Some people believe that cooking a healthy,home-cooked meal takes a large amount of time and effort.
A healthful meal can be a quick and relatively easy process if you have a plan.
Today we'll discuss three strategies for cooking healthy meals at home in a short time.
When preparing dinners for your family, remember to “schedule,” “have a fruit or vegetable” and “work ahead.
” Schedule your meals one week in advance.
Use your calendar to plan the main dish and at least one side dish for every day of the week.
Keep in mind days you will be busy and plan accordingly.
Always look for opportunities to add fruits or vegetables to main dishes or as a side dish.
Fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients.
Work ahead by prepping foods or recipes in advance.
You can wash and chop produce so that it's ready to toss into your favorite recipes.
For example, slice bell peppers on the weekends,bag them up and keep them in the refrigerator or freezer, so they are ready to use in recipes throughout the week.
Quick Dinner Menu Ideas
Today we will create three recipes using these strategies.
So, first we're gonna make a stir-fry, and love stirs fry cause you can always change out what kind of vegetables or protein that you use, but it's a really great way to get some extra vegetables into your meal.
So, what I did first have I browned some chicken in a little bit of canola oil and chopped garlic.
And I made that ahead of time, so I could save time during my actual meal preparation.
So, I'm gonna throw this in here to just kind of heat it up a little bit; then I'm gonna throw in some frozen vegetables.
So you can use any kind of mix that you want, um, I like to use the stir-fry mix.
But you can use fresh, frozen, whatever you like.
Then for the sauce, I'm gonna add a stir-fry seasoning mix that'll give it a nice flavor and then a little bit of honey.
Now you're gonna let this heat through on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or so just so that the sauce just kind of melts together a little bit.
Serve this with some brown rice and top with some crushed peanuts, and enjoy! So remember that chicken I browned earlier? Well, I know that I'm gonna be busy later in the week, so I want to make something with it right now so that I can just throw it in the oven on Thursday evening.
I'll show you how to make a cheesy chicken and pasta bake.
So, first, we're gonna blanch this spinach.
Um, we're gonna put it in hot boiling water for a couple minutes.
So this is gonna cook up the spinach a little bit.
Just so it kind of gets rid of that bitter flavor.
Then, we're gonna move it over to an ice bath,and that's gonna stop the cooking process, so it's not too wilted and doesn't lose its nutrients or flavor.
From the ice bath, then, you're gonna move onto a paper towel so that it just gets to dry off a little bit.
Quick Meal Recipes For Dinner
Ok, so now we're gonna assemble our cheesy chicken pasta bake.
So I'm gonna take some of the chicken, put it right on the bottom, then add whole wheat pasta, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan,maybe a few cups.
Now I'm gonna add my spinach.
Sprinkle that right on top.
1 can of drained mushrooms, then spread the sauce right on top.
So this is the just store-bought marinara sauce.
You can use any sauce that you like.
Tomato usually works best.
I'm putting about 3 cups, again, just enough to cover your dish.
Finally, you're gonna add a little bit of low-fat dairy, so this is low-fat mozzarella cheese and sprinkle that right on top.
You can use a cup and a half.
So at this point, you have a few options now what you can do with your cheesy pasta bake.
You can cover it with tin foil and freeze it for later, or refrigerate it overnight and bake it the next day.
To cook, bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty and bubbly on top.
Quick And Delicious Dinner Ideas
Finally, we're gonna make a flavorful spinach salad that you can use as a main dish.
What's really great about salad is it's really easy to throw together, and it doesn't have to be boring to be healthy.
So, let's get started.
I'll show you how to make a spinach salad in less than one minute.
First I'm gonna put in my spinach.
You can do about 3 or 4 cups or whatever you think will meet the needs of your family.
Then I'm gonna add a can of mandarin oranges that have been drained.
This will give it a nice, fresh flavor.
Then I'm gonna add about a half a cup of walnuts,a pinch of salt, a little bit of pepper and then just enough dressing to just kind of coat the leaves.
About a half cup is all you're gonna need.
And that's it! We've created three healthy, quick and delicious dinner ideas for you today.
Think of how you can incorporate these tips into your home.
If you schedule your meals, add a fruit or vegetable, and work ahead, you can have nutritious dinners that are easily accessible.
Remember to Strive forWellness when you are creating your healthy meals at home.