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Quick & Healthy Meals


QUESTION:

I've been doing well most nights cooking the meals that I've planned out in my meal plan.  However, some nights when I get home I'm just tired and don't feel like preparing a big family meal.  Do you have any ideas for quick and healthy meals?

ANSWER:

Absolutely!  You need to have an arsenal of no-prep meals for those nights when you simply can't bear to do anymore than open a can.  It's quite normal to have one or even two of these nights every week when the planned meal for the evening is just not going to work out.  Don't get down on yourself.  Just plan for it.

There are some healthier frozen meals that are tasty and adequate in the nutrition department.  Shop around and find some that you enjoy.  In addition to store-bought frozen meals, it's a good idea to have one or two frozen homemade meals that have been prepared beforehand.  Plan ahead and double some of your family's favorite recipes and freeze one every week or two.  Inexpensive, disposable (cardboard or aluminum) casserole dishes are perfect containers for this.

Although frozen dishes are convenient, even they can take some time to cook if made in a family portion.  One of my favorite quick and healthy meals is to dress-up canned soup.  Start with a 16-ounce can of vegetable or minestrone soup.  I like to use a higher-end soup that has plenty of vegetables and savory flavorings.  Add a can of kidney beans and a microwaved diced potato.  Simmer for about 10 minutes to let the soup flavors penetrate the added ingredients and then serve with grated cheese and whole wheat crackers.  Enjoy!

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Our expert, Dr. Sharon E. Griffin, holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in the areas of exercise science/physiology.  She also holds a second M.S. degree in Nutrition and is a licensed nutritionist and an ACSM certified health and fitness instructor.

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