10 Minute Meals and Healthy Snacks

Easy quick healthy food and quick healthy snacks which can be prepared in a few minutes.

If you don’t have time to cook a full meal, you don’t need to fill up on expensive takeaways and unhealthy snacks.

Here are a few suggestions for quick and healthy meals which take a few minutes to prepare and are really good for you.

Beans on toast (or beans and bread)

I am sure nearly everyone has had beans on toast at some point, but did you know that beans with bread is actually a very balanced and nutritional meal (just don’t pile on too much butter!). Baked beans and toast is also one of the cheapest and one of the quickest meals you can make.

Baked beans and wholegrain bread eaten together make an almost perfect food combination. Together they supply the full complement of amino acids which your body needs, along with plenty of fibre and vitamins including A and C.

Foods such as beans and wholegrain bread, are digested slowly. They have a low glycaemic index, so are good for anyone with diabetes or low blood sugar problems.

Instructions

For the healthiest option, use brown or granary bread. However, sourdough bread, a good crusty white bread, or baguette will work well too.

  • Lightly toast the bread and spread with butter (or margarine if you prefer). Or alternatively use buttered bread instead of toast.
  • Heat the beans and either eat them with the toast, or pour the beans on to the toast if you prefer.

Enhance your Beans on Toast

– Sprinkle with grated cheese, and put under the grill for a few seconds to melt.
Add some chilli or paprika, or worcestershire sauce to give it some kick

Costs

A tin of baked beans can cost anything from around 25 pence – 85 pence for a standard sized tin of beans.
Some of the cheaper baked beans available are not fantastic, but own brand baked beans from Waitrose are really good, and have thick sauce which is packed with beans. They cost just 32 pence per tin or £1.10 for a pack of 4.

Add a few slices of bread, and you can have a quick and healthy meal for two people, for less than £1.


Make an Omelette

Eggs are good for you and making an omelette is very simple and easy to do.

At its most basic, all you need is a frying pan, some oil, some eggs and bit of salt.

Use anything between one and three eggs (depending on how hungry you are, and how big your frying pan is). Once in the pan, the omelette should be ready in a couple of minutes.

  • A one egg omelette is ideal for a small appetite or for a younger child. If you are hungry, a two egg omelette may suit you better.
  • A three egg omelette in a large pan can be halved to serve 2 people.

How to make a basic omelette

Crack your eggs into a jug and beat them with a fork; add a pinch of salt (sea salt gives the best flavour) and add a pinch of dried herbs such as thyme or parsley.

Add some cooking oil to a frying pan, and heat until it is getting hot.
Use about a tablespoon of oil for a smaller frying pan, and a bit more for a large pan.

Add the beaten eggs to the frying pan.
The heat needs to be quite high to start with, and you should see the oil bubbling up around the sides of the omelette.
The egg should make a thin layer covering the bottom of pan (gently run the wet egg around the edges of the pan until covers the pan and it starts to set).

If you want to add a filling, sprinkle this thinly over the omelette now.

Turn the heat down a bit. The omelette should initially cook fast but you don’t want it to go brown and tough.

If the edges start to look a bit crispy and the omelette is set, take it off the heat.

When the egg is mostly set, use a fish-slice to fold one side of the omelette over and on top of the other side, so making a half circle (if you don’t have a fish-slice, a couple of forks or a large spoon will do the job).
Keep on the heat for a few more seconds, and make sure that the egg is fully set.

Lift (or tip) onto a plate.

To make it more of a meal and more nutritional, serve your omelette with some salad (salad leaves, cucumber, tomatoes, grated carrot, etc.), bread and butter, peas or baked beans.

Add a filling to your omelette

Make your omelette more interesting (and a more filling and more nutritional meal) by adding some fillings to your omelette.
Try some of the ideas below, and you can mix them up (cheese and veg, for example).

  • Add some chopped up cheese
  • Add some fried mushrooms or garlic fried mushrooms
  • Add some cooked or raw chopped-up tomato
  • Add any chopped-up cooked veg (spinach, carrot, peas, broccoli, etc.)
  • Add smoked salmon, ham or bacon

Cost

A basic two egg omelette, made with free range eggs will cost around 60 – 70 pence.
Add a couple of slices of bread, a bit of salad, and a slice of cheese broken into the omelette and you can have a complete meal for around £1.50 or less (a lot less if you grow some of your own salad).

You can buy cheaper eggs, but many of these are imported from abroad or come from factory farms, where animal cruelty is the norm.
Try to buy good quality free range eggs, if you can.

Good quality free range eggs do taste much better than intensively farmed eggs, as well as being better for the chickens and the environment. Fresh local eggs (if you can get them) are even better than most supermarket eggs.


Banana sandwich

Bananas are almost the perfect food; they are packed with vitamins and minerals and store a lot of energy – and they come in their own wrapper!

Bananas are digested slowly, so giving a sustained energy release over a few hours.

Use brown or granary bread, and spread with butter (margarine if you prefer).
Slice the banana (between 5 and 10mm thick) and spread evenly over the bread.
Enjoy!

Travel with Bananas

Bananas are a great food to take with you when travelling, on holidays, day trips or even work. Most kids love bananas, so they are useful for maintaining energy levels and recovering from the tiredness or low-blood-sugar induced meltdowns which many children are prone to.

We often take buttered bread and a couple of bananas with us if we go out for a day. We then make banana sandwiches when we want them. You also need a plate (or lid of a storage box) and a knife.

The only problem is that bananas don’t travel well and they bruise very easily. Wrap them in tissue paper or bubble wrap and place them in a padded bag or a box to protect them.


Do you want ideas for a more substantial meal?

Look at out other page of healthy one pan egg meals