Easy healthy meals for when you just don’t wannnnnnna

It’s January and it’s the first Monday of the new year and well, that just kind of stinks. I’ve been there, and I’ve experienced that awful feeling of leaving for work when it’s still barely light out and then leaving work and finding it’s already dark again. You may sit in front of a computer all day with little access to natural light and that little light only comes from a window if you’re very very lucky. If you’re like me, you are probably struggling hard right now with breaking that post-Christmas sugar and junk food addiction. Pair all of this with that sadness of returning to a normal routine after a week or so of relaxation, sleep and time with loved ones and you’re left with a perfect recipe for low low energy.

As New Year’s Eve rolls around most of us are inspired to get back on track with health goals whether it’s getting back to the gym or eating well. I am pretty proud of myself for staying active over the holidays but I’m always in need of resetting my eating habits after the holidays. I have a lot of motivation to do this….until Monday rolls around and I just want to come home from work and crawl into my bed and stay there until Spring.

I find days at work really suck the energy out of me, even when I’m inspired to make a healthy change. If I make myself get to the gym after work, I feel pretty good, but I still come home and just do. not. want. to. when it comes to cooking. Take-out and netflix always sound like a better idea!

How do I get through this? If I plan my meals ahead of time and make sure I have all of the ingredients at the beginning of the week, I’m much more likely to come home and cook a healthy meal. However, the key here is that it has to be easy as can be, or more likely than not, I probably will reach for that take out menu.

Without further ado, I present to you my go-to easy-peasy after work struggle healthy meals!

Thai Red Curry


Photo by Cookie + Kate

I more or less follow this recipe by Cookie + Kate. Only I take a down a notch to make it even easier. I usually eat it over quinoa since I don’t eat much eat much meat, and I find the extra protein in the quinoa keeps me much fuller for longer. I also omit the ginger (hubs does not like fresh ginger), soy sauce, rice vinegar and coconut sugar, though these things would not take too much effort to add in. I find that the key here is the red curry paste that you use. I really don’t like the one that is linked in the original post. I use one that I found at the local market, which is much more flavourful and authentic (and probably why I don’t feel the need to use the other seasonings), you can get it here, just be aware that this paste contains shrimp, so this isn’t a good option if you are a vegetarian. I usually make this recipe with whatever vegetables I have left in my fridge. The hardest part of this recipe is remembering to make the quinoa before you start and the chopping of the veggies. However, it’s not that bad if you do these things ahead of time, or just turn up some tunes and chop away (it takes 15 mins max). Easy as pie and DELICIOUS!

Portobello “burger”


Photo by www.cookinglight.com

This one is extra simple, and a good way to sneak in some extra veggies while still feeling like you’re eating an indulgent meal. If you’re super motivated, you can marinate a portobello mushroom the night before or in the morning before you go to work and keep it in the fridge. To make the actual burger, all you have to do is throw it on a skillet on medium heat or on the grill until it is juicy and tender. I usually marinate mine with balsamic vinegar, some onion powder and some garlic. The possibilities are endless here but we’re going for simple. Once the mushroom is cooked, I throw it on a piece of bread if I want an open faced burger or a bun (those thin buns work well for this) and top it like a burger. I usually throw on some avocado, salad greens, hummus, caramelized or fresh onions, a slice or two of cheese (omit if vegan), some greens, and this Oh She Glows hemp pesto (I make this every other month and keep it in my fridge for occasions like this). When I have extra energy I’ll even slice up some sweet potato and roast it as a side. BOOM.

Spaghetti Squash


Photo by www.ohsheglows.com

The convenience of spaghetti without all the carbs and calories. The hardest part of this meal is cutting open the squash. Yes, I’m serious. Cut open a spaghetti squash (this doubles as a workout if you skipped the gym) and scrape out the seeds. Place it open side down on a cookie sheet and poke some holes in the skin. Roast that squash at 400 for about 40 minutes (I know this is a long time but if you do it when you get home it’s not that bad) or until the inside fleshy bits are stringy and cooked. You alternatively could roast this with the flesh up and some seasoning but that’s extra effort. Once done, scoop out the flesh and put it in a bowl. Now top that squash how you would spaghetti. On an adventurous night for me this means with shrimp, sautéed veggies and some marinara. But let’s get real, thats a lot of work. This tastes equally as good with some good old jarred sauce (just look for one with no added sugars!) and a sprinkle of parmesan.

Polenta with eggs and caramelized mushrooms


Photo by Half Baked Harvest

This one has a few more steps than the others but it is really simple and beyond delicious. Click here for recipe!



Photo by http://wishfulchef.com

Okay, this one is easier than the spaghetti squash and it doesn’t involve opening any large, hard vegetables. I often forget how easy it is to make an omelette, but once I remember, I find myself eating these bad boys at least once a week. This is the ultimate, easy as pie dinner that fills you up with protein and veggies. Sauté whatever salad greens you have with some onion and garlic. Once fragrant, add to a bowl with two cracked eggs, and throw in whatever chopped veggies you desire. Throw on a skillet and fold over half way through cooking. VOILA. Doesn’t get easier than that!

Enjoy my friends. Eating healthy doesn’t always have to be hard!

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