No time to cook? Dietitian reveals her seven ‘shortcuts’ for a healthy diet – and the ‘pantry heroes’ she ALWAYS has in her kitchen
- Dietitian Lyndi Cohen shared shortcuts for a healthy diet when you have no time
- She swears by one-pan dinners and buying pre-cut vegetables to cut out work
- The dietitian also said you should blend all your veg to ensure dishes are healthy
- Lyndi swears by some ‘pantry heroes’ for elevating meals like balsamic glaze
If you struggle with a busy work and life schedule and feel as though you don’t have enough time to put hours into cooking healthy food, you’re not alone.
But dietitian and nutritionist Lyndi Cohen, from Sydney, said there are a few shortcuts you can take to ensure you’re always following a healthy diet – and they take next to no time in the kitchen.
The Sydney expert shared her tricks for cutting down your cooking time – and the ‘pantry heroes’ she always has on hand to elevate any meal to being healthy and delicious.
Dietitian Lyndi Cohen (pictured), from Sydney, said there are a few shortcuts you can take to ensure you’re always following a healthy diet – and they take next to no time in the kitchen
The first shortcut Lyndi (pictured) recommends is investing in a mandoline, which will transform your cooking time and save you plenty of time in the kitchen
1. Get a mandoline
The first shortcut Lyndi recommends is investing in a mandoline.
The dietitian said the ‘nifty and affordable’ gadget will transform your cooking time and save you plenty of time in the kitchen.
‘I use mine to chop carrots, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce and cabbage,’ Lyndi said on her website.
It easily cuts down cooking time, while making sure she still gets to eat plenty of vegetables.
2. Buy smaller cuts
If you have no time to make dinner when you get home from work, it might not be what you’re cooking, but the ingredients you’re cooking with.
Lyndi recommends opting for smaller cuts, like mince and stir-fry strips, which will take far less time in the pan.
A good and quick way to get plenty of vegetables into you without having to cook and eat mountains of spinach and broccoli is to blend your veg (pictured)
3. Blend your vegetables
A good and quick way to get plenty of vegetables into you without having to cook and eat mountains of spinach and broccoli is to blend your veg.
‘Ingredients like onion, carrot, mushrooms, zucchini, capsicum, herbs and garlic can be coarsely chopped in a food processor and are perfect for soup, sauces and almost everything,’ Lyndi said.
She said whenever she makes bolognese, she always adds ‘as many’ blended vegetables as possible, as well as some lentils for fibre and extra health.
If you’re looking to follow one shortcut, Lyndi said you should make it the fact that you should cook once and eat twice (one of her meals pictured, and the laksa can be re-purposed as soup)
What are Lyndi Cohen’s pantry heroes?
* Balsamic glaze
* Curry paste
* Harissa paste
* Ready-made marinades
* Italian herbs spice mix
* Roast vegetables spice mix
* Mexican spice spice mix
* Vegetable stock
* Tins of tomatoes
* Tins of chickpeas
* Lemons and limes
* Wholemeal pasta
* Brown rice
* Cous cous
4. Cook once and eat twice
If you’re looking to follow one simple shortcut rule, it should be this – cook once and eat twice.
‘Double up every recipe so there’s always leftovers for lunch, or store extras in the freezer,’ Lyndi said.
It doesn’t have to be the same meal, either, as a mince sauce could double up either as a bolognese or a chilli.
5. Load up on ‘pantry heroes’
There are some ingredients that will work far harder in your kitchen than others, as they ‘pack a lot of flavour, without much work’.
Lyndi’s examples include balsamic glaze, curry paste, Harissa paste, ready-made marinades and spice mixes that say things like ‘Italian herbs’, ‘Roast vegetables’ and ‘Mexican spice’.
The dietitian said her pantry is ‘always’ stocked with these foods in order to add flavour to her foods without having to spend hours making sauces.
She also has vegetable stock, tins of tomatoes, tins of chickpeas, lemons, limes, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, quinoa and cous cous in her pantry at all points.
The reason why is these can all make good bases for simple, quick and nutritious meals.
6. Outsource when you can
A good way to cut down on kitchen time is if you buy ready-made marinades for your fish and meat.
Lyndi said she loves to buy pre-chopped vegetables like ready-to-go stir fry, pre-cut coleslaw and frozen chopped onion – so she can just pop it into a meal without having to waste time chopping things up.
The dietitian said her pantry (pictured) is ‘always’ stocked with foods like balsamic glaze, herbs and spices in order to add flavour to her foods without having to spend hours making sauces
7. Try one-pan meals
Finally, the dietitian said one-pan meals are a busy night saviour.
Lyndi especially likes to make one-pan sweet chilli chicken with cashew nuts, which comprises chicken breast, cashews, broccoli, sweet peas, chilli, mushrooms and tinned tomatoes.
For more information about Lyndi Cohen, you can visit her website here.