As a traveling locum tenens physician, cooking and eating healthy meals is often not a top priority. Luckily, cooking does not have to be as demanding or time-consuming as others make it out to be. There are a lot of quick, healthy meals that can be prepared in advance so that you won’t ever have to go without a delicious, good-for-you meal at the ready. Here are some recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that will satisfy your want for flavor and your desire to eat cleanerBreakfast:
1. A fruit smoothie:
An excellent way to start your morning with a tasty treat that will quell hunger pains. They are easy and relatively inexpensive to make and can be taken with you wherever you go for your locum tenens work. Smoothies are especially convenient if you invest in a blend-and-go system like a Magic Bullet or Ninja Personal Blender. To make mornings easier, you could make a big batch and freeze them into portions for each day of the week. You can find several fruit smoothie recipes online to cater to your flavor preferences, but here’s a simple recipe to get you started:
- 2 bananas
- ¼ - ½ cup water, coconut/almond milk, or whole milk (depending on how thick you like them or your milk preference)
- A handful of spinach
- ½ cup of frozen berries
- One scoop of protein powder (optional)
2. Chia overnight oats:
Chia overnight oats are a filling, nutritional, and simple breakfast you can prepare in advance. All you need is milk (preferably plant-based almond, rice, soy milk, etc.) rolled oats, chia seeds, and a sweetener like agave, coconut sugar, or maple syrup. This is a wonderful option for locum tenens physicians because you can prepare the entire meal the night before and have it ready for the morning. Toss all the ingredients in a mason jar or travel container and in the morning, you can get up and go stress-free.
- A simple recipe is:
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1-cup non-dairy milk
- Cinnamon, and your favorite sweetener to taste
1. Chickpea tuna salad:
It's packed with healthy protein and tastes even better than an ordinary tuna salad! This is another recipe that can be prepared the night before to save you time and effort. If you whip this up on a Sunday evening, you can have a couple meals to eat during the workweek. This recipe will keep for up to 5 days.
- Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas and mash them in a bowl
- Add 13 cup regular or vegan mayo (or sub a blended avocado if you’re making it the day of)
- Chop and add 1/3 cup each of red onion, celery, and pickles
- Squeeze in half a lemon’s worth of juice
- Add old bay seasoning, salt, and ground pepper to taste
- Mix and mash all together and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before eating
2. Pasta Salad:
Pasta Salad is another locum nurse and doctor-friendly meal that you can prep in advance. The best part about pasta salad is that, like a smoothie, you can keep adding delicious veggies, protein, and spices to make it your own. Here’s a super simple recipe you can fix up for your taste:
- Cook 1 lb tri-colored pasta until al dente and drain excess water
- Add at least 1 cup each chopped cucumber, tomato, and carrots
- Mix with light Italian dressing (or Italian seasoning and oil)
- Top with a little parmesan cheese to taste
- Add chicken, tofu, or other protein to pasta salad as desired
1. Southwestern Inspired Quinoa Salad:
This is simple, quick, and healthy and it can be created in a single sauté pan.
- Heat 2 tbsp. vegetable/olive/avocado oil in large sauté pan over medium heat
- Add 3 cloves minced garlic and 1 minced jalapeño and cook for about 2 minutes
- Add 15 oz black beans, 15 oz corn, 1 cup rinsed quinoa
- Stir in 14 oz diced tomatoes, 2 cups vegetable stock, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and 2 tsp. cumin.
- Mix well and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes and until the quinoa is tender.
- Transfer into a serving bowl and top with avocado, lime juice, and cilantro to taste.
2. One-Pot Sausage and Veggie Mix:
Last, but not least, this one-pan sausage and veggie mix is a fantastic option to make when you are trying to use up some vegetables before they go bad! It can be customized and updated based on your preferences and can easily be made vegetarian/vegan. Here is one example of a recipe you can use:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees ℉
- Line a large baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper
- Chop and prepare all vegetables. Cut 2 cups red potatoes into small cubes, chop 3 large bell peppers and 1 large head of broccoli, cut ¾ lb of green beans in halves.
- Cut 9 oz of sausage into coins. We recommend chicken or turkey sausage.
- Lay all veggies and sausage on the pan and cover in roughly 6 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. dried oregano, ½ tbsp. garlic powder, 1 tbsp. dried parsley, as well as salt and pepper to taste
- Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven to turn over the veggies and sausages and replace in the oven to cook for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
As with everything, portion control and regular exercise should be included to ensure your healthy habits work well for you. Try out these recipes and meal prepping, and take a look at CoreMedical Group’s Quick Recipes for Healthcare Pros Pinterest board for more ideas!