal: canned beans, store-bought hummus, low-fat cheese, canned tuna or chicken, hard-boiled eggs, or left-over chicken or fish are all great options. Add a squeeze of lime juice or a little salad dressing.
Mediterranean Bowl (no cook): If you have left-over grains (brown rice, quinoa, etc), you can throw them in a bowl and top with whatever veggies you have in the fridge or freezer. You could also use a can of beans as the base. Top with some salad dressing, sauce, or salsa, and dig in. (Find this recipe in our free Recipe Book Download.)
Tex-Mex Tuna or Chicken Plate (no cook): Pop open a can of tuna or chicken (chicken is more traditional). Drain it and mix it with some jarred, no-sugar-added salsa. Add a side of steamed frozen veggies and canned beans (drained and rinsed). Heat in the microwave.
Breakfast for dinner (quick cook): Scramble up some eggs, add a side of fruit or a side salad (or some steamed frozen veggies), and/or some toast. You can add jarred salsa or hot sauce to your eggs for variety. Oatmeal is also a delicious, filling meal in the evening as well as the morning. Add some protein in the form of nuts or chia seeds and go easy on the sweetener. Fruit, especially thawed frozen berries, are a great way to naturally sweeten without added sugar.
Pasta the Mediterranean way (quick cook): A box of whole-grain, all-lentil, or garbanzo (chick-pea) pasta can make a great meal with a jar of no-sugar tomato sauce. The trick is to add a ton of veggies! Steam up some frozen broccoli or cauliflower and fill your bowl with half pasta and half veggies. Dump the sauce on top. If you prefer to have a recipe, check out this one using pesto.
English Muffin Pizza (quick cook): Cut a whole wheat or Ezekiel English muffin into two halves. Top with crushed tomatoes (either tomatoes that you crush up, or a can of crushed tomatoes drained slightly). Add lots of toppings– preferably veggies like chopped peppers, mushrooms, onions, olives, etc. Add a little crumbled feta on top. Cook for a few minutes in a hot oven. You can find a recipe for this meal in our FREE Recipe Book Download.
Let us know some of your favorite meals when you are pressed for time or just don’t want to cook!
Hi, I’m Ashley! I’m a Mediterranean Diet expert, a family health champion, and a Mom of 3 little people. Any day of the week, you will find me in the kitchen cooking up festive new recipes using Mediterranean Diet principles. I love breakfast for dinner, long days at the beach, the perfect glass of wine, and spontaneous adventures. Originally from Atlanta, I now fondly call Virginia my home.