It's that time of year...activities are wrapping up and there's the baseball banquet, the soccer team cookout, the Girl Scout fly-up...plus there's Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and probably a bunch of graduation parties and wedding showers starting to mount up. In other words, you're busy! And given that many of these events can carry big calorie payloads, eating healthy when you're at home is all the more important.
Here are some good ideas for the time-stressed:
Cook one, eat twice: I've said it before, but you can't go wrong with cooking some extra meat or chopping some extra vegetables on less rushed days and stashing them in the fridge for the "OMG we have fifteen minutes to get dinner on the table heeeellllppp!" nights. Wrap meat in foil and veggies in plastic, and you can even reheat the meat right in the foil. You can also toss it with a salad or throw it in a fast stir-fry and you have something healthy and good.
Redefine "dinner": When I was a new mom I put lots of pressure on myself to continue with the fine-cooking, recipe-trying habits I'd had before the baby. Now? Sometimes dinner is turkey sandwiches and that is just fine (try them on crusty bread with some havarti, sprouts and mustard). We also love "brinner," aka breakfast for dinner. You can whip up pancakes topped with fruit or fried eggs and whole-grain toast in minutes; serve them with a fruit salad and vegetarian sausages and you have a fast, healthy meal that kids love.
Embrace the "quickie meal": The freezer case at your supermarket is chock full of fast frozen dump-heat-and-serve meals. They aren't a great option for every day because they are expensive for the amount of servings you get and also full of sodium, but they will keep you out of the drive-through on busy nights. To stretch them, I toss in frozen vegetables and maybe a little extra meat...this means you can get away with just one package.
Learn to love your slow cooker: I love coming through the door on busy nights and smelling dinner already cooked for me. Stay away from canned this and boxed that and you can whip up some awesomely healthy meals..and many slow cooker recipes double beautifully for leftovers, lunches, or even to stash in the freezer.
What's your go-to on nights a "real" dinner just isn't an option?
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