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Take Home Meals: To better control the calories, fat, and sodium in your take-home meals, buy JUST the entree — the half roasted chicken at the supermarket or at the chicken take-out place — and then fortify the meal with quick fixes. If you are in the supermarket picking up the rotisserie bird, hit the salad bar or produce aisle for a veggie feast. There are pre-bagged salads (easy does it on the dressing) and cut up vegetables. Or, keep frozen vegetables in your freezer and baking potatoes in your cupboards for a quick throw together in your microwave. A tossed salad can actually be tossed together without much slicing and dicing.
Gather ideas for Quick and Easy Minimal Cook Meals
Use a crockpot for prepping meals! Healthy CrockPot Meals
Collect recipes for easy to prep recipes and keep this in your Family Favorite Healthy Meals Cookbook.
Quick tossed salads When it comes to preparing a salad quickly, the trick is to bite the bullet and wash all the lettuce and chop all the veggies on the weekend for a quick chop and toss of the salad during the week. Or use ready-to-eat, bagged salads to jump-start my salad bowl during the week. Click here for salad inspiration, my list of favorite salads that will inspire you!
Here are some ideas for a Quick Toss when you don’t have the time to slice and dice all your salad fixings.
- Combine different types of bagged salad to add variety and nutrition. Mix an Italian blend of romaine lettuce, radicchio, and shredded carrots bagged salad with some bagged, tender baby spinach. It’s delicious.
- Buy pre-cut, pre-washed bagged veggies such as broccoli, baby carrots, baby tomatoes and cauliflower and add to your bagged salad for more nutrition.
- Add pre-shredded, bagged Coleslaw cabbage and carrots for crunch.
- Toss in washed cherry tomatoes, which don’t need to be sliced or diced.
- Toss in some dried apricots.
- Add a can of rinsed black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas or kidney beans.
- Sprinkle on some sun-dried tomatoes.
- Add a can of drained, juice-packed mandarin oranges.
- Try adding drained, canned artichoke hearts.
- Toss in leftover cooked veggies.
- Have a variety of lowfat salad dressings in hand to combat boredom.
Healthy, Quick ideas:
- Pre-prepped and ready-to-go foods from the grocery store.
- Make batch meals. Cook just once in quantity to have two-three extra meals to store in the fridge or freezer. Store in the portions you will use.
- To save time, prepare main dishes that combine meat, vegetables and/or grains. Examples: stir fried vegies and meat, soup made from leftover potroast.
- Choose frozen dinners with lower fat content, frozen plain vegetables, frozen pastas.
- Produce: look for convenient prepacked vegetables such as salad greens, stirfry mixes, etc.
- For a quick, no-fuss meal, head straight to a good supermarket or deli salad bar. Typically, most are not only stuffed with tons of low-calorie fresh vegetables, but also protein-rich items, such as low-fat cottage cheese, chickpeas, three-bean salad, and possibly even chunks of tofu. Add some low-fat salad dressing and pita bread, and you’ll be in heaven.
- Bean soups can also be part of a hearty lunch or dinner. Many take-out delis, restaurants, and upscale supermarkets now have soups-to-go. Order a hearty bowl and grab a packaged salad along with a whole grain bagel, roll, or bread. A slice or two of cheese or veggie pizza with vegetables and a salad is a quick fix and can be found at most pizza parlors.
- Sometimes you may need to fortify your meals. Many of my clients keep vegetarian burgers in their office freezers (ie, Boca Burgers). When they are out at noontime, they buy a “salad on the run,” and later at the office zap the burger in the microwave and stick it in a pita.