In a previous post about composing The Perfect Plate, I laid out the ground rules for composing meals with just the right amount of veggies, protein and healthy fats to pack your meals with nutrients, keep your belly satiated and your body feeling great. No apps, guidebooks, calorie counters or calculators needed.
However, there is one thing you still might need, and that’s a bit of inspiration. So, to spark your creative side, and load your meals with color, flavor and nutrients to spare, we’ve come up with a list of quick and easy Perfect Plates to enjoy anytime you’re hungry, but not feeling super creative in the kitchen.
Here are 23 ideas – a full weeks’ worth of ‘3 squares’ – to get you started. And remember, you can eat any meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner – you’re the boss – so grab a big plate and let the games begin:
- Fried or poached eggs + sautéed spinach + sautéed mushrooms + ghee + avocado
- Smoothie in a bowl + seeds + berries + cacao nibs + shredded coconut
- Full-fat grass-fed yogurt + blueberries + seeds
- Scrambled eggs + buckwheat + guacamole + salsa
- Canned wild salmon + sprouts + salad + avocado + Paleo bread
- Egg muffins + diced tomatoes + mixed greens + EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
- Bone Broth or Vegetable Broth + greens + diced veggies + diced sweet potato + coconut oil
- Chicken thigh + roasted sweet potato + sautéed broccoli rabe + ghee
- Smoked salmon + arugula + sliced avocado + sesame seeds + tahini and coconut amino dressing
- Broiled wild fish + lemon juice + extra-virgin olive oil + roasted broccoli + cauliflower rice
- Coconut lentil dal with swiss chard + ghee + full fat yogurt
- Lamb burger + steamed dandelion greens with lemon and EVOO + chopped tomatoes + sauerkraut
- Turkey or beef meatballs + zucchini noodles + pesto or tomato sauce + EVOO
- Chicken salad (using avocado, not jarred mayo) + chopped romaine lettuce + cherry tomatoes + celery + red onion + hemp seeds + balsamic vinegar + EVOO
- Roasted beets + roasted sweet potato + roasted Brussels sprouts + arugula + goat cheese
- Collard Green Wrap: grass-fed beef burger + kimchi + tomato + avocado wrapped in steamed collard greens
- Broiled or canned sardines + watercress or arugula + EVOO + lemon + olives + capers + fresh herbs
- Veggie Quinoa Bowl (more veggies/less quinoa): roasted veggies + avocado + pickled veggies
- Slow-cooked bean or beef stew made with bone broth + steamed greens
- Sliced grass-fed steak + bed of leafy greens + avocado + portobello mushroom + pumpkin seeds
- Roasted turkey + cauliflower mash + sautéed kale + EVOO
- Canned sardines, mixed with lemon and EVOO + olives + capers + diced cucumber + bed of arugula
- Sushi Roll: smoked/canned salmon + avocado + cucumber + scallion + watercress + cauliflower rice + coconut aminos + sesame seeds wrapped in nori sheet
PERFECT PLATE Pro Tips:
Shortcut strategically, while keeping health top of mind.
Stock the pantry with healthy, organic “convenience” foods so you can put a Perfect Plate meal together quickly, without sacrificing nutrition. Great basics to keep on hand include: frozen organic veggies like spinach, broccoli and cauliflower; washed and bagged organic greens; heat-and-eat organic quinoa and brown rice packs; canned organic beans in BPA-free cans; pole-caught tuna; capers; olives and sauerkraut, to name a few.
Prep your veggies.
If you are pressed for time during the week (and who isn’t these days), at minimum, take an hour on Sunday night to at least prep your veggies. Wash, prep, chop, roast and sauté batches of veggies all at once instead of doing them piecemeal every day of the week. Store your prepped veggies in glass containers in the fridge so good, healthy choices are within reach whenever you need them. You’ll also save yourself lots of daily cooking and cleanup time. Score one for the chef!
Pour on the taste.
A Perfect Plate isn’t a bland one! Make every one of them tastier and healthier with liberal sprinkles of health-supportive herbs and spices, fresh lemon, sea or Himalayan salt, fresh pepper and garlic. Among my other favorite superfood spices: turmeric, which contains anti-inflammatory curcumin; ginger, which also offers anti-inflammatory benefits; cinnamon to help lower blood sugar levels; sage to boost brain function; rosemary to tame allergies and nasal congestion; and basil to fight off infection and boost immunity.
Adapted from my book, How To Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life.