When my children left for University, I worried about how they were going to feed themselves. I was concerned that they wouldn't get the nutrition they needed with demanding schedules and busy social lives.
I gave them a handful of quick, nutritious ideas to put healthy dinners on their tables quickly and with little effort. I thought I would share a couple of those ideas with you. Heck! These are ideas you can use when short on time! Keep in mind these recipe ideas are for those with few ingredients, small fridges and limited resources.
While store bought rotisserie chicken may not be the best on the scale, it is better than a burger from a fast food joint. Eat it as is, or shred it and put it into a salad, stir-fry or wrap. Chicken is a great source of protein.
If you make enough rice or quinoa to be used for a couple of meals, it can be frozen in one meal portions, defrosted, reheated and used at a later date in another dish. Batch cooking is your friend!
Quinoa is a whole grain, complete protein, and high in fibre. It cooks quickly and is a great accompaniment to any meal. If you make extra servings at dinner time and cook an extra serving of meat (be it chicken, beef or pork), you can use the quinoa and meat as the base of a salad for lunch the next day. Add some grated carrot, green onion, red pepper and a salad dressing of olive oil and vinegar and you have lunch made for tomorrow. Extra rice can also be used in this manner, brown rice being the most nutritious choice.
Bagged Coleslaw is your friend. Not only does it make a quick salad, but it makes a quick stir-fry. Saute some onions, beef, pork, shrimp or chicken strips, seasoning with powdered garlic, ginger and pepper, add the coleslaw mix to the pan, cook until softened. In the meantime, make a sauce with 2 Tbsp Soya Sauce (fermented is better for you), 3 Tbsp vinegar and 3 Tbsp sweetener (honey, sugar, etc.). Pour over, tossing to coat and you have a stir-fry in about 15 minutes. Serve with rice.
Jarred Pasta Sauce is a great thing to have on hand and can be used in many ways. Pour it into a pot, dice a bunch of vegetables finely and throw them in, simmering until softened. Brown some ground beef or chicken and toss it into the pot as well. Boil some pasta and dinner is served!
In a shallow baking dish, pour Jarred Pasta Sauce over chicken breast, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, season with garlic and pepper. Bake about 45 minutes, serve with pasta, rice or spaghetti squash.
Pan-fried minute steak smothered in sauted onions and peppers put into a tortilla shell makes another quick meal and a favourite for my kids!
Kaitlyn would say she lives on quesadillas; cheese, peppers, refried beans, leftover steak or chicken. Served with salsa and a quick chopped salad (event out of a bag).
Oh, the ideas go on and on. Do you have a quick and easy meal that you whip up in a hurry? I would love to hear about it!