Do you have a lot on your plate?
I do, and I’ve found that if I have three pre-made items at hand and a few basics in my pantry, I can whip up a nutritious meal in minutes. Also, it’s easier to have your kids pull together the evening meal when all they’re doing is combining healthful ingredients. In my book, Baby Bites, I detail how to cut to the chase with dinner and these shortcuts are incorporated into easy to prepare recipes.
Kate is exhausted from all that’s on her plate!
1) The first strategy is to incorporate brown riceinto your meals. Brown rice contains eight essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and we produce all but eight of the twenty-two amino acids needed for health.
Brown rice makes a nutritious foundation to many dishes and casseroles. Rice is gluten-free and easily digestible; it’s a good choice for infants and people with wheat allergies or digestive problems. Brown rice has five times more vitamin E, three times more magnesium, and provides twice the fiber than white.
The obvious downside for using brown rice is that it takes about 45 minutes to cook compared to the 20 minutes (or less) for white rice. You can compensate for the additional cooking time by preparing more brown rice than you need at one time. Brown rice keeps nicely for at least five days, covered in your refrigerator. Make enough Brown Rice at one time to supplement several meals during the week.
2) Another time-saver is to grill chicken breasts in quantity and then freeze in individual packages.Defrosted grilled chicken pieces can be shredded for quick addition into salads, tacos, and casseroles, or served as the main course when you’re tight on time. If you can’t grill a chicken, purchase an extra rotisserie chicken when you’re at the grocery store.
Freeze extra chicken pieces individually or freeze enough pieces together for a family meal. Pull out one of your gilled chicken packages the night before you need it, or even on your way out the door in the morning. Let them defrost in your refrigerator.
3) Don’t wait until Easter to boil lots of eggs. The last strategy is to hard-boil eggs once a week. Eggs are God’s perfect food, as they contain nine amino acids and are one of the few foods containing vitamin D. The egg protein is of such high quality that all other proteins are measured by it.
Unfortunately, eggs have been given a bad rap. There’s another myth that eating eggs will give a person high cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol doesn’t automatically raise blood cholesterol. Unless you already have high cholesterol, eating a few eggs a week won’t alter your cholesterol levels.
People routinely discard the yolk, the part containing the cholesterol. When you throw out the yolk, you’re throwing out the vitamin D, needed for calcium absorption which builds strong bones. We also get vitamin D from the sun, as UV rays from sunlight trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Eggs are packaged sunshine, especially valuable during the winter months.
Hard-boiled eggs make protein-filled fast breakfasts. Eggs make dinner in a hurry possible. For those nights when a chef’s salad is the quickest means to dinner, include sliced or crumbled hard-boiled eggs for added nutrition. Also, hard-boiled eggs travel well in lunchboxes and make a healthy snack.
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