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Fast and Healthy for the Spring Rush

Posted by on May. 8, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 25 Replies

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?

© IStockPhoto/Burwell and Burwell Photography

by on May. 8, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
batjmom
by Sarah on May. 8, 2013 at 7:52 AM

 I make quick pasta. 

Angel hair pasta tossed in olive oil with roma tomatoes and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. 

Whole grain tortilla wraps are a favorite too.   I use hummus as a spread and then top with fresh vegetables or grilled chicken.  Its quick and easy and portable if needed.

TerriC
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Pasta here as well.  Pasta with some olive oil, a little butter, season salt and crushed red pepper.  Oh and a little garlic too.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on May. 8, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Salads!  We love main dish salads and they're quick to fix.

batjmom
by Sarah on May. 8, 2013 at 9:25 AM
Have to have the garlic :)

Quoting TerriC:

Pasta here as well.  Pasta with some olive oil, a little butter, season salt and crushed red pepper.  Oh and a little garlic too.

TerriC
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2013 at 9:33 AM
1 mom liked this

 Absolutely!  =-)


Quoting batjmom:

Have to have the garlic :)

Quoting TerriC:

Pasta here as well.  Pasta with some olive oil, a little butter, season salt and crushed red pepper.  Oh and a little garlic too.


 

Peachy34500
by Gold Member on May. 8, 2013 at 3:10 PM
Salads, wraps, sandwiches
Lauren486
by Lauren on May. 8, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Great ideas and reminders!  I don't think of using my slow cooker as much in the warmer months but I too love walking in the door to the smell of dinner slowly cooking away.  

My kids had breakfast for dinner tonight... a definite go to for a quick dinner around here! 

terri76
by Gold Member on May. 8, 2013 at 6:26 PM
We do breakfast alot for dinner here. I love my slow cooker year round. I use it at least 3 nights a week. When we are in a rush we like to throw a hearty salad together.
MichelleK41
by Bronze Member on May. 9, 2013 at 7:21 AM

I would def. say a quick pasta or something from the crockpot.

kellynh
by on May. 9, 2013 at 7:28 AM

Breakfast!! Fast and easy!! 

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