Reader question: I’d be keen to have a healthy (and realistic, with both partners working) food plan

 

I’d be keen to have a healthy (and realistic, with both partners working) food plan

– Famished in Amersham

 

This is a question that I can answer easily from personal experience. My wife and I work quite long hours, but we still make it a top priority to eat healthy and delicious food for every meal.

Our approach is very simple (and probably not particularly novel):

  1. Go to the market and buy high-quality raw foods.
  2. Eat those foods after minimal preparation.

We never marinate anything. We never make any sauces. There is no Mastering the Art of French Cooking in our kitchen.

Believe me, I love haute cuisine as much as the next guy, but I can’t be bothered to create it myself. I like to keep it simple at home and leave the complicated, time-consuming dishes to the pros.

Breakfast

It doesn’t get much easier than breakfast. Here are some of the things I’ve eaten for breakfast in the past month and how I’ve prepared them (see photos above):

Food Prep
Whole-grain cereal w/ berries and milk
Avocado cut and peeled w/ salt and pepper
Eggs boiled or scrambled with cut vegetables
Raw salmon cut
Yogurt w/ cut and peeled blood oranges
Greek yogurt w/ olive oil and za’atar
Grapefruit cut

Just pick two or three things like that every morning and vary the fruits and vegetables with the season.

Lunch

I always eat lunch out. If you live or work in London, it’s easy to find delicious, freshly-prepared food from independent vendors who are cooking from high-quality raw ingredients, just as you would do in your own kitchen. And if you value the extra convenience or aren’t bothered about the taste, chains like Leon or Pod are a fine option – perfectly healthy food can be had at these places if you order intelligently.

Dinner

Our dinners tend to follow a standard formula:

  1. Take a piece of animal (mammal, bird, fish, etc.) and put into a pan with some olive oil.
  2. Take several vegetables, cut them, and put them straight into another pan with olive oil and garlic (and maybe chillies, or anchovies, or something else to add an extra taste).

Here are some of the things I’ve eaten for dinner in the past month (see photos above):

Animals Vegetables
Scallops Chard
Monkfish Cavolo nero
Sea bass Green kale
Red snapper Brussels sprouts
Liver (calf) Radicchio
Heart (ox) Calçots
Kidney (lamb) Purple sprouting broccoli (boiled first)
Venison Fennel
Pidgeon Courgettes
Duck French beans (boiled first)

I don’t pay too much attention to how we pair these things up. If the animal has a relatively mild taste, I might pair it with some stronger tasting vegetables or vice-versa. But, honestly, I really just choose whatever catches my eye when I’m shopping.

One note: you might think some of these foods like liver or kidneys need some extra prep (soaking in milk, dusting in flour, etc). Well, all I can say is that we’ve done a lot of side-by-side comparison experiments and we can never really tell the difference, so we generally just put everything straight into the pan.

Bon appétit!

And feel free to ask any follow up questions via the web entry form.