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Healthy Meals in a Hurry


Updated June 09, 2014

One of the common things I hear is how difficult (and expensive) it is to prepare healthy meals when you don't have much time. It's much easier to grab something quick and cheap, but not all that nutritious.

So, I think I can help out with these tips:

Stock your kitchen with nutritious ingredients so you're ready to prepare healthy meals in a short time. Keep a variety of fresh, frozen, dried and canned foods on hand -- you can mix and match them as needed.

Quick Meal Ideas

Pasta, vegetables and sauce. Keep a few jars of pasta sauce and a couple of varieties of pasta on hand. You could serve this as a meal all by itself, but it's better if you boost the nutrition by adding fresh mushrooms, tomatoes, and peppers. 

Try these:

Salads are fun to make. You don't need a recipe (but, there are some good ones), just open your refrigerator and see what's sitting in the produce drawer. Start with some greens and add whatever fresh vegetables you've got. Top it with a little cheese if you've got it, or some cooked meat if you're looking for some extra protein.

Try these:

Canned soups are fast, but they're not all that flavorful. But, it's easy to make your own soup. Start with some chicken, beef, or vegetable stock and add vegetables, pasta, potatoes, legumes, meat or chicken. The nice thing about soup is that you really can't screw it up -- you can always add more ingredients and seasonings as the soup cooks. 

Try these:

Pick Up a Meal at the Grocery Store

Maybe you're on your way home and you don't have much time for cooking and the best solution is to pick up something that's ready to eat. 

You still don't need to go the fast food route -- your grocery store has plenty of foods that are ready to eat right now.

Make a quick stop at the grocery store and grab a hot rotisserie chicken. These chickens are low in fat, often nicely seasoned and all you have to do is carve the bird and serve it with a couple of sides.

So what about those sides? The rotisserie chicken doesn't help much if you have to spend a lot of time preparing the rest of the meal.

Not to worry -- the grocery store has this covered too. Check out the fare at the deli counter -- choose a light vegetable slaw or bean salad. If you prefer something hot, go to the freezer section and grab a couple of bags of vegetables that can be steamed in the microwave. Pick up a nice crusty loaf of whole grain bread from the bakery counter, and grab some Greek yogurt from the dairy section for dessert.

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