Tis the season to run around like a chicken with it's head cut off, shopping, going to holiday concerts, visiting friends and family... sometimes dinner just isn't your day's priority. Keep the ingredients on hand for these quick meals that will keep you healthier and save you money ... by keeping you out of the take out window.
1) Chili Bowl: Stock up on healtfood store versions of beef or vegetarian chili. Heat, melt cheese on top and serve with quick cooking brown rice and a salad.
2) Spaghetti and Meatballs: Frozen beef, chicken or veggie meatballs, microwaved over spaghetti covered in jar tomato sauce. Quickly cook frozen green beans and toss with Italian dressing for a healthy side veggie.
3) Sloppy Joes: Keep a jar of sloppy joe mix and stir it up with some cooked ground beef or vegetarian un-beef. Serve on a Kaiser or potato bun with some store bought cole slaw and pickles.
4) Hot Dogs & Beans: Quickly microwave some all beef or tofu hot dogs, plop them in a hot dog bun. Top with some healthy fresh sauerkraut. Heat up a can of baked beans and dinner is on the table in minutes.
5) Curry in a Hurry: Keep jars of Trader Joe's curry sauces or a healthfood versions on hand. Mix with frozen shrimp or seafood mix. They cook through quickly even if the fish is frozen. A vegetarian version is easy with a can of chickpeas or bean of your choice. Serve over quick cook brown basmati rice.
6) Taco Night: Keep packages of the healthfood version (love Trader Joe's) powder taco mix. Pour it over leftover meats or a can of beans (Pinto and black beans work the best) or quickly saute a few chicken breasts, shred and stuff some taco shells with this seasoned mixture. Top with melted cheese, sour cream and store bought guacamole.
7) Sicilian Tuna Pasta: Cook up a pasta of your choice, top with tuna, olives, capers and jarred tomato sauce. Add a little red pepper flakes to kick up the flavor on this pantry meal.
8) Stir Fry Night: Buy pre-cut steak, or chicken, saute with any vegetables you have in your refrigerator, you can even toss in wilting lettuce. See if you have a bag of frozen peas, toss that in too. Keep a jar of Teriyaki sauce on hand. Season the meat and vegetables with the sauce and serve over quick cooking rice.
9) Sausage Sandwiches: Keep in the freezer or pick up some Bratwurst or Kielbasa. Heat through, top with a spicy brown mustard, apple slices, and sauerkraut and melted cheddar cheese. Serve on a Kaiser roll.
10) Escarole and Beans: Saute in extra-virgin olive oil any dark green vegetable, add 4 to 6 cloves of chopped garlic along with a white bean like Northern White Beans or Cannelloni. Serve over pasta or rice and top with Parmesan cheese for a healthy quick meal.