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Old 06-26-2005, 06:29 PM   #1
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Default There's gotta be a better way!

Help!!! I spent over five hours shopping, cooking and packing meals for the week and I am tired of spending my weekends this way. I want to eat right, especially now that I am on weight watchers, and I want to eat healthy, but it takes so much d@$! time to prepare from scratch. I know I will feel better during the week with everything in prepacked containers, but it seems my whole weekend goes by and half of it is spent, shopping, cooking, and cleaning up. I feel pressured when I go to work out because I have to come back and do everything else....and I don't even have a family at home to worry about...everyone's gone, and I'm the one causing myself all this grief. There's gotta be an easier way! Anyone have suggestions for healthy but quick meals...with little prep time? I'm mainly vegetarian, with occasional chicken and fish thrown in.I did discover a baked tofu recipe this weekend which I will try more often...only took a little while, but the rest took time and energy...and I don't like cooking just one dish because it gets boring eating the same dish every day.

Susan
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Old 06-26-2005, 06:53 PM   #2
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Susan,

Do you have a Kroger store near you? Kroger brand frozen veggies has a group of selections called Garden Style, which includes Fiesta Veggies, Asian, Stir Fry, Stir Fry w/ noodles, Stir fry w/rice, California style, Italian Style. At any rate, I LOVE these. I brown a package of extra lean turkey and don't season it at all. Then I can scoop out about 2-4 oz. at a time, add to Fiesta veggies, plus some salsa and my meal is ready in minutes. Or, I can scoop some out, add some low carb spaghetti sauce, add FF cheese and pour it on Italisn style veggies. I've grilled chicken and added it to the Asian, California and Stir fry veggies, or I just heat the veggies, add lemon pepper and eat them like that. I never spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen, start to finish and these frozen veggies free up so much of my time that I can do other things, (like laundry, mopping, etc.) Also, Kroger is always running a sale on these products - 10 bags for 10 dollars. I keep my fridge at home stocked as well as the fridge at work.

Give it a try. Hope it helps.

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Old 06-26-2005, 07:09 PM   #3
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Have you thought about easy summer meals like salads, and fruit with cheesesticks or cottage cheese, or yogurt? I'm getting ready right now to cut up a load of veggies for salads for the next few days. Fruit and yogurt/cheese come to work with me about every day. Nothing like summer fruit and veggies!
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Old 06-26-2005, 07:31 PM   #4
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I do a lot of meals like tiki's: cook ahead a batch of chicken, turkey or London broil, then just add different ingredients to make different meals quickly. Since you are the only one eating it, you could wrap individual portions and freeze so you don't have to eat London broil 4 days in a row, or turkey breast.

I also buy frozen individual portion sized fish- salmon, mahi mahi, fresh tuna that can be quickly broiled or grilled.

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Old 06-26-2005, 08:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
I also buy frozen individual portion sized fish- salmon, mahi mahi, fresh tuna that can be quickly broiled or grilled.
I do the same thing but add boneless skinless chicken tenders to the list. Nothing that I cook takes more than 5 minutes to prepare.

With the chicken tenders, I cut them into strips, baste them with some prepared fajita seasoning (I really like fajitas so I prepare a packet at the beginning of the week and leave it in the fridge), stick them in the toaster oven on about 350 for maybe 15 minutes, wrap them in a small whole wheat flour tortilla with some romaine lettuce and a sprinkle of pre shredded cheese. Fiber, protein, dairy & greens all in one. About 300 calories per "taco." Oh, and I use EV olive oil instead of cooking oil when I make the fajita seasoning mix. You could do the same thing with some chopped veggies if you don't want the chicken (maybe add some whole black beans to up the protein content).

With the mahi mahi (or tilapia) take a couple of tablespoons of fat free croutons, crush them in a zip lock bag, then sprinkle the crumbs and some Old Bay lemon pepper seasoning over the fish (takes maybe 2 minutes). Broil - again in the toaster oven - for 10-15 minutes and it is delish with a some lemon juice. About 125 calories per piece of fish.

I'm thinking of writing a cook book for single people "The 5 Minute Toaster Oven Gourmet"

Edit: I line the toaster oven pan with pre cut sheets of aluminum foil - the size a beauty shop uses to do foiled highlighting - so that I really only have to give it a good rinse - can you tell I'm really lazy when it comes to housework type stuff?

Last edited by JuliaTN : 06-26-2005 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 06-26-2005, 10:50 PM   #6
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Speaking of salads, I have a new easy favorite. Romain lettuce, diced turkey ham and cut up pineapple. I had that for breakfast 3 days last week when i was craving a ham and pineapple bad food and it did the trick plus took less than 2 minutes to prepare.

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Old 06-27-2005, 12:52 PM   #7
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A little late chiming in here, but the salad bar at our Safeway's has tons of already cut up fruit. I hit it several days a week for lunch. A little more than buying the stuff whole, but none of it goes to waste. Plus they've had fresh blueberries for the last week - I'm in heaven.
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:38 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice. I went over to Trader Joe's yesterday, and they have a wonderful grilled chicken that I think I am going to start buying, to combine with the frozen veggie combos that Tik and Julia suggested....and I'm going to go out and buy a gas grill with my tenant's rent money...and start grilling.
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:06 PM   #9
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Art,

Another suggestion from a person with large family (I have hubby and 3 kids) - I do shopping during the week. Understand me right - I do work more that full time job and I do not have time to shop at all. So I usually go on THursday evening at around 8:30 PM - at that time at least my huge grocery superstore is empty and still full of groceries. It only takes me about 1 hour 30 min to shop for family of 5. THat is once a week.

About quick cooking. I do not like prepackaged food but since there are so many of us, sometimes I end up using it. I usually buy Lean Cuisine and eat it for lunch.

QUick dinners include: defrosting dills almon or SOle in bread crumbs (it takes only 5 min for salmon as it is cooked and 20 min to bake sole as it is not cooked), pasta with left over chicken, salads, also I like baking stuff on SUndays - like I do lasagna but instead of pasta I use 3 zuccini and dround chicken and spinach and sprinkle it all with cheese, I also often bake sweet potatoes or normal potatoes, canned tuna is good and frozen veggies are life saver. In whole I always plan ahead on how long it will take me, and if those meals take longer than 30 min, I do not even try them. And baking stuff is easy - usually you are preping for 10 min and baking takes an hour, but you are free to go.

Cheers,
Sandy.
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