Keeping your sanity and staying healthy with no-cook dinners

How often are you bombarded with pictures of delicious meals on social media? Whether you aspire to try these recipes or not — there’s always a link! — they make you feel obligated to cook. However, this extra task can seem a little overwhelming when you look at the reality of everyday family life.

So, this week, I would like to share a few ideas that might help you shed that guilt and keep your sanity while knowing that you and your family are still eating well.

You may have grown up hearing that evening meals always need to be cooked, yet there are no hard or fast rules to back this up. Once you let go of this idea, a whole new world of meal options opens up.

Wraps, sandwiches, and bagels are not just for picnics and lunches; the humble sandwich can easily become a simple, quick, tasty dinner. This fried egg breakfast sandwich is one of my go-to’s on those evenings when I don’t feel like cooking or am pressed for time. There is everything that I need in there: a little protein (fried egg), some healthy fats (avocado), fiber (chopped veggies), starches (wholewheat bread), and voila, dinner is ready.

Why not turn a charcuterie board into a meal? Simply add a few dips like guacamole and hummus, some chopped vegetables, or a simple salad. You can even include sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and pickles. Not only is this pleasing to the eye, but everyone can eat as much or as little as they choose. If you don’t have any cold cuts, boil up a few eggs or open a tin of chickpeas.

Salads are also an easy option for dinner. Combine canned legumes (rinse them well) with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onions, avocado, and a side of crackers and cheese. You can even add leftover rice or pasta and make a simple vinaigrette to turn your salad into a delicious dinner with minimal effort. Salad options are simple but full of flavours. I often enjoy adding some chopped nuts for that extra crunch.

Short on time? Why not turn that breakfast smoothie into a quick, light, yet nourishing dinner, especially if it is later in the evening. A smoothie is not only nutritious, but it also allows for easy digestion. A traditional meal is not only time-consuming to prepare but also heavier and takes longer to digest, likely impacting your sleep quality.

Start to look at ways that food can work for you and your own family. You will find that you can reduce evening stress while making dinners fun, easy-going yet tasty, and nourishing. The bonus: clean up is quick and easy. A win-win all around!

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