Tips for Fast and Healthy Meals

May 2, 2012


No additives…making life easier!

During lunchtime last week I actually took the time and went to an hour-long cooking class, which also talked a little about nutrition too. As you know, I am always looking for tips about healthy and quick meals, and this was interesting. The nutritionist who led the class talked about replacing white rice with brown rice (which I do), or, even better, using quinoa, farro, spelt or wheatberries. (Which if you remember I recently tried and recommended!) She said you can buy some of these grains fully cooked in the frozen food aisle, and you just need to microwave them for 90 seconds or so and serve. She also suggested ditching white pasta for whole wheat, and said if your family is resistant, try substituting half at first to get them used to it. (Mine didn’t really have an adverse reaction when I switched.) And for cereal, she said if it has more than 6 grams of sugar and less than 2 grams of fiber per serving, forget it. You have to read labels because some cereal that you think might be healthy actually falls out of these parameters.

I haven’t used them yet but she also recommended Bird’s Eye Steamfresh frozen vegetables. There’s nothing added, it’s microwaveable (i.e. fast) and a great way to add vegetables to a meal. For a tasty salad, slice some strawberries in with baby spinach leaves. Make a favorite balsamic vinaigrette or just use a little balsamic vinegar and canola oil over it. The balsamic vinegar really brings out the flavor of the strawberries.

If your kids (or you!) crave something sweet at the end of a meal, you can whip up an easy mango smoothie with Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt, in addition to being thicker than regular yogurt, actually has more protein, so it’s a great choice for snacking (as long as you choose the lowfat option, without a lot of sugar added). Put 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt and 1 cup of frozen mango chunks in a blender. Puree til smooth and serve. Delish!

Everyone is always so down on frozen or canned foods, but if you can find ones with no additives, it really does make life easier during the week, when there is precious little time for anything let along slaving over the stove. Plus frozen vegetables are frozen at their peak, and just may be more flavorful than that veggie that was trucked across the country to your store.


If you didn’t catch the 30 Rock live episode last week I am still laughing about it.

Rainy week here. I guess rain during the week is ok as long as the weekends are sunny and bright!

Hope all is well with you!



2 Responses to “Tips for Fast and Healthy Meals”

  1. Carol* Says:

    Thanks for the tips, Cheryl!
    That picture of the Bird’s Eye Steam fresh appears to suggest that that veggies be microwaved it in the plastic bag. That’s scary! For years there have been warnings about carcinogens leeching from plastic, especially microwaved plastic. The microwave is problematic in itself. It’s pretty fast to steam frozen vegetables.
    What you said about fresh frozen veggies retaining flavor is also true for the nutrients.

    • familyfavs Says:

      Agreed on the plastic in the microwave — I tend to take anything that’s in plastic and put it in the microwave in another dish. Corningware is great for this and has lids to store it.

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