Easy Meals
Speed Scratch Cooking!

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Everyone wants easy meals, nutritious meals, delicious home-cooked meals...

...but let's admit it...

...faced with the demands of a busy day, there are evenings when cooking isn't in the cards! Those are the nights it's hard to resist the convenience of take-out or packaged, processed convenience foods.

Nutritious food - or fast food? Do you think you have to choose between the two? Well, now you can have both!


Speed Scratch Cooking

Speed Scratch Cooking is a way to make easy meals that are nutritious too.

The premise...

...start with a good quality, healthy, prepared or semiprepared convenience product, then add some healthy ingredients of your own. The result...

...a one-of-a-kind "home cooked meal" in much less time. Good nutrition doesn't have to require a lot of work!

Here are some easy meal examples:

Healthy Prepared Product(s): frozen bean burrito (Amy's Black Bean Vegetable Burrito is my personal favorite), jarred salsa (Newman's Own, Muir Glen, Trader Joe's brands)

Your Own Healthy Ingredients: chopped tomato and scallions, diced avocado

Top burrito with the chopped vegetables and salsa right after heating. You'll gain additional servings of veggies by doing so, and it takes less than 5 minutes!

Healthy Prepared Product(s): Frozen Pizza (Healthy Choice individual pizzas or Amy's brand vegetarian pizzas are my favorites), canned unsweetened pineapple

Your Own Fresh Ingredients: sliced mushrooms, chopped onions, chopped bell pepper

Add chopped veggies and fruit to pizza prior to heating in the oven.

As a nutritionist, I often find myself recommending the individual portion size pizzas if weight loss or portion control are issues.

If you're cooking for a family, everyone can add their own favorite toppings this way too!

How about this speed scratch meal:

Healthy Prepared Product(s): rotisserie chicken, bottled sweet 'n' sour sauce, Asian-style frozen vegetables

Your Own Ingredients: brown rice (use an instant or quick cooking brown rice, such as Uncle Ben's...it's partially cooked already so it saves you time).

Heat vegetables in the microwave. Heat sweet 'n' sour sauce in a pan and add cubes of chicken. Serve chicken and sauce over rice; stir in vegetables.

This is one my favorite easy meals:

Healthy Prepared Product(s): Frozen Stuffed Raviolis, jarred marinara sauce (Newman's Own, Enrico's All Natural, and Muir Glen are all good brands), preshredded lowfat cheese

Your Own Fresh Ingredients: sliced mushrooms, shredded zucchini and carrots, minced garlic

Add vegetables and garlic to marinara sauce. Heat sauce and serve over cooked shells. Sprinkle with lowfat cheese.

Shop at a natural food store for healthier ravioli. You'll often find them in the freezer section. Putney Pasta is one of my favorites: With flavors like Butternut Squash with Vermont Maple Syrup and Black Bean and Habanero, your family will think you slaved for hours in the kitchen.

Another similar easy meal using prepared ravioli:

Healthy Prepared Product(s): Frozen Stuffed Raviolis (as above), jarred salsa, rinsed and drained canned kidney beans and black beans, rinsed and drained canned corn

Your Own Fresh Ingredients: diced red and green pepper, diced red onion, chopped tomato

Prepare frozen stuffed raviolis as per directions. In a bowl, combine raviolis with beans, corn, and chopped vegetables. Top with salsa. Serve hot or cold.

You're getting the hang of it, right?!

Now you know the formula so get creative:

   healthy prepared product(s)
+ your own fresh ingredients
= easy meal that's nutritious too!

More Easy Meals

FREE Meal Planner Templates

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