4 Healthy Recipes to Cook Between Zoom Calls|June 24, 2021
It’s time to revisit those health resolutions and goals we had earlier this year and check how well we are holding up. Have we stayed on track with certain habits we said we would and achieved any health goals intended? Mid-year is the best time to evaluate and improve on areas needed. Regardless if we are on track with our resolutions or have fallen slightly off track, it serves as a good reminder and refresher to keeping our health top priority.
Current times have gotten many of us adjusting to working from home situations, juggling virtual meetings and conference calls between home duties and family. As all of these can be time-consuming, pushing forward health goals sometimes drop to the back of the to-do list. Fret not, with a bit of determination, time management and small practical habits to adopt, and we can jump back on the train towards better health. Among the easiest habits to start with are reminding ourselves to set aside 30 mins for a bit of exercise, drinking 8 glasses of water and preparing healthier meals throughout the day. Preparation is always key to saving time and getting things to run smoothly. Knowing what you’d like to eat the next few days will help avoid any last-minute junk food deliveries and get you through your healthy habits more seamlessly.
Below are 4 easy and healthy recipes you can make between those many daily zoom calls. We have even categorized it according to different cravings you might have!
The Local Delights Lover
If you enjoy the local traditional cuisine, chances are there’ll be many rice, mee, lauk and kuah involved. The pros are all of these can be cooked in slightly bigger batches and good to eat throughout the next 48 hours. The cons are all of these can hold more carbs and oil, especially when we’re not moving much in front of the desktop all day.
A good way to go about this is to think about alternatives such as brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice and perhaps, vermicelli or brown spaghetti instead of yellow mee. Aside from that, instead of gravy-based dishes, maybe opt for those you can bake or air-fry instead. A pro tip is that the marinade of your proteins and veggies can always maintain traditional flavour combinations such as curry, sambal or laksa, but instead of making gravies or deep frying them, roast in big batches and enjoy them throughout the whole day.
Here’s a local favourite healthy recipe for you to try, the Dried Penang Laksa. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare, serves up to 4 pax, has that unique Penang Laksa taste and is made using easy-to-find ingredients such as spaghetti, chilli tuna and Hellmann’s Smoky Thousand Island. You can even cut more vegetables such as celery, carrot and capsicums to go with it and amp up the nutrients even more.
The Meat Lover
If you enjoy your meats, the first few things to note if you are cooking between your con-calls is to remember to defrost them earlier or to marinate them the night before, if needed. The pros of cooking meats are that they are versatile ingredients. For example, roast chicken or grilled steak; you can eat them as it is, shred them for sandwiches or chop some for salads. It’s easy to plan healthy recipes when you have plenty of well-cooked meats prepared. However, the cons for meats are that not all meats are healthy, especially processed meats. When buying, choose lean meats and pick parts with fewer fats.
For all meat lovers out there, a quick, easy and healthy recipe for you to make in between tomorrow’s zoom calls is this Mongolian Beef Foldover. Preparation only takes 15 minutes, and it is perfect for 4 pax. Beef is a good source of protein. It also contains vitamins such as Vitamin B3 and minerals such as zinc. Moreover, vegetables like capsicums are good antioxidants, making this recipe a good addition to your bodily health.
The Japanese Cuisine Lover
Sashimi, sushi, yakitori and tempuras! If these words make your mouth water, you must be a Japanese cuisine lover. Contrary to popular belief, Japanese food, especially if made at home, can be inexpensive. Other pros are that it is often well balanced, and the small portions make it easier to avoid overeating. The cons, however, would be to prepare an array of Japanese dishes. Each one of those dishes might need a longer preparation time, and we can’t promise if it’ll be ready before your next zoom call.
A pro tip for making quick Japanese meals is to stick to one dish instead of a bento with different dishes. Also, use simpler ready-to-eat ingredients such as vegetables instead of teppanyaki or tempura meats. For example, a tuna cucumber roll is easier than a fried soft shell crab roll, and a tea-based soba noodle is easier than making a beef ramen noodle. When we’re backed by our busy work from home schedules, choosing the more convenient alternative helps without compromising health.
A quick and nutritious recipe idea for the Japanese cuisine lover is this take on Inari Sushi with a Quinoa Salad filling. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare and can serve more than enough for 4 pax. Quinoas contain magnesium and manganese, which aids in calcium absorption. Other ingredients in this recipe, such as wakame and avocados, are also packed with nutrients making this a good boost of superfoods. Also, did we mention how bite-sized this dish is? It’s a definite bonus for making it even easy to eat while on the next zoom call.
The Bowl of Green Lover
Kudos to you green lovers out there! Eating healthy does not come easy for many. Most of the time, it is because of the perception of how vegetables taste like and the lack of idea on how to make interesting salads. However, greens are not boring, and there’s a lot of life to it if you know how to pair them up. In fact, vegetables are not all a singular green colour and increasingly popular today are Rainbow Salads that are visually appetizing on top of their great flavour and texture combination.
Coloured vegetables are known to provide different nutrients and properties from each other. For instance, warm coloured vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, and squash provide vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. In contrast, cooler ones’ such as eggplants, raisins and blueberries, are rich in phytonutrients that improve blood flow to the brain and boost memory function. On the other hand, dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale provide vitamin K, magnesium, calcium and iron. To add, white-coloured vegetables such as mushroom and onions are beneficial for heart health and good cholesterol levels. Hence, imagine a salad bowl fill with different coloured ingredients and the amazing health benefits in every bite.
To entice you further, here are some healthy recipes for your next Rainbow Salad. The Rainbow Shrimp Salad not only packs a punch with shrimps and hardboiled eggs but is also laced with a Miso Ponzu dressing which gives a tangy soy-based flavour. If you’re looking for something even more filling, the Rainbow Soba Salad Bowl has no meat but is loaded with colourful vegetables, pineapple, tofu and seeds – covered with Roasted Sesame dressing. Both salads are easy to rustle up, take about 15 – 20 minutes to prepare, and serve up to 4 people.
To recap, there are many healthy recipes out there that can be done in a short time and hassle-free. In our day and age of mostly working from home, all we need is a bit of planning and making health-conscious decisions when it comes to food we eat daily. Healthy habits are good as yearly resolutions and as a continuous practice for the years to come. Maintaining a strong body and immunity are important factors to our future health. So, the next time you have a break between your zoom calls, challenge yourself with healthy recipes you can make for yourself and your family.