Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Do you have any healthy shortcuts?

09-22-2011, 04:25 PM
What I mean by this is, are there any "convenience" type foods you keep around to help you make healthier choices and help you save time in the kitchen? I am a single mom, working full time and in addition to that I am a volunteer board member of a non-profit organization, so anything that can save me some time is a welcome addition in my home. Obviously the nights that I am able to, I cook homemade meals for myself and my kids, but there are some weeks where there will be several nights when it's all we can do to get anything in our tummies.

My biggest time save right now is precooked chicken breast strips. I buy the 2 pound package at Costco and keep half in the fridge at all times so if we only have a couple minutes to get something on the table we can throw some in a salad, on a tortilla, in a sandwich and we have a healthy meal on the quick.

What other products have you found that help you save time while still keeping you on plan?

09-22-2011, 04:30 PM
I love 50 calorie La Tortilla Factory tortillas. Perfect for quick healthy quesadillas, veggie tacos or mini pizzas.

09-22-2011, 04:53 PM
I am a fan of pre cooked chicken aswell - stirfry in 5 min!

Not very original - but mushroom omlette only requires two basic ingrediants.

I also keep precooked spinach and ricotta tortelloni in the fridge - with passata - less than 400 cala

09-22-2011, 04:58 PM
I'm a huge fan of imitation crab meat, though I see it contains sugar and carbs, but that and tuna and low sodium turkey slices really save my butt when it's just not feasible to bake chicken or something.

09-22-2011, 05:40 PM
I don't have many store bought short cuts (apart from Newman's tomato sauce and organic, local, frozen meatballs) but I do freeze a ton of stuff to make quick dinners. e.g. all cooked in huge batches and frozen in small portions: pulled pork, chicken cooked, salsa chicken, ground beef with sauerkraut, green beans with sauce, brusselsprouts with sauce, meatloaves, spaetzle, chili, muffins, soups, etc.
I usually freeze most stuff in muffin tin containers. They are small enough to quickly portion depending on how much I want to eat and easy to store.

09-23-2011, 08:58 PM
I agree with cooking huge batches of stuff. If I cook ground beef I'll cook at least 10 lbs worth and bag it into family meal portions. So I always have ground beef for spaghetti, chili, taco salad, etc...
When I grill anything I try to make sure to grill enough for multiple meals. Sometimes I'll grill a whole family pack of chicken breasts at one time or I'll grill as much as I can fit on the grill and package it & freeze it.
I love prepackaged prewashed fresh vegetables, they are easy to eat raw or pop the whole bag into the microwave. Also prewashed salads.
I used to make ziploc omeletes and freeze them. Put eggs, cheese & omelete fillers all in a quart ziplock bag, freeze it. The night before put it in the fridge & in the morning either cook it in the microwave or pour it in a skillet.
On the weekends I make my daughter home made belgain waffles & pancakes and freeze them.
Make double batches of main dishes and freeze the other half.

I have a big freezer! It's all easy to do and not very time consuming, you just have to use your time wisely.

09-23-2011, 09:57 PM
Fresh salsa is a wonderful additive. You can stir it into a can of black beans and serve with rice or in tortillas. I often use it with pink beans too but add 1 small Goya link of chorizo. You can make toast in the toaster oven, spread with some drained fresh salsa and top with cheese and melt <--- I had that this morning for breakfast.

I don't know if it is a time saver, but I use Greek non fat yogurt with fruit, and also chop up scallions and parsley into it with some Lawrey's garlic salt and make a savory dip for veg.

Victoria marinara sauce also gets used a lot in my house--like with ravioli and some frozen mixed veg added.

02-05-2012, 02:30 PM
Cook a lot to freeze a lot.

02-05-2012, 02:33 PM
I keep 2 things. Granola bars and chocolate yogurt- both are 80 calories and delicious!

02-05-2012, 07:17 PM
I love my pizza but hello papa johns is far from healthy. I decided to find some way to get a pizza fix and still keep it under 250 calories.

I get flat out wraps.( multi grain)
A light pasta sauce
Pam spray foil on a cookie sheet
1/3 cup of pasta sauce on flat out
turkey pepperoni (8 per flat out)
1/3 cup of shredded cheese)

Put into oven until cheese is melted

pre heat oven to 400


02-06-2012, 12:13 AM
I'm another one who cooks once a week and saves it. Soups, stews, and chilis are well-suited to this - they are often relatively inexpensive to make, age well (to a point), and pair well with starches and fresh fruits and veggies. I also like to keep fresh fruit, store-cut fruit (esp. melon), and pre-washed, bagged salad on hand.