All right, you just walked in the door at 5pm, lugging the kids and groceries. You and the kids are STARVED, what do you do?
A -Order pizza.
B- Hand out Twinkies, put the perishables away and sink into the couch.
C- Make a healthy dinner while putting the groceries away.
If you know me, you know “C” is the correct answer. If that looks too daunting, let me help. First, hand the kids a healthy snack. They are going to be miserable if they are too hungry, and that won’t help you. Fruit, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, cheese sticks and yogurt are all acceptable and quick. If they don’t eat as much dinner, who cares? What you already fed them is nutritious.
Dinner- How fast can you boil water? Cook up some whole wheat pasta, add a can each of salmon, corn and fat free cream of “*” soup. You can use any cream soup, I use mushroom, but if you don’t like that, use chicken or broccoli. I also use canned mushrooms in this. I like onions in mine, I chopped them and added them to the pasta water just before the pasta is done. Mix everything in either a glass bowl and microwave to heat, or back into the drained pasta pot, just enough to heat through. Top with Parmesan cheese if you want.
Rotisserie chicken from the store,microwave baked potato and microwaved veggies. Done in 10 minutes.
You can haul steak or chops out of the freezer, defrost in microwave just long enough to get the wrapper off, put on broiler pan, still frozen, top with favorite seasoning and broil it. You can cook frozen meat, as long as you can get the wrapper off. All kinds of veggies come frozen, including green pepper and onion. Saute them in the pan while the meat is cooking. Throw a sweet potato in the microwave, take some salad out of a bag. Bam. Done.
Any meal can be rounded out with raw, roasted, sauteed, or microwaved veggies. Meat can be cooked frozen, microwaved, or skipped. Beans are a perfectly good protein source, so are-gasp-soybeans. I wouldn’t eat textured soy protein very much, there is some controversy about the phytoestrogens, but fermented soy (read:tofu) doesn’t seem to have the same risks. Starches aren’t even necessary, but we all like them, and they are easy to get. I’ll give more ideas of how to make the healthiest versions of starches easier in a future post.
Yes, bagged salad is more expensive, but not by much, and it depends on what you get. Spinach in a bag is $1.29 at Aldi’s, I bought a bag last Monday, now it’s Friday, I’ve gotten 4 servings of protein shakes and 6 salads from it. I call that I do things like use my carrot peeler and peel raw turnip and carrot into my salads. If you try and tell me it’s too expensive, I better not see a $2 bag of chips on your counter. Rotisserie chicken, already cooked for you at Walmart or Tops is the same price as raw. Go figure.