Making healthy meals doesn't have to take a lot of time or require
complicated recipes. There are many ways you can save time in the kitchen and
still eat delicious, healthy food. It's just a matter of having the right foods
on hand and learning how to take shortcuts in the kitchen.
Keep your kitchen stocked with quick and easy meal ingredients
Keeping commonly used foods in your kitchen can help
you pull together a quick meal in no time. Having frozen and canned foods and
foods with a long shelf life is helpful for those nights when you haven't had
time to go to the grocery store. Some basic ingredients to have are:
Frozen chicken breasts and fish
Frozen and canned
Canned beans, such as pinto beans, white beans, and black
Vegetable or chicken broth.
Tomato sauce and
Onions and garlic.
Let the grocery store do the prep work for you
can find many foods already cut, washed, and ready to eat, such as:
Packaged, ready-to-eat fresh vegetables, such as baby carrots, salad mixes, and chopped broccoli and
cauliflower. These are great for making quick salads, soups, casseroles, and
Packaged, presliced fresh fruits, such as melon or pineapple. You can add these to a container of
low-fat yogurt to make an easy fruit salad.
Precut, trimmed meat. Trimmed meat has less fat. And meat that has already been
cut into strips or cubes cuts down on your preparation time.
Precooked chicken. Most grocery stores sell roast chicken in
the deli section. You can chop or shred the cooked chicken and use it as a
filling in burritos, soups, and casseroles.
Try "almost homemade" cooking
You can make "almost
homemade" meals by starting with one or two prepared ingredients and then
adding your own fresh ingredients. Try the following ideas:
Pizza. A premade pizza
crust and a jar of pizza sauce can be the start of a healthier version of
pizza. Just add plenty of fresh vegetables and a sprinkle of low-fat
Vegetable soup. Make quick
vegetable soup by combining canned chicken broth, a bag of frozen vegetables,
and some uncooked rice or pasta.
Asian chicken salad. Combine grilled chicken breast slices with a bag of prewashed
lettuce, canned mandarin orange slices, and slivered almonds to make an easy
Asian chicken salad. A store-bought ginger-soy vinaigrette can complete the
Fish tacos. Use frozen fish fillets,
such as cod, and bagged shredded cabbage to make easy fish tacos. Place the
cooked fish and the cabbage in corn tortillas. Top with salsa, lime juice, and
low-fat sour cream.
Stir fry. Use precut
vegetables, precut and trimmed meat, and canned pineapple chunks to make a
quick and flavorful dinner. Serve with steamed rice.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerRhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator