I GOTTA SAY….. the name of the game in 2020 has been efficiency. Now maaaaaybe more than ever, even.
And I don’t just mean efficiency in that way of “get more work done in less time with more ease and less stress” kinda thing. (Though, I’ve had my moments with that kind of efficiency FOR sure… lookin’ at you, quarantine morning routine.)
I mean efficiency in *every* area and corner and crevice of my life, in ways that make the most of my limited time that seems to spread thin so quickly (I know you’re with me on this). So that I can fully be more present in each pocket of the day, and not feel so pulled in different directions– which can verrrrry easily happen these days.
Like maximizing my REST…. aka, not trying to halfway-sorta rest(ish?) while I also answer emails and make a grocery list and check in with my team on Slack.
Nope, rest these days means fully disconnecting from my phone, getting outside, taking deep & life-giving breaths, reading a book. To soak in nature, ground myself with the earth, to breathe fresh air and to actually, truly, *FULLY* allow myself to relax (without the guilt, notifications or responsibilities yanking me 100 different ways).
Or, efficiency in optimizing my workouts…. aka, NOT telling myself it’s not worth it if I only have 15 minutes, and instead turning on a Peloton ride or digital yoga class and just MOVING. No excuses, no distractions, because I know the movement will lift me not just physically, but energetically, emotionally & mood-wise too.
And of course, making the most of efficient meals. Always. But this year more than ever.
With an almost-2-year-old on our hands (who eats more in a meal than I sometimes need in a day…. little guy is GROWing), with a crazy bustling business, with all of us at home more than ever…. mealtimes aren’t just a space to connect and break bread. They’re a moment of respite in otherwise very full days.
To nourish our bodies while we clink glasses and chat about our days. To slooooow down (and sit down) with one another, maybe for the only or first time all day. To be still and remove the screens and just enjoy each other’s company.
But if you’re anything like me…. these meals JUST aren’t gonna happen if it takes more than 20 or so minutes to throw together. Because #LIFE. And quarantine. And kids and work and deadlines and meetings and family….
So, the solution to meals that still matter (but that don’t take over your life)?
Ummmm, well, those sort of meals are pretty much my sweet spot, thank goodness. I don’t want anything complicated, ever, but especially as we transition seasons and go into the end of the year.
THIS time is when we need: simple, enriched, nourishing, fast, bright, flavorful, cozy & whole-foods-filled recipes. You with me?
And today, I’m bringing you 3 of the best of the best. Like, they’re quickies that pack the best ingredients, flavor and ease.
Efficiency meals for busy women this fall? Check, check & CHECK.
3 Best Recipes for Busy Women this Fall
Everyday Chicken Salad– recipe from the second cookbook! Grab yours here!
Makes 4 servings
1 large or 2 medium organic chicken breasts
1 cup red grapes, sliced in half or ½ medium green apple, chopped
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
¼ lemon juiced
¼ cup tarragon, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
½ cup Homemade Avocado Mayo (recipe follows) or a clean store-bought brand
generous amount of sea salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake chicken in a baking dish until cooked through (approximately 20-25 minutes, depending on thickness). Remove chicken from heat and let cool before slicing or shredding. In the meantime, chop other ingredients and mix together. Add chicken and mix all ingredients together until well combined. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.
Homemade Avocado Mayo
* totally optional, or use Primal Kitchen’s avocado mayo if you’re short on time.
1 ripe avocado
1/3 cup olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients except olive oil first, then slowly add in the oil as the blender runs until the mixture thickens. Add more lemon juice if desired. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.
3 Ingredient Tomato Soup
Makes 2-4 servings
8 Roma tomatoes, sliced and seeds removed
2 cups baby tomatoes
2 leeks, sliced
2 cups organic chicken broth
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss tomatoes, baby tomatoes and leeks with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes, then let cool slightly. Puree all ingredients together with broth in a blender, and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve warm.
Herby Roasted Corn Salad– also from the second cookbook, Simply Real Eating!
Makes 6 servings
6 ears organic corn, husks removed
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
10-12 chives, finely chopped
4 limes, juiced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
generous amount of sea salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil
2 grilled chicken breasts or 8 grilled prawns (or other protein of your choice) (optional)
sprinkle of feta cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rub the corn with olive oil and roast for 15-20 minutes until it starts to brown. Remove from oven and let cool as you chop the cilantro, chives, green onions and chipotle peppers. Add all to a medium mixing bowl. When corn has cooled, slice the kernels off the cobb and add to the mixing bowl. Add olive oil, lime juice, sea salt and pepper to taste as you gently mix all the ingredients together. Top with chicken and sprinkle with feta cheese, if using, before serving.
One other good thing about fall? It’s time to simplify everything.
Check out the Easiest Dinner Meal Plan here: it’s 4 weeks of healthy dinners, all planned & done for you, from my kitchen to yours.