|Kitchen Shortcuts to Make Mealtimes Easier||| Print ||
|Written by Heather Kindberg|
|Monday, 12 October 2009 10:30|
Sometimes it's hard to imagine that making a meal at home could be any faster or easier than hitting a drive-thru. Well here's the good news: You don't have to be any great chef to make your own fast, delicious, healthy, and inexpensive meals at home every single day.
FREEZE YOUR OWN HEALTHY FAST FOOD
Make your freezer a microcosm of the grocery store. You'll have a sampling of just about every type of food at your fingertips:
Meats: Individualize portions of meat before you freeze.
Chicken: Buy in quantity and cook all at once, saving untold hours of prep/cooking/clean-up time. Store in serving-sized pieces, or cubed to be added to salads or stove-top dishes.
Breads: Freeze portions of bread, buns, soft tortillas, pita, etc. in original store packaging or divided into freezer bags. Small quantities thaw quickly at room temperature. Pull out just what you need for a meal.
Vegetables: Buying frozen assures that you can have a variety of veggies on hand. Keep a small serving in the freezer, scoop straight into a microwave dish, and you're good to go.
Sauces: When you cook that favorite meat sauce, make an extra large potful. Freeze meal-sized portions in freezer baggies. They stack beautifully flat. Simply reheat from frozen, or along with "no pre-cook" noodles, make a speedy lasagna.
Breakfast foods: Having some frozen bagels, prepared pancake batter (most pancake batters freeze well) and sausages means you're ready to go on weekend mornings.
NEW TONIGHT, NEW TOMORROW
Plain pasta: Make twice as much. The next day, pull the pasta out of the refrigerator and grab a different sauce from your freezer for a whole new dish. Cooked noodles reheat amazingly well in seconds in the microwave.
Pizza: With store-bought dough, pizza night can be quick and easy, and who doesn't love cold pizza the next day? It's a good bagged lunch item too.
Chicken and Turkey: Last night's hot meal turns into delicious cold-cut sandwiches or salad for dinner the next evening, and it doesn't seem like the same meal.
A simple can of tuna can become a healthful sandwich or tuna salad, and it's a good, fast way to get Omega-3's. Also try canned chicken or salmon. And any leftovers can easily be turned into tasty dips, with pita bread or tortilla chips, for a fast, healthy snack.
Lettuce is the perfect base. Add cut up lunch meat, cheese and croutons for a quick Cobb Salad, or wrap it around those deli meats and cheese for a delicious high-protein, low-carb sandwich.
LUNCH TO GO
Prep lunch bags (or have the kids do it!) for a week or two at a time with a granola bar, crackers, a fruit cup, etc. Add a napkin and spoon. On any given morning, grab a bag, add a cold drink and a sandwich or a leftover, and you're good to go.
Pre-packed single-lunch meals can be expensive. Instead, divvy up lunch meats and cheese slices into small baggies. In the morning, drop one of each into your pre-packed lunch bags, and go!
SIMPLE, HEALTHFUL, EASY REMINDERS
Don't forget the value of a crock-pot for well-rounded, simple-to-cook, easy-to-clean-up meals.
Soups can cover all of the healthy food pyramid parts in one fell swoop.
For treats, fruit juice popsicles are simple and tasty. Or toss those bananas and berries that are about to go bad into a blender with milk and ice, and enjoy a smoothie. For a more decadent treat, the addition of a scoop of ice cream and sprinkles on top make the perfect milkshake.
Who needs a drive-thru!
|Last Updated on Friday, 13 November 2009 16:49|