After you’ve juggled all of your to-dos for the day, and put out a few “fires” there are times when suppertime suddenly sneaks up on you, and you realize you haven’t prepared a thing. Usually this means panicking-and tossing whatever you have in the pantry and freezer together, shelving your healthy recipes for the night. But wait! Last minute meals can be healthy, even when they come from the freezer. Yes, that’s right…just make sure that your freezer is stocked with the following ingredients for and you can make healthy recipes for dinner in a flash. Here are some dinner ideas:
Frozen shrimp or other cooked fish
- Cooks in minutes, great for stir fries.
- Cook ½ cup whole-wheat pasta per person. Drain. In a skillet sauté for 4 minutes: ½ cup scallops/shrimp per person, 1 cup frozen peas per person, 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil per person, 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese. Add the cooked pasta and mix.
Frozen Brussels sprouts
- Steam and toss with dill.
- Simmer 2 cups of broccoli and one potato in one quart of broth. Purée to soup consistency. Stir in 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese.
Frozen soybeans/lima beans
- Steam for 2 minutes. Add seasoned rice vinegar.
- Makes a high-protein snack.
Frozen apple or pineapple juice concentrate
- Use to replace some sugar in baked goods with real fruit sugar (see recipe below for Pantry/Freezer Apple Spice Muffins).
Frozen whole-wheat tortellini
- Great as a small portion loaded up with veggies (crushed tomatoes, sliced pepper and onions, etc.
- Irreplaceable superfoods-smoothies/baking.
- Thin-crust and whole-wheat: add seeds, veggies, etc
Here is one of my quick and easy chicken recipes that will make a healthy dinner in a snap!
This meal comes together in a flash with barely the basics from the fridge. It is a fool proof, adaptive formula that can be cooked on the stovetop, stuffed into the oven or the whole skillet can go on the BBQ depending upon your gear and energy level. Just about any frozen veg does the trick, mix ‘em up if you have to. Any mustard flavour, and any jam or jelly works, water or broth can sub for wine…you really can’t mess this one up. It is your go to “cook’s night off” solution.
Serving Size: 4 Preparation Time: 20 minutes
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
- 2 red pepper — sliced
- 4 cups frozen broccoli
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 2 tablespoons red pepper jelly
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon butter
Rub chicken breast with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper as you warm a cast iron skillet.
Add oil and brown chicken breasts on both sides for 2 minutes.
Add red peppers and stir for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in broccoli. Mix in mustard and red pepper jelly, cover and allow to cook through for 10-15 minutes. Pour in wine, add butter and simmer for 1 minute to finish.
About the Author
Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at www.myfriendinfood.com
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