Healthy Meals in a Hurry

I had to share the email Lorraine sent me in response to the post Reader Question – Healthy Meals in a Hurry.  She has some great tips to share!

Here are Lorraine’s suggestions for healthy meals in a hurry:

1)  Make homemade vegetable soup with a beef bone for the broth and then add bags of frozen vegetables such as carrots, green peas, yellow and green beans, broccoli and cauliflower and cut up some onion, cabbage and celery. Make a big batch and freeze portions for later use. (In the fall, I freeze vegetables such as leek, zucchini, celery, peppers, shallots, broccoli, cauliflower) Add a can of crushed tomatoes with either quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, pasta and different types of legumes and there you have it, a meal in a bowl that is quick to heat up and very healthy. You can also make cream soups with almond beverage and chicken broth using a variety of frozen vegetables and once cooked, blend the mixture together for another quick meal.

2)  Make casseroles such as chili’s, cabbage rolls, macaroni, tomatoes and cheese, Italian spaghetti sauce. You can buy frozen vegetables that are identified for spaghetti sauces (Arctic Gardens brand). You can also use frozen vegetables to prepare a stir fry with the left-over meat that you cooked in the slow cooker.

3)  Buy a slow cooker and start a roast of beef or pork or chicken before leaving for work. You can add a couple of potatoes, carrots, rutabaga in the pot and once you arrive home, the meal is ready. Make enough to freeze for other future meals.

4)  For desserts, eat fresh or frozen fruit with plain yogurt and a bit of maple syrup or honey. Make batches of healthy muffins.

5)  For breakfasts, boil eggs while you are getting ready and have a muffin and a piece of fruit. Make smoothies with field berries, bananas, pineapple, plain yogurt and vanilla almond or rice beverage.

6)  Grab a bag of spring mix vegetables, wash these thoroughly and add nuts, boiled eggs, left-over chicken or ham and have this with a whole grain bun. Quick, easy and healthy.

7)  Some nights when we are tired, we make oatmeal with fresh fruit and whole grain toast and sip on a great cup of green tea.

8)  We buy bagged coleslaw, broccoli slaw, shredded carrots and add those to the spring mix for a quick and healthy salad. We will sometimes add kidney beans or chick peas to our salad and grab a bagel, bun or muffin to eat with the salad.

Note: you can boil eggs ahead of time and keep them refrigerated or pickle them with vinegar. We always keep cheese on hand for a quick snack. We also buy vegetable juice and sip on it for extra vegetables when we don’t have time to cook.

We typically eat five to eight servings of vegetables and fruit per day; drink plenty of water and use lemon juice from real lemons and olive oil or balsamic vinegar in our salads instead of the prepared salad dressings.

I hope that these suggestions will help in making life simpler and healthier. It is also a frugal way to stretch the food budget by using for instance a roast one night and making use of the remaining meat in either a salad or a stew or stir fry. We also have soup, salad and sandwiches such as ham, lettuce and tomato, grilled cheese, chicken salad sandwiches, hummus, cucumber, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, roast beef sandwiches with chutney, all natural ham or wieners on occasion or fried egg sandwich with sweet onion (fry the egg in oils such as canola, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, almond oil or any other first cold pressed oil that is unsaturated and healthy.