I’ve seen scores of quick, healthy foods lists that are, in reality, anything but quick. I’ve become skeptical of cookbooks and websites that claim that their recipes only take only 15 minutes to prepare. Too often, that 15 minutes does not include chopping and prepping, let alone the time needed to clean all of the specialty gadgets you’ll need.
Here’s an instant menu that’s truly instant. Every item on this menu takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. That’s less time than it takes stop at a drive through, or walk to a convenience store. If your pantry is bare, and fast foods are your only options, the best drive-through and convenience store options are provided too.
I’ve provided Amazon links for some items that may be hard to find, or are best purchased in bulk. Whenever possible, the brands I’ve chosen don’t include added sugars, BPA can linings, unnecessary chemicals, or excessive amounts of sodium. Often there are several good brands available. I will receive a small percentage if you choose to purchase items from the links provided.
A few menu items require a high speed blender such as a Vitamix, which can be cleaned in about 15 seconds and is the most used small appliance in my kitchen. A few of the lower-priced Vitamix models that will fit under most kitchen cabinets can be found in the Eating Green Store.
Click the green Follow button, provide your email address, and we’ll let you know when our Instant Menu items are available at our online store.
Bowl of berries and a sliced banana topped with 2 tablespoons of Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal (gluten free), Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal or Rip’s Big Bowl (available at Whole Foods) & Silk Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk
Microwave oatmeal with fresh or dried fruit and nuts or nut butters
Smoothie made with unsweetened almond milk pureed with a few pitted Medjool dates, frozen fruit and a banana
A smoothie bowl made with just a splash of almond milk pureed with a few pitted Medjool dates, frozen fruit and a banana , and topped with a combination of fresh fruit, nuts, seeds or cereal
Banana or sliced apple with unsalted almond butter
Bowl or parfait cup of seasonal fruit:
Bowl of blueberries and 1-inch chunks of cantaloupe with a squeeze of lemon juice
Chunks of apricots or nectarines and raspberries drizzled with lemon juice
Cubed papayas and pineapples and small segments of grapefruit and navel oranges tossed in lime juice and sprinkled with mint leaves
Navel orange segments
Cubed honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon on a bed of greens with a squeeze of lime juice and sprinkled with mint leaves
Cubed mango, papaya and guava drizzled with lime juice and sprinkled with mint leaves
Bowl of blueberries, sliced strawberries, raspberries and pitted cherries
Bowl of blackberries, raspberries & pitted cherries
Watermelon wedges and a bowl of sliced strawberries
Bowl of sliced peaches or nectarines and raspberries tossed in lemon juice
Sliced peaches, plums or watermelon
Fall & Winter Fruit
Cubed apples and cranberries with a squeeze of lemon juice
Sliced banana, tangerine or Valencia orange segments and grapes on a bed of greens
Bowl of sliced Asian pears & grapes.
Thinly sliced Asian pears, kiwi & pomegranate seeds
Sliced persimmons and pomegranate seeds
Sliced apples, Asian pears or persimmons
Valencia orange, tangerine or mandarin segments
Engine 2 Hummus (available at Whole Foods) or Casbah Hummus Mix with fresh seasonal dipping vegetables and Columbia County Bread & Granola Sprouted Pretzel Crisps
Spring Dipping Vegetables: asparagus, green beans, pea pods, snow peas, cauliflower, baby romaine leaves
Summer Dipping Vegetables: cucumbers, grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas, zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower
Fall & Winter Dipping Vegetables: carrots, broccoli, celery.
Refried Pinto Beans warmed and topped with jarred salsa & prepared guacamole. Served with jicama slices, spooned onto romaine leaves, or folded in a warmed tortilla (gluten-free brown rice or multigrain by Engine 2 or Food for Life Ezekiel, available at Whole Foods)
Engine 2 Hummus (available at Whole Foods) or Casbah Hummus Mix, thinly sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, and sprouts on sprouted grain toast (such as Trader Joe’s Sprouted Multigrain Bread or Ezekiel Food for Life Bread). If you prefer a richer hummus, add a spoonful of tahini to the Engine 2 Hummus.
Eden Organic Refried Black Beans topped with Brazilian-style frozen vegetable blend (corn, black beans, red peppers, poblano peppers), warmed and topped with jarred salsa and prepared guacamole. Served in fresh romaine leaves, or folded in a warmed tortilla (gluten-free brown rice or multigrain by Engine 2 or Food for Life Ezekiel)
Prepared soup with fresh herbs and a dash of seasoning:
Dr. McDougall’s Low-Sodium Packaged Soups (Black Bean, Garden Vegetable, Lentil or Lentil Vegetable)
Trader Joe’s Organic Soups (Split Pea or Organic Lentil Vegetable)
Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods Lower Sodium Lentil Couscous or Black Bean Quinoa Salad on a bed of spinach or mixed power greens
Eden Organic Baked Beans (with added G. Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free Barbecue Sauce, Honey Flavored to taste) and microwaved corn on the cobb
Amy’s or Hillary’s Veggie Burger (many varieties) on a folded romaine leaf with avocado, tomato, & onion. Served with warmed Eden Organic Black Beans & prepared salsa
Warmed Olive Valley or Pita Pal Falafel Patties (available at Whole Foods), Engine 2 Hummus (available at Whole Foods) or Casbah Hummus Mix, tahini, thin slices of tomatoes and cucumber, and spinach leaves stuffed in a toasted Sprouted Columbia Bread and Granola Pita Pocket
Eden Organic Chile with Black Beans, Quinoa and Spices, topped with prepared fresh salsa
Pre-sliced portobello and pre-chopped onion sauteed with G. Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free Barbecue Sauce, Honey Flavored and served on a large, microwaved potato
Microwaved sweet potato topped with warmed Alexia Frozen Vegetable Mix (sweet potatoes, sweet corn, sweet peas, red bell peppers, onions, herbs, cayenne pepper) and peas
Engine 2 Fiesta Blend sauteed with frozen fajita vegetables, served in a bowl and topped with prepared guacamole and salsa to taste.
Engine 2 Wild Rice Blend sauteed with pre-sliced shitake mushrooms, served in a bowl.
Sliced strawberries and bananas
Sliced pear or apple & grapes
Sliced peach & raspberries
Sugar-free apple, pear or peach sauce
Breakfast fruits above
Trader Joe’s Microwave Popcorn
Carrots & grapes
Sugar-free apple, peach or pear sauce
Decaffeinated green, mint or other herbal tea
Trader Joe’s Organic Caffeine Free Mint Melange Tea
Ginger infusion (sliced ginger root steeped in hot water)
Best Fast Food Choices
Despite our best laid plans, we sometimes have to make-do with fbestast food or take-out offerings. When all else fails, look for these healthier options.
Best Overall Fast Food
Panera Bread offers enticing, satisfying, seasonal salad and soup options.
Burger & Sandwich Joints
Top Choice: Subway
Oatmeal. (Hold the sugar.)
Whole grain subs with fresh vegetables and guacamole.
Baked potato side.
Salad bar vegetables with light dressing, beans, seeds, nuts and dried fruit.
Side salads with light dressing.
Apple slices, applesauce or fruit cup sides.
Top Choice: Sheetz
Dipping vegetables packets.
Top Choice: Starbucks
Oatmeal with dried fruit & nuts.
Packets of dried fruit and nuts.
Mexican Fast Food
Top Choice: Chipotle
Salad with beans, brown rice, corn salsa, salsa and guacamole.
Side of beans and salsa.
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What’s your favorite healthy or fast food choice? Leave a Reply below.