Want to eat healthy but just don’t have the time? Between work, family and personal demands, having dinner on the table may seems like an overwhelming task many do not want to add to their already full plate. However, it doesn’t need to be so. Rest assured there are many things you can do and steps you can take that will help turn nutritious and delicious meals into easy ones.
I know. This seems like more work. But trust me, it’s not! And the 15 minutes you set aside to do this once will be saved tenfold during the week when you are really pressed for time. By simply prepping some food in advance, you can save yourself the effort when you are in a crunch. These tips are helpful for those times when you just want to reach into the fridge for ready-to-use ingredients.
Simply wash your veggies and greens and then store them in your fridge as soon as you bring them home from the market. You can also find many pre-washed veggies at your local grocery store—like our Creamer potatoes!
Cut up all your veggies like broccoli, cauliflower or peppers into bite-size pieces for easy cooking during the week. Wash and chop carrots and celery and store in water to maintain freshness. Even wash and chop greens into small pieces to throw into soups, stews, and pasta dishes. You are far more likely to actually use and eat these veggies if they are already prepped than if they were just sitting in your fridge looking all helpless. Even better, look for veggies that are ready to go, like conveniently packaged, nutrient dense, ready to cook, Little potatoes!
Leverage the power of technology
Technology has made it easy for us to be efficient. Everything from Instant Pots to microwaves help us prepare meals in minutes. One-pot wonders tend to be a family favorite due to the ease of prepping (just dump everything in) and minimal clean up. Microwaves are also making a comeback. If there is ever an option to cook veggies in minutes in the microwave versus ordering take out, you better bet I’m suggesting the former. And because minimal cooking time is required, more of the nutrients are left intact. In fact, a research study that evaluates antioxidant loss on 20 different vegetables, using different cooking methods (boiling, microwaving, pressure-cooking, griddling, frying, and baking) shows that microwaving results in the lowest antioxidant loss using different antioxidant activity assays.
This also allows you to add your favorite vegetables (like Creamer potatoes) that typically take 30 to 45 minutes to cook, back onto your weeknight menu. Even if you love the taste and texture of roasting your Creamer potatoes, cooking them in the microwave before roasting them significantly cuts cooking time. Even more convenient, Microwave Ready Little Potatoes steam your Creamer potatoes in just five minutes! They come in BPA-microwave safe packaging and in three different flavors.
Love Those Leftovers
You don’t need to eat more than you need, but you should definitely make more than you need! The key is cooking once and eating twice (or maybe even three times). As a rule of thumb, never have an empty fridge. You should always have something pre-made in your fridge so you can reach to it when you need it. There is nothing wrong with leftovers, especially when you have a winning recipe! Whatever you don’t eat, just throw into the freezer.
Fall in Love with your Freezer
Your freezer can be a lifesaver. Think of it as your back-up storage unit. With every meal you create, make a duplicate, and store in there as ‘backup’. Everything from lasagnas to burgers, soups and stews, sauces to salmon, casseroles to chili. Basically, everything you cook, you can freeze. There may be days, even weeks, you are unable to (or just don’t want to) prepare meals from scratch, but by pulling it out of the freezer to thaw and reheat, you have a home cooked meal in a jiffy. You can freeze in individual sized portions so you can just take out what you need, or in family sized portions.
Hope you enjoy quick, easy and nutritious home-cooked meals, every night of the week. Well… at least more often!
Peggy Kotsopoulos is a Manhattan, NY, based RHN focused on teaching real health through lifestyle and dietary choices that are easy and delicious! She is the Author of Kitchen Cures (Penguin), Must Have been Something I Ate, and has been coined as the “New IT Girl of Alternative Health” by Dr.…
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