Easy healthy cooking is something we all have to learn at one point or another. By learning how to cook healthy meals that are easy to prepare, you make sure that you feed your body well so that it gets all the nutrients it needs to lose weight and to stay in tiptop shape. Knowing how to work with simple but nutritious and flavorful recipes also guarantees that you always have to cook for yourself, thus reducing your dependence on unhealthy fast food and helping you cut back on the costs of dining out.
When it comes to easy healthy cooking, California-style cooking readily comes to mind. This doesn’t mean that the other regional styles of cooking in the United States are not easy to cook or healthy to eat. It’s more because the California-style has unique characteristics that make it so suitable for cooking on the go without sacrificing nutrition or taste.
The Basics of California-Style Cooking
So, what are these characteristics of making the food the Californian way that makes this cuisine nearly synonymous with quick to prepare but definitely tasty and healthy food? Firstly, Californian cooking techniques are fairly easy and straightforward. Most Californians believe in showcasing their food’s natural flavors rather than enhancing them with sauces, coatings and batters, with the exception of dishes like tacos and tempura.
Secondly, California is the birthplace of fusion cuisine. Fusion cuisine mostly entails deconstructing different culinary traditions and mixing them all up to create a one-of-a-kind dish. A prime example of Californian fusion is the typical California pizza. A traditional Italian pizza would have a crust topped with sauce, cheese and meat.
It shouldn’t be surprising that fusion cuisine would be invented in a place like California, as this place is a melting pot of people from differing nationalities and backgrounds with varying traditions when it comes to food. Japanese, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Indian, Mexican, Spanish, European, Tex-Mex, Southern or whatever – it would be easy for you to find their food in California.
Lastly, Californians are given to using the freshest ingredients. Californians also prefer to use organic food to processed stuff. That’s because the mild Mediterranean climate of this region has been a boon to farmers. Moreover, California has a long coastline with a thriving fishing industry. Produce and seafood can always be found fresh in California.
Easy Healthy Breakfast Suggestions
When it comes to a California-style breakfast, nothing is more quintessential than the breakfast burrito. A breakfast burrito is so easy to create. You just heat up tortillas in your microwave oven or toast them over a pan, cook up whatever filling you want, and then roll them all up. If you don’t feel up to cooking the filling, leftovers will do. You can even make a few extra wraps to pack for lunch.
Of course, to make a healthy breakfast burrito, you have to make sure that you’ve got a balanced filling in it. A serving of meat and a serving of veggies in the filling should do the trick. You can have chicken breast or low-fat sausage for the meat and then an avocado and tomato salsa for the veggies, for example. Your own creativity is your only limit when it comes to the breakfast burrito.
You don’t have to stick to the burrito if you don’t feel up to it, though. You can always poach an egg and serve it with ham and whatever fruit is in season. Or you can make a healthy, yummy frittata if you have the time for it.
Suggestions for Easy Healthy Dinners
As you can see with the examples above, a California-style breakfast can double up for lunch. But what about dinner – what easy but healthy dinner can you make California style?
The first thing that comes to mind is the burger. The burger is another easy dish that you can play around with the Californian way. You can go traditional with it, with the usual beef patty, lettuce, tomato slices, pickles and cheese. Or you can make a chicken burger or a fish burger and garnish it with any vegetable you want. And then you can eat it with sweet potato fries, baked onion rings or carrot chips on the side.
Chicken is more readily found in Californian cuisine. Grilling and frying are some of the most common ways you can cook chicken, but there are many other ways to prepare this fowl and make something yummy out of it. If you’re really interested in experimenting with chicken dishes, you should invest in a good cookbook that contains healthy chicken recipes. You can try out all the recipes in the cookbook, pick your favorites and then stick with them.
You know what would be interesting to make for dinner? Sushi and sashimi. Why don’t you take a short course on making sushi so you won’t have to splurge at a sushi place just to get your fill? Sushi is a great favorite among Californians because of how easy it is to obtain fresh fish.
Then again, if you’re a person who barely has the time to cook, nothing is easier than eating for dinner what you had for breakfast. Yes, you can make yourself a breakfast burrito for dinner if you really are too busy to cook dinner and don’t feel up to driving to a restaurant. That’s the one great thing about the breakfast burrito – you can roll up any food you want in a tortilla wrapper and just munch on it, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or supper.