I’m no Julia Child or Rachel Ray, but cooking is my happy place (second only to teaching fitness). I don my fuschia flowered apron and tool around in the kitchen, stirring and chopping to my heart’s content. Due to limited cabinet space, I just keep the food basics on hand. But with a little creativity, it’s possible to whip up some pretty cool grub. Here are the “Fab Five” foods that I can’t live without.
Bananas. These potassium-packed wonders are portable and perfect for a post-workout snack. I love to top them with peanut butter and honey for a quick afternoon pick-me-up, or dip in melted dark chocolate and store in the freezer for a decadent dessert. And blended bananas make a great substitute for oil in baked goods. Just don’t get let them get squished at the bottom of your bag!
Whole Wheat Tortillas. If you want to switch up your daily salad, here’s an idea: turn it into a wrap. Easy to pack and eat on the go, no fork necessary. Add one of these combos on top of your salad for extra pizzazz:
Salsa and avocado
Hummus and feta
Pesto sauce and tomato
Another option is to make homemade tortilla chips: slice a tortilla up, brush with olive oil, and pop in the oven for 10 minutes at 350°. And my new favorite thing is a dessert “crepe” with sliced strawberries, dark chocolate chips, and a dollop of vanilla yogurt or cool whip.
Spinach. Spinach is not only a health wonder, but it’s actually kinda fascinating. A huge heap of the stuff practically disintegrates when cooked. I use it primarily for salads and sandwiches, quite a potent alternative to iceberg lettuce. It’s also delicious in omelettes and adds a pop of color (and vitamins) to marinara sauce and stews. I keep both fresh and frozen spinach on hand.
Lean Ground Turkey. I keep containers of ground turkey meat to make a number of high-protein dishes ranging from burgers to casserole. Easy prep option? Mix a pound of ground turkey with two tablespoons each of ranch dressing and plain bread crumbs, shape into golf balls, and stick in the oven on 375° for about 15 minutes. Once they’re ready, the possibilities are endless. Serve as an appetizer with dipping sauces (like BBQ sauce or Dijon mustard), stuff in a pita with hummus and veggies, or perch atop a salad.
Raw Cacao Powder. This one is too good to be true, in my books. Not only is it anointed as “superfood”, but the stuff is so intense that a little bit can go a long way. I stir a few teaspoons into vanilla Greek yogurt to make healthy chocolate mousse, or heat with milk and honey for homemade hot cocoa. Add a spoon to liven up your smoothie, oatmeal, muffins, pancakes, pretty much anything. A little healthy chocolate flavor never hurt anybody, right?
I could add many more pages of tasty and nutritious foods ranging from produce to protein. But first I’ll let you be the judge of these Fab Five. Add to your next grocery list and give them a try.