Eight ideas to make healthy cooking quicker

Here are my top eight ideas to help make quick and easy meals and snacks…

What healthy cooks have in their kitchens!

Creating delicious healthy food at home doesn’t have to be difficult or majorly time consuming. Breakfast and lunch can be speedy if you know how. I love Jamie Oliver’s concept of 15-minute dinners, however, as much as I love you Jamie, I think most of us need a bit longer to create such masterpieces! He obviously hasn’t seen my knife skills (or lack of them)?!

When it comes to dinners, I personally rarely spend more than 20 minutes in the kitchen sorting out our meal during the week because, quite frankly, there is too much other stuff I need to do and I don’t have any more time than that. Much like you, I imagine.

Over the years, there are a few little tricks that I have learnt to help speed things up in the kitchen and today, I would like to share these with you…


I love my stick blender! If I am making a smoothie for just me, I use a large jug and a stick whizz. It takes less time to clean than a whole blender!

Get my favourite smoothie recipes in my 10 step plan here.


A mandolin is fabulous to help you make a quick and healthy lunch. I use mine to shred cabbage (red and/or white) and then add grated carrot, chopped herbs (like parsley and mint) and sliced chili.

I then make a healthy balanced lunch by serving this with some protein (like tuna, chicken or chickpeas) and healthy fats (nuts/seeds) – it’s delicious and super-healthy!

You can make enough for three days, it lasts really well. Grab a copy of Lose Weight for Life for super lunch recipes.


I use a mini bowl attachment that came with my stick blender to make very quick and easy dips! I also have a popcorn maker (which cost me $39 on sale from a large store) and I use it all the time. No added salt or sugar is needed when the kernels have popped.


Firstly, you need a plan. Without fail, this is the MUST do, to make dinner time less painful. When people tell me they don’t have time to plan (which takes no more than five minutes if you do it my way) I always say, how do you have time not to plan? Standing in the supermarket several times a week or staring into an uninspiring fridge is far more painful I think! See my planning guide here.

Make sure you know what your tried and tested recipes are. Having a bank of recipes that you KNOW work in the time you have available is a great idea – keep them in a folder in the kitchen so you know what works. Oh, and don’t be tempted to put ones that ‘could’ work in there if you haven’t tried them yet – keep those in a separate pile or at the back of your folder!

Equipment wise, I love my vegetable steamer. I just have ones that go straight into the pot, you can get them from any cooking/home store or the $2 shop! Steaming your veges is a much better thing to do than boiling them nutrition wise, so you don’t end up throwing away vitamins and minerals which go into the water when you boil your veg!

Also, for a quick dressing for salads or on top of green veges, I couldn’t live without my hand-held lemon squeezer.

So, what will you do to make meal prep quicker and easier? Share your comments, questions and ideas below.

Soon I will be sharing my 10 favourite healthy ingredients to have in at ALL times so stay tuned and be sure to sign up below for my updates so you get these blogs straight into your inbox!

Until then… happy healthier living.

Love, Claire x

Claire Turnbull, BSc (Hons) Dietetics UK, NZ-registered nutritionist. Managing director of Mission Nutrition, and Healthy Food Guide nutritionist.

First published: Sep 2013

Ready to put your health first?
Subscribe here

Thanks, you're good to go!


Thanks, you're good to go!


{{ contentNotIncluded('company') }} has not subscribed to {{ contentNotIncluded('contentType') }}.

Ask your librarian to subscribe to this service next year. Alternatively, use a home network and buy a digital subscription—just $1/week...

Go back