Whether you are a doctor, lawyer, teacher, other professional, or a stay at home parent, today’s fast paced world puts much stress on time schedules. When getting home from meetings, doctor’s appointments, school events, and work, many often find a struggle of trying to figure out what they can quickly whip up for dinner.
With obesity being an epidemic and parents having health consious concerns for their childrens eating habits, deciding what to fix can often be stressful, especially when time is limited. Having a few basic items on hand in your pantry or refrigerator at all times can not only aid you in being able to whip up a quick meal, but also make it a healthy meal.
The following items should always be kept at home to equip one for preparing fast healthy meals. First, rice, chicken, and frozen vegetables such as peas, carrots, and broccoli are always a winner. With these items one can pan fry or boil rice while baking or broiling chicken for about ten minutes. Then the chicken can be cut into small pieces and mixed in the rice with the frozen vegetables for another four minutes to create a quick stir fry chicken style dish.
Another set of ingredients to keep on hand is pasta,macaroni and cheese,tomato sauce, and hamburger. With these ingredients one can quickly whip up some spaghetti or some macaroni and cheese hamburger helper. If hamburger isn’t available or not favored, one can substitute with small cut up pieces of chicken or sausage.
Finally, it is always helpful to have some shredded cheese on hand. With some shredded cheese one can always cook up some chicken and some pasta in about ten minutes. Once the chicken and pasta are cooked, you can cut the chicken to an appropriate size and heat it in a pan with some tomato or spaghetti sauce, then put it on top of a bed of pasta and add some shredded cheese. Then all that has to be done is a quick melting of the cheese in the microwave to create a quick chicken Parmesan style dish, a favorite for many.
These are just a few ideas for quick meals that can be prepared in 15 minutes or less by having a few basic ingredients on hand. When preparing these meals you can be creative and change up the recipes a little by maybe adding some fresh or frozen vegetables to the tomato sauce for the chicken Parmesan recipe.
Better yet, you can go in another direction and cook the chicken with rice and add the tomato sauce with some vegetables and some water to thin the dish out to make a tomato based homemade soup for cold winter days. The home made soup can be made the same way, but inste4ad of using chicken you can substitute with hamburger to change over for a beef flavor.
In a quick overview of items to keep on hand, when making the next trip to the super market you should pick up some extra of these items. The items to put on the grocery list are pasta, rice, tomato sauce, chicken, hamburger, shredded cheese, and fresh or frozen vegetables. Having these items on hand can made dinner quick, easy, healthy, and great tasting, without having to compromise family time. Preparing dinner doesn’t have to be stressful, nor does it have to take a lot of time. In addition, cooking a quick stress free dinner doesn’t mean one has to sacrafice healthy in their food choices to make a meal a success.
So the next time you go to the super market add these wonderful ingredients to your shopping list if they aren’t already on their and buy a little extra. Having extra in your pantry or freezer isn’t going to hurt and it will keep you prepared for those unexpected time crunching days when a trip to the super market is just out of the question. Leave the fast food and frozen entree’s alone and enjoy a great tasting healthy meal.