Tasty 10-minute Meals That Are Healthy Too

Even if you’re a meal-planning pro, everyone has those days when being able to have a meal on the table in a snap is a relief.  Enter some tasty 10-minute meals that are healthy too!  When you see how easy and fast it can be to get healthy food on the table, you’ll understand why I feel like your fairy Godmother sprinkling the glitter of happiness and health your way!

Fresh, seasonal veg, canned beans, tomato sauce, herbs… wait til you see the magic that can happen with simple, fresh ingredients and a smidgeon of time.

Zucchini Pizzas with Veg and Greens: 

Zucchini PizzaPlace 1/4 inch thick slices of zucchini on a large baking sheet. Brush each lightly with olive oil. Layer with thinly sliced tomato.  Sprinkle with dairy-free cheese shreds (or your favorite mozzarella).  Scatter chopped veggies (onion, bell pepper, mushroom, olive). Broil 5-7 minutes or until top is hot, edges crispy, cheese melted. Remove from oven, top with arugula. Note: slice zucchini in rounds for pizza circles or lengthwise for a flatbread feel.  Alternatively, slice zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seedy bits.  Then stuff the hollow with your pizza ingredients and broil to warm through.

 

Veg Skillet:

bean and veg skilletToss 2 cups pre-sliced mushrooms in a large skillet, season with salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano to taste. Add 28 oz. diced tomatoes (with their liquid) + 1 cup chunky Salsa + 1 can steamed lentils or black beans (rinsed, drained).  Stir in 10 oz. frozen corn + 1 cup sliced zucchini or bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 minutes. Serve with a generous amount of minced cilantro or parsley.  Note: Easily turn this into a delicious soup by adding a carton of organic broth — a cup of cooked quinoa and a handful of chopped spinach or kale makes this a hearty and nutritious soup.

 

Herbed Chickpea Salad:

chickpea salad on greensDrain 1 can (28 oz) garbanzo beans/chickpeas (reserve liquid for another use).  Toss the chickpeas in a large bowl with the juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper to taste, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 clove of garlic (peeled and minced).  Mix ingredients together and adjust seasoning if needed.  Serve on a bed of mixed greens.  Sprinkle the top with 2-3 Tablespoons of hemp seeds.  Here’s another version that is a favorite in my house!

 

Quick Fresh Rolls: 

fresh veg in chard leavesWash 1-2 leaves of purple or green cabbage or swiss chard (per serving).  Slice out the thick part of the stem if needed.  Mash the flesh of 1/2 an avocado per serving — season with salt, pepper, garlic, lemon or lime juice.  Lay out the cabbage leaves and spread some avo mash on each one.  Top with sliced baked tofu, tempeh or roasted chicken or salmon (or your favorite clean protein).  Add a slice of pickle or fresh cucumber and roll the contents up in the leaf.  Eat!  Note: prepared hummus can be used in place or mashed avocado or in addition to it!  Broccoli slaw mix is another great filler.

To make this meal without cabbage or chard leaves, try it with rice paper wrappers.  Quickly rehydrate one wrapper at a time in a shallow pan of warm water.  Remove promptly and lay the wet wrapper on a clean kitchen towel.  Fill per directions above and wrap up like a burrito or an egg roll.  Rice paper wrappers are shelf stable and make a great addition to any pantry for quick, healthy fresh rolls!

 

Noodle Bowl: 

noodle bowl with vegCook soba noodles in boiling water for 8 minutes — or soak thin rice noodles in hot water until pliable — drain and set aside.  Meantime, whisk together 2 Tablespoons each miso paste, lime juice, water, sriracha (optional). Put cooked noodles in serving bowls.  Add shredded carrots, sliced cucumber, grape tomatoes, snap peas.  Add cubes of cooked protein like tofu, tempeh, chicken, fish, beef, etc if desired. Top with a drizzle of the dressing and fresh minced cilantro, green onion, jalapeno or sprouts if desired.  Note: A little natural peanut/almond or sunflower butter added to the dressing can make for a delightful Thai inspired flavor.  Some minced ginger or ginger juice also tastes nice.

 

More tasty 10-minute meals that are healthy too… What is your go-to creation?  Comment below!

How to Apply a Castor Oil Pack (and why you’d want to)

Castor oil comes from Ricinus communis, the castor plant. Castor oil has many health benefits.  It can be applied topically or taken internally (in this post we will not be covering internal use). The main active component in castor oil is RA (ricinoleic acid).  RA relieves pain and inflammation. Because it is inexpensive, widely available, generally regarded as safe and effective, let’s talk about how to apply a castor oil pack (and why you’d want to)!

 

BENEFITS OF TOPICAL CASTOR OIL PACKS

 

HOW TO APPLY A SIMPLE CASTOR OIL PACK

  • Rub 1 tsp-1 Tbsp castor oil into the skin in your area of interest (liver, abdomen, lungs, joints, etc) or Saturate a small piece of cloth with castor oil and place over your liver or area of interest
  • Cover the area with an old towel or wrap the area comfortably with an ace bandage.
  • Throw on an old t-shirt (castor oil stains fabric, so wear something that is not precious to you)
  • Apply hot water bottle or a heating pad to the pack area
  • Sit or lay down, relaxing for 45 minutes to 1 hour (safe to wear for a few hours or overnight as well — NOT with the heating pad)

 

WHEN AND HOW OFTEN TO APPLY A CASTOR OIL PACK

Apply castor oil packs 2-3 times per week for general detoxification.  A castor oil pack can also be beneficial:

  • before an enema, colonic, or liver/gallbladder flush;
  • during chelation treatment;
  • for abdominal pain;
  • in addition to abdominal visceral massage.

DO NOT APPLY CASTOR OIL PACKS IN THESE INSTANCES

  • over an open wound
  • on abdomen when menstruating
  • on abdomen during pregnancy (castor oil can induce labor and should only be used during pregnancy if indicated by your physician or doula.)
  • if you are currently being treated for any medical condition, it’s best to check with your doctor before using castor oil.

BONUS USES

Castor oil can be very nourishing for the hair and scalp.  It is used as a serum to promote hair growth.  Eye lashes can grow in stronger, thicker and longer!  Ricinoleic acid is the compound in castor oil that may cause this benefit!  Ricinoleic acid can increases PGE2 in the scalp (and on other skin). PGE2 is a fatty acid, which seems to be vital for follicle health and hair growth.

When applied to the skin, castor oil is known to increase penetration of topicals and make it easier for things applied next to be absorbed. This is one of the reasons I love pairing castor oil with essential oils!  Interested in my favorite combinations?  Email me (sarah at yourholistichealthcoach dot com) if you’d like my Castor Oil Pack cheat sheet with essential oil blend bonus — and let me know where to email your copy!

Here’s my favorite hexane-free castor oil:

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