Making healthy, South Beach Diet–friendly meals doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. There are many ways you can shave off minutes in the kitchen and still eat nutritious, delicious food. It’s just a matter of having the recipes and ingredients well in hand before you start cooking, doing some prep ahead of time, and learning a few other shortcuts. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of preparing healthy meals, here are some simple time-saving tricks to help you get started:
- As soon as you get home from the grocery store, prep fruits and veggies and separate them into individual containers to refrigerate or freeze and use during the week. Always keep a bag of prewashed greens on hand to create a healthy salad in minutes.
- Instead of mincing garlic each time you need it, throw a lot of whole cloves into the food processor. Refrigerate in an airtight container and use within one week.
- Cook once so you can eat twice (or more). On Sunday, for example, prepare enough food for two or three meals so you can refrigerate or freeze some in microwavable containers and enjoy throughout the week (and take a night or two off from cooking). If you’re grilling, prepare extra for lunch the next day.
- Stock up on ready-to-eat foods, like canned or pouched light tuna, plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt, or ready-made hummus, to grab for on-the-go snacks.
- Prepare veggie crudités once a week and keep them in plastic bags or airtight containers in the fridge to snack on or to add to soups, salads, and more.
- Clean as you cook — rather than stacking the dishes in the sink to deal with after dinner, get a head start on the mess by washing pots, pans, bowls, and other kitchen utensils as you’re preparing the meal.