The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are going to be crazy with holiday preparation, work schedules, school activities and back-to-back dinner parties. This doesn’t leave much time for dinner at home as a family. BUT, we all still have to eat.
Regardless of what my week may look like, there are some staples that I regularly purchase and have on hand and make pulling together a quick dinner a cinch. Here are some of my favorites:
- Eggs: Eggs don’t have to be difficult to cook. Just ask Coach Lee about poaching an egg in the LAB microwave! An excellent source of protein, eggs will keep you full for several hours. Don’t forget you can have these for dinner too. Top with mixed veggies for a balanced meal.
- Almond Meal Tortillas: I love these, and they’re a great substitute for calorie-dense flour tortillas. They’re wonderful with eggs and cheese in the morning for breakfast. I like to wrap them up with grilled chicken, spinach and hummus for lunch, or heap them with ground beef, avocado slices and salsa for dinner.
- Chicken Breast: Chicken breasts are incredibly easy and fast to cook, and they're also healthy. Because they're low in fat and high in protein, lean chicken breasts benefit from careful cooking and flavorful marinades.
- Sweet Potatoes: While I prefer to bake them, in a pinch you can pop these in the microwave for an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), potassium and fiber. Top with ground beef and sauteed spinach, or pair with grilled chicken and steamed broccoli for a quick meal.
- Frozen Kale: I like to add frozen kale and berries to my smoothies in lieu of ice, or steam it and add it to my eggs.
- Spinach: As with Kale, spinach can be added to smoothies and eggs. But I also love it with strawberries and feta in a salad, tucked inside my almond meal tortilla with turkey for lunch, or sauteed and served with dinner.
- Ground Beef: Ground beef can go from freezer to ready-to-eat in a short amount of time. I like to cook it on meal prep days with some diced onion and garlic, and season it with salt and pepper. With a few simple additions, it can go from taco dinner (just add coriander, cumin and chili powder) to stir fry (add mixed vegetables and sesame oil) to spaghetti sauce (with a jar of organic sugar-free marinara) for a quick lunch or dinner.
- Frozen Riced Cauliflower: I like to make bowls for lunch. Pile my leftovers up and add some sauce. I particularly like a base of riced cauliflower, with sauteed spinach or kale and grilled chicken, and a sunny side up egg on top with a splash of Tabasco.
- Bell Peppers and Baby Cucumbers: Slice these on Sundays and keep in your fridge. You’ll have a week’s worth of salad toppers, and quick and easy snacks you can pair with hummus or guacamole. Serve alongside your lunch for something crunchy.
- Kize Bars: More often than not, I run out of time during the day. I’m out and don’t have time to go home and eat, and I’m starving. I always try to keep a bar on hand that will fill me up and not drag me down with tons of sugar. Kize bars are high in protein and healthy fats, with a touch of sweet from natural organic honey.
What are your go-to items? Think about what you buy on a regular basis, and how you could use them to create a fast, easy meal. Stock your freezer with frozen foods that you can easily use when you’re short on time, and keep staples on hand that will compliment them. All it takes is a little planning before you go to the grocery store!