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How simple meals can make your health flourish

People often ask me what I’m eating. I would share that on my blog all the time if it wasn’t so simple. But then I got to thinking, there is nothing wrong with simple. I’ve become the master of delicious simple meals. Embracing that simplicity is what keeps me in my kitchen eating home cooked meals instead of eating out and in the end what keeps me so healthy and fit.

Simple does not equal boring.

What it means to me is that either the dish does not have a lot of ingredients or it doesn’t take more than 25 minutes to make, start to finish. So how on Earth can you get a complete and tasty meal on the table in 25 minutes? Dinner time does not need to be a gourmet cook-a-thon. My meals at home are simple, then I go out to eat to have something I couldn’t make or don’t have the time to make at home. 

Last night I was hungry for dinner and inspected the fridge. This was a night when I had nothing planned (which is the usual for me). Some collard greens spoke out to me and I had some navy beans already prepared from the day before. I grab some other things, saw that I had fresh basil and got to chopping.

Chopped veggies for a simple dinner

This beautiful array of colors and food became a 5 minute stir-fry.

It took me 5 minutes to wash and chop everything. I added a touch of coconut oil to a skillet and warmed up the pan. Tossed in the shallot and carrot with a pinch of salt and a few spices. Added the collard greens and covered with a lid for a minute to let them steam. Tossed in the beans, a dash of nutritional yeast, a dash of tamari and balsamic vinegar and the basil. Stirred that around for a minute or so and dinner was served! I could have had this with a side of brown rice or quinoa (that I would have made a big batch of on Sunday).

This is a 10 minute meal from start to finish. Eating meals at home is this simple. I don’t want to hear that you don’t have time to cook! If you subscribe to my newsletter you will get 10 minute meal ideas and more delivered right to your inbox.

10 minute stir-fry

Your meal or plate should include (in general) three to four key components: Whole Grain, Protein, Vegetable, Green Vegetable

So you can take your plate and divide it into four equal sections. Spot 1 could have brown rice or quinoa, Spot 2 beans or tempeh, Spot 3 baked root veggies, Spot 4 steamed greens. Or it may mean that you have a huge salad that has all these elements included. Or it’s a stir-fry like the one above that has the three elements of beans, greens, and veggies served with a side of quinoa.

Sometimes I make a meal that does not include a grain depending on my mood. I eat protein and green veggies at every single meal, even breakfast. I always keep my pantry stocked with a variety of spices, vinegars, etc and the fridge stocked with a variety of different veggies. Invest in Green Bags to keep produce fresh for a longer period of time. I swear they work. I never waste or throw out produce that’s gone bad because of these magical reusable bags.

My pantry and fridge includes these things:

Vegetables/fruit I always have in my fridge: carrots, broccoli, kale, collards, romaine, celery, cucumbers, fresh herbs, lemons

Seasonal veggies/fruit that are often in my fridge: tomatoes, apples, pears, peaches (in the summer!)

Other veggies that do not require refrigeration that I keep in stock: winter squash, sweet potato, shallot, onion

Spices that I always have in the pantry: basil, black pepper, celery seed, chili powder, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry powder, fennel seeds, garam masala, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, sage, sea salt, tarragon, thyme, turmeric, white pepper

Whole grains: brown rice, millet, quinoa, red rice, black rice, wild rice, hato mugi, polenta, oats, quinoa & brown rice pasta

Beans: chickpeas, black, navy, pinto, azuki, lima, lentils, tempeh, tofu

With a well-stocked fridge and pantry my simple meals are never boring because each meal has variety. So even if my plate has the same basic elements (a grain, protein, vegetable, and green vegetable) those elements change day to day. I honestly do not get bored with my food. When I have the time sometimes I make a fancier meal like a Thai curry, but most of my meals are simple like the one above.

Do you feel like you can cook more meals at home knowing how to effectively use the KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) principle? Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for more 10 minute meal ideas delivered right to your inbox!


Posted in My Blog, Nutrition on 05/08/2012 12:48 pm


  1. Love this! I aim to organize my plate much the same way you do. Do you have any ideas or tips for what you do to include protein and green veggies with breakfast? I would like to up my intake of those items in the a.m. but they don't always appeal to me that early.


    • I break out of the breakfast box and do not eat meals that are traditional considered breakfast. We must all break out of this box because breakfast foods typically are not so healthy and full of sugar. What you eat for breakfast can make or break how you’ll feel until lunch. So often I eat dinner leftovers for breakfast or I have a big green smoothie with hemp protein powder. You could have hummus and veggies wrapped in a collard leaf, veggie burger with steamed broccoli, make a stir-fry with beans or tofu and veggies, lentil veggie stew, or blended chilled soup in the summer. I think it takes time to break outside the box and actually enjoy other foods for breakfast but you will 🙂


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