Apps & Websites For Quick, Healthy Meal Ideas
Eating healthy can be tricky when you are crunched for time or even funds. Over the years I have found a few of my favorite staple meals and foods. But, from time-to-time, those staples get a little…..BORING! Which is exactly why I decided to turn to my convenient friend technology to help me figure out ways to branch out a little. I quickly realized that there is no shortage of apps and websites dedicated to food.
Options include gluten-free, seafood, organic, fast food eats, fitness nutrition, food label hazards, etc. The list was seemingly endless. With so much information at my fingertips, I was able to choose four go-to apps and websites to help me branch out but still consider my budget and daily time restraints. So instead of sorting through your mother’s hand-me-down recipe books, try a few of these ideas to get you started with some creative meal solutions that you and your family can enjoy!
This is by far one of my simple, guilty pleasures. That’s right, Cooking Light Magazine also has a webpage that houses a gamut of food, nutrition and healthy living ideas to get you thinking outside of the box a bit! Not only does this resource provide you with food, cooking and nutrition education but it also has “Everyday Menus” and recipes dedicated to quick and healthy meal options. Cooking Light even goes as far as to give you some in-season, vegetarian, and special occasion/Holiday ideas. All of these features can help you squeeze the most into your weekly food budget. A perk is you can get the Cooking Light Magazine app for FREE on your smartphone or tablet.
WHOLE FOODS APP
I confess, I rarely make it to Whole Foods to shop (maybe twice a year) but I LOVE their app! Dividing the recipes up by Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks/Sides and Salads makes sorting through the ideas they have to offer exceptionally user-friendly. Moreover, many of the recipes come with quick videos that walk you through how to prepare the meal and even have ways to make the recipe suit your special dietary needs-gluten free, dairy free, low sodium, vegan, etc. The Whole Foods App even offers options for shopping lists, meal planning and using the foods you have ‘on hand’ to create a recipe to reduce food waste. I love it!
I like to call the Yummily App the cool kid in high school that had all the things you wanted and could do anything and make it look…cool. The Yummily App is well noted for its very large database of recipes that can be filtered by type of cuisine, prep time, nutrition needs and so on. Once you narrow down the recipes you are wanting to try, the app actually creates a grocery list for you with an option to use a food delivery service, Instacart. With this service, you can get exactly what you need for your recipes without even setting foot in the grocery store (so cool!). Over time, the app adjusts your recipes based on foods you tend to like and dislike, which makes sorting through the numerous recipe ideas easy and efficient.
So as you well know, anyone can come up with a recipe (for the most part). But just because we know what tastes good together does not mean it is always healthy nor Registered Dietitian approved. Luckily I found this little gem of a website, FoodAndNutrtion.org, which is also a magazine publication. In fact, Food and Nutrition Magazine is the child of the largest organization of Nutrition and Food professionals, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. With meal ideas from cool summery salads to warm soups and chilis for the cooler months, the recipes found on the website not only coincide well with what’s trending season to season but are also calculated by Register Dieticians. However, what I love most about this resource is its Nutrition News. Hitting hot topics like Sugar and the Science of Addiction and Labeling Laws for GM/GE Foods, this explosion of information from Experts is a sure win in my Recipe Book!
Now you know my key to opening a few new doors in the kitchen. I challenge you give these apps and websites a try and even find a few of your own to make eating healthy in your busy life a little simpler.
PS – try adding the ones you like most to your phone or home screen on your computer for easy access and a gentle reminder that your meals can be just as efficient as you need!
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC