Quick and easy meals are often synonymous with unhealthy food. When lunch or dinner rolls around and you’re crunched for time, convenience and take-out foods help fill the void. Not all convenience food is unhealthy, however. Here’s how to whip up satisfying meals in minutes using good-for-you ingredients.
Instead of: Take-out or frozen pizza
Try: Homemade pizza made with more nutritious crusts such as whole wheat naan bread, pita bread and English muffins, and reduced-fat cheese. Or make your own Cauliflower Rice pizza crust. Pair your pizza with fresh fruit and Eat Smart Green Beans. Coat the green beans lightly with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven at 400˚ F for about 8 minutes.
Instead of: Sandwich from a local shop
Try: Toting an Eat Smart Salad Shake Ups™ with you. It even includes a fork! You’ll get more vegetables than a large sandwich typically supplies, as well as a variety of produce found in the three different Salad Shake Ups flavors. Pair the salads with a container of plain Greek yogurt topped with fruit. Choosing yogurt with fruit instead of fruit-flavored yogurt is more satisfying, lower in sugar, and higher in fiber.
Instead of: Store-bought lasagna
Try: Fresh cheese ravioli from the refrigerated section of the grocery store topped with jarred sauce. It takes about 15 minutes from start to finish to make this meal, which is less caloric, and less salty, than most commercially prepared lasagna. This entrée teams up well with any kind of Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kit.
Instead of: Hamburger on a large white roll and chips
Try: A tuna burger on a toasted whole wheat English muffin. Burgers are fast food, even when you prepare them at home. Tuna or salmon burgers are a better choice than beef burgers because they contain heart-healthy fat, and many other nutrients. Experts suggest consuming at least two servings of seafood every week. Tuna burgers are easy to make and freeze individually, and are ready to eat when you are. Munch on raw Eat Smart Sugar Snap Peas for extra crunch and nutrition.
Instead of: Take out Chinese food
Try: Buying a store-bought rotisserie chicken and cutting it into small pieces. Prepare this delicious Healthy Ramen Bowl (which can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator and warmed up later) and top it with the chicken. Add fresh fruit to your plate and you’ve got yourself a healthier meal than take out!