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Healthy Quick Meals?

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Old 11-19-2007, 08:07 PM   #1
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Default Healthy Quick Meals?

Hey everyone!! I've seen some great suggestions on this board already, but I am in need of some good meal ideas.

I live by myself, and usually when I get home at night I want something quick, so I am not into spending much/really any time cooking. A lot of times I'll just end up snacking and making that my dinner, so I know thats something I need to change. I've eaten a lot of the frozen meals in the past, Lean Cuisine/Smart Ones/Healthy Choice, but I am kind of getting sick of them. So I was hoping for some suggestions for other healthy meal ideas. Either something of the pre-made variety or a real quick recipe.
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Old 11-19-2007, 09:07 PM   #2
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Chicken breast is super quick and easy. Here are a couple of ways to prepare it that offer endless variations and are both quick and easy.

Flattened Chicken Breast
Pound the chicken breast to 1/4 inch thickness with a meat mallet or hammer (put it between two pieces of saran wrap before you pound it). Sprinkle whatever seasoning blend you want on it (poultry seasoning, cajun seasoning, garam marsala, Mrs. Dash, Lawrys season salt, garlic salt, salt & pepper, etc.). Spray a little non-stock cooking spray in a frying pan and saute the chicken over med-high heat until it is done (about 5 min), flipping once. Serve with your favorite sauce (guacamole, salsa, chutney, bruscheta, pesto, marinara, etc.) and your favorite side (polenta, rice, pasta, veggies, etc.). I like to buy polenta in the pre-cooked tube, so that I can just slice off a bit to eat with my chicken.

Stuffed and Wrapped Chicken
Cut a slit in the chicken and stuff with a mixture of cheese (I use Trader Joe's lite chevre), dijon mustard, and fresh herbs. If you are adventurous, you could add some fruit to the stuffing, such as golden raisens, diced apricots or apples. Or try adding sun-dried tomatoes and/or spinach. Wrap the chicken in a slice of turkey bacon (so that the bacon covers the opening where you stuffed the chicken) and broil for 10-15 min or so until it is done. Serve with your favorite side dish and/or sauce (see suggestions above).
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Old 11-19-2007, 09:18 PM   #3
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I like to make pasta for a quick meal. Portion control is easy if you only make one serving (2oz dry~I use a kitchen scale to measure.) I like whole wheat pasta and I'll toss it with lots of veggies and marinara or a tiny bit of olive oil, sauteed garlic and chili flake.

Or, if you like fish, put 3-4oz in a foil packet with some veggies and a little bit of moisture (water, wine, balsamic vinegar, etc.), some seasonings and pop it in a 400 degree oven for 20 mins or so. You can do this with chicken too. The clean up is the best part, you just throw out the foil.

Stirfrys can be really healthy too if are careful with how much oil you use. I'll start with 1-2 teaspoons per serving and then add water to "steam-fry" as needed. You can use any veggie and protein in stir fry too, so it's versatile.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:42 AM   #4
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One of my quickest meals...

Open a can of any 2-3 kinds of beans, black beans and kidney beans are good. Rinse the beans under water.
Open a can of diced tomatoes.
Add the beans and tomatoes to a pan, add some minced or dried garlic, add some minced or dried onion, add some spices (chili powder is good). Turn the heat up until it starts simmering then simmer for 15 minutes or until ready to eat.
Cook some rice in a rice cooker
Steam some frozen veggies in the microwave (either use a microwave steamer or cover veggies with a wet papercloth).

And there is dinner.

Something that saves time and is really easy is to cut up your onions (or even garlic) ahead of time and store in the freezer so that you always have "fresh" onion and garlic.
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:23 PM   #5
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I also cook big batches of rice and freeze them in individual portions in the freezer. That way if we make a quick stirfry, or want to have some rice with our lunch soup, we can just grab a couple of bags and go. Very easy.
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:33 PM   #6
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The 10 minute Uncle Ben's or Trader Joe's brown rice.

Add some sauteed onions and garlic.

Mix in a can of drained and well-rinsed chickpeas.

Steamed spinach on the side.

Covers grains, veggies, protein--is vegetarian and low-fat.
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:35 PM   #7
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Default don't forget pork tenderloin

Another really easy meal is pork tenderloin. You can buy it pre-seasoned--they have all sorts of flavors...BBQ, teriyaki, lemon pepper. Just cut off the portion you want to eat and pop it in the oven for 20 to 40 min (depending on how big the piece is). The package will include directions on how long to cook it for. Or you can slice it and saute it.

If you buy the unseasoned pork tenderloin, here is a great recipe for it:
Balsamic-Honey Sauce
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 oz pork tenderloin
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp chicken broth

Slice the pork tenderloin into 1/4 inch thick slices. Sprinkle with rosemary and salt and pepper. Coat on non-stick pan with cooking spray and saute pork until no longer pink in the center. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until desired consistency (5 min or so).

This is one serving and comes in at about 190 calories (130 calories for the pork tenderloin and 60 calories for the sauce).
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by baffled111 View Post
I also cook big batches of rice and freeze them in individual portions in the freezer. That way if we make a quick stirfry, or want to have some rice with our lunch soup, we can just grab a couple of bags and go. Very easy.
I do this too. I also have started cooking my big batches of rice in the oven. I start it on the stove, then when it is boiling, I dump it into a casserole dish coated lightly with cooking spray, cover the dish and pop it into a 350-degree oven for 40-50 minutes (this is for brown rice). Then I go do something else for 40-50 minutes and when I come back my rice is cooked perfectly, no rice is stuck to the bottom of the pan, and I didn't have deal with stirring it or worrying about it boiling over.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:57 PM   #9
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Barbara,

That is why I have a rice cooker but then again my husband eats tons of rice. I cook big batches and keep them in the fridge. If for some reason I don't expect us to finish it within a few days, I'll throw some in the freezer.
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:26 PM   #10
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These are some good ideas, thanks guys! I especially like the chicken and the rice ideas. As simple as it is, I've never actually made rice.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by nelie View Post
That is why I have a rice cooker but then again my husband eats tons of rice. I cook big batches and keep them in the fridge. If for some reason I don't expect us to finish it within a few days, I'll throw some in the freezer.
I refuse to buy appliances that only do one thing. I insist on multi-functionality. I don't even own a toaster. We have a toaster oven and making toast is the least of what I use it for. I did have to make an exception for the coffee maker, though but we didn't actually pay for it so maybe it doesn't count as breaking my own rule. We also don't eat enough rice to bother with a rice cooker (I eat more polenta than rice--now, a polenta cooker is something I might consider). The cooking in the oven method works great for me (also for polenta, for that matter).
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:42 PM   #12
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Also, since it sounds like you are cooking for one....never cook for ONE Make enough for 4 meals every time you cook and have your own frozen dinners or if you are cooking chicken you can cook up 4-6 breasts and then you have cooked chicken for quick meals the next few nights.

Same with salad. I never cut enough veggies for just one salad, cut veggies will last a few days in the fridge, if I am slicing and dicing I do a HUGE pile. They all can be stored together except tomatoes.
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