A recent operation on both feet rendered me out of action of 2/3 weeks, which posed a problem regarding meals, let alone healthy eating. With some thought and a freezer  I was able to make healthy instant meals which I thought I’d share,  for when you are pushed for time or energy to cook.

Week one

 The first few days I was confined to the sofa and at the mercy of my teenage girls , so I confess that the most of the first week I was given ready meals and cartons of soup, but by day 3, I perfected the art of whizzing around on my wheeled typist chair and this allowed me to get a reasonable speed between fridge, toaster, microwave and kitchen table! Prior to the operation, I tried to source the more nutritional ready meals, but they tasted manufactured and not fresh, despite supplementing them with frozen vegetables and bagged salads. 

Week two

Knowing that with nutritious food, the healing process would be maximised, I planned ahead for basic but healthy meals that involved minimal work. 

Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs (microwaved) and toast.  Lunch was either thick fresh soup and bread, or a handful of bagged salad with chicken, prawns or cottage cheese, plus an apple. 

For evening meals I ordered via grocery home shopping – free range chicken breasts, frozen prawns, frozen individually packed wild salmon, frozen stir fry, frozen mixed vegetables, frozen roast vegetables, pre-packed new potatoes,  sweet potato, sachets of rice and quinoa.  This enabled me to make the following instant meals, ensuring I took the meat or fish out of the freezer in the morning:

  • Cajun chicken (using pre mixed Cajun spices) with roasted vegetables and quinoa
  • Salmon with stir fry vegetables, coconut milk and curry powder and rice
  • Salmon pesto with mixed vegetables and new potatoes
  • Roast chicken breasts with baked sweet potato and mixed vegetables
  • Prawns coconut milk and thai paste with stir fry veg and rice
  • Prawn and quinoa salad
  • Chicken with mustard and honey, peas and mashed garlic sweet potato (baked with garlic cloves and then scooped out)

 One day I had chilli and rice cooked for me, and another day I had a mixed seafood platter presented for me (wonderful friends).

 Obviously,  buying sachets of rice and packs of pre-cooked new potatoes are more expensive, and if you use a microwave to cook these is not as healthy as steaming or baking, but if you’ve been working all day, it does allows a relatively healthy meal on the table in 15 minutes (you have to cut the chicken breast into strips so it cooks quicker, otherwise allow 25 mins for a medium baked chicken breast.

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