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Why Essential Ingredients Are the Key to a Great Meal

Why Essential Ingredients Are the Key to a Great Meal

Mealtime has become very complicated. I am not just talking about the preparation, but also referring to the ingredients involved.  We have left basic, nutritious ingredients in the dust, opting instead for flavor enhanced and prepackaged items. It has been accepted that we don’t know everything that is in our food. People do not have the time to pull a June Cleaver anymore, so meals often come from fast food places or from a pre-packaged box.

Back to Basics

There is a solution to this unhealthy phenomenon. I prepare simple, healthy and easy foods for myself every day, foods that contain a lot of nutrients and often do not require any cooking. These meals use only essential ingredients – no more processed or packaged items. I have picked my favorite meals to share, so you can become a minimalist meal master and a much healthier human being as well.


This one seems all too obvious, but with a little creativity and little effort, it’s a gourmet entree. Try grilled cheese on seeded wheat bread with fresh provolone or mozzarella, then brush the outside very lightly with olive oil and dust with parmesan. Or toss some apple slices, turkey and swiss in between some sourdough bread.

Tuna fish

An often overlooked delicacy, tuna offers protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Keep it healthy by leaving out the mayo and opting for a little drizzle of olive oil. Throw in onions, spinach, peppers, spices and tomatoes, the more veggies the better. Add some whole grain or seed crackers to the side.


For a meal? Yes! This really is a lot of fun. Go to the store and fill up a basket with healthy, wholesome snacking food. For example, olives, cheese, fruit, veggies with dip, salsa, hummus, the possibilities are endless. This is the perfect way to satisfy picky eaters that just can’t agree!


Not just any old iceberg lettuce recipe. I actually skip the lettuce all together! I love filling my bowl with fruits, veggies and seeds. One of my favorite combinations would have to be broccoli, goat cheese, cranberries, toasted pecans and balsamic vinegar dressing. Salads are a simple and versatile meal. You can throw one together in less than ten minutes. Be creative, but keep it wholesome. 

Cottage Cheese Bowl

Cottage cheese can be more than a breakfast side item. With its mild taste, it pairs well with countless combinations: diced roasted red pepper, bell pepper, and carrots. Mix it into the cheese and top it off with your favorite seeds. Flax seeds would be a great choice.

Shrimp Wrap

If you are looking for something easy and hearty, this is it. Thaw out some precooked shrimp and thinly slice some carrot and cucumber. Spread avocado or cream cheese and fresh dill over a whole grain wrap. Put the shrimp and veggies in the wrap, top with a little lemon juice and roll it up. 

Soup and Rice

The problem with soup is that many brands contain a ton of sodium, MSG, preservatives and many other unpleasant ingredients. Be on the lookout because now there are many safely packaged, organic soups available on store shelves. Just cook up your favorite whole grain rice and pour the soup on top. Flavor options are endless and it is a very satisfying meal.

I love an elaborate meal from time to time, but it is nice to be in and out of the kitchen within a few minutes after a hectic day. I admit that I used to like fast food, but now I have learned how to easily create meals that I know aren’t hurting my body. We need to wipe away how we perceive our food and get back to the basics, back to real food!

About Karyn Wofford

Karyn is an EMT, type 1 diabetic and wellness specialist. She has spent much of her life studying the body and different wellness tactics. Her goal is to live a natural, happy, healthy life, and help others do the same.

In addition to proper nutrition, supplements can help your body remain balanced and energized. Find out more about the solutions that WellPath provides here
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