It’s 5 pm. You just pulled in the driveway with two very hungry children when you realize you forgot to plan dinner. What do you do? Does this sound familiar?
This is a familiar scenario and why more and more families are eating out. Thirty years ago most meals were prepared and eaten at home. Restaurant.org found that Americans’ spending on fast food has increased from $6 billion to over $110 billion!! You don’t have to eat out every night, you can keep your meal planning simple and you don’t have to make elaborate, complicated meals to eat healthy.
Think a quick stir-fry or a fresh local produce ingredient salad. Add a Mexican or Italian twist and you have an unprocessed, healthy meal in minutes.
You can even make dishes ahead of time and freeze them to take the stress out of cooking. Make use of precut veggies, no-boil lasagna noodles and fast-cooking brown rice.
Keep your grocery shopping list easy and healthy with foods such as:
•seasonal fresh fruits; watch for supermarket specials
•yogurt: low-fat fruit varieties for quick snacks and for making smoothies, plain Greek-style yogurt for veggie dips
•veggies for dips and mini-pizzas: bell peppers, carrots, celery and cucumbers
•omega-3 fortified eggs for hard cooked eggs
•whole-grain mini-bagels, whole-grain English muffins, and pita bread
•sliced deli turkey
Try for these goals for healthy, easy eating over the next month:
1. Serve vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or carrots two or three times a week.
2. Eat one more serving of fruit per day, such as an apple, pear or banana. Make sure to keep them washed and available on the kitchen counter.
3. Serve fish for dinner once a week.
4. Try at least two vegetarian meals a month.
5. Serve a high-fiber, low-sugar cereal to your kids at breakfast.
6. Switch to a whole grain bread instead of white bread.
7. Pack vegetables to take to work every other day.
Easy Fish Tacos
Ingredients on hand:
Lemon, avocado, garlic cloves, frozen tilapia fillets, fresh or frozen corn, corn tortillas, ripe tomatoes, cilantro, lime wedges, black pepper or salt (optional).
- Prepare fish by grilling or baking. Squeeze lemon juice, garlic or pepper on it for flavor.
- Cut or dice avocado and tomatoes.
- Cut fish into large chunks. In large bowl, mix together tomato, corn, avocado, lemon juice, and salt. Divide fish and tomato mixture, add to tortillas and serve with cilantro and lime wedges.
Ginger Glazed Chicken
Ingredients on hand:
5-6 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, 1 clove fresh minced garlic, 3 cups 100% white grape juice, 1 lemon, salt (optional), black pepper, 5 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons fresh ginger
- Place chicken in baking dish. Combine white grape juice, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in bowl. Pour over chicken, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about one hour.
- Remove chicken from marinade, grill chicken thoroughly on both sides, until firm to the touch. Any leftover marinade, cook over high heat until syrupy and whisk in butter. Pour glaze over chicken and serve.
About the Author: Kindy Peaslee is a Registered Dietitian from Saratoga Springs, NY. Sign up to receive free healthy recipes at www.healthy-kid-recipes.com and learn more about natural eating and living products at www.kindycreek.com