Frozen Veggies As A Dinner Base

Photo by Janine Ninacoco / Flickr

Photo by Janine Ninacoco / Flickr

“Wanna make that a combo?”

If you hear those words on a daily basis or even multiple times per day, you need to make a change.

As nutritionists we ask you to cook because we know that cooking can give you nutrition that is superior to what you can get at a drive-thru.One of the big reasons you spin through the fast food chains is time.

We want to give specific strategies at 2 Your Health that fit in your lifestyle.  In reality that means you have to prepare meals when you get home, which is often a 45-minute turn-around time.  The family has to eat and then head back out the door for soccer practice or the gym.

Or you have that 45-minutes when you pick them up from practice at 8 o’clock.  You need to put something nourishing on the table that the family will eat, of course, so it has to taste good and be acceptable to everybody in the family.

One of the specific things you can do is use frozen vegetables as a meal base.

Frozen Vegetables As A Base

People will often say “I’m not sure  my kids will eat vegetables” or “I don’t eat vegetables.” So let’s talk about that.

One of the things I encourage people to do is stand in front of the frozen vegetable section of their grocery store and look at all the things that are offered.  If you do that I’m betting that you will find some things that you and your kids will eat.

Working from that base, we can come up with meals that are easy and quick.

Asian Stir Fry

Asian buffets are one of the fastest growing trends in the restaurant business.  Families are pretty accustomed to the Asian flavor profile.  Standing at any major grocery store frozen food section, you will find some sort of stir fry blend.

As a bonus, because of the popularity of Asian cuisine, you will find it in the grocery’s brand, which means a lower cost!

For a family of four, pick up (2) 16-ounce bags of stir fry blend (keep this in your freezer at home consistently).   With those two bags, you’re going to add boneless skinless chicken breast.  So you can go home and in a matter of  a mere 10 minutes you can have stir fry veggies and chicken in front of your family.

Easy Crock Pot

Here’s another idea.  We all grew up with slow cooker crock pots.  Many of those frozen items come in blends like soup or stew vegetable blends.  Any of those can be thrown in the crock pot in the morning before you leave with a couple of cans of chicken broth, 8 ounces of chopped up chicken breast or a pound of hamburger (if you choose), vegetable broth, plus a can of tomatoes.

And when you get home . . . magic . . . dinner is ready!

That’s a fast, easy, nutrient-dense meal minus the bag of drive-thru guilt.

Mexican Tortilla

Now, let’s think Mexican.  Pick up pepper and onion blend and the same chicken breasts.  Stir fry together in a lightly oiled pan, tortillas (that’s another ingredient that I recommend people keep in the fridge all the time), add shredded lettuce, and a jar of fresh pico de gallo out of the deli or produce section.  Again, you have a nutrient-dense dinner without going to the drive-thru.

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Author: Carla Spencer

Carla Spencer is a Registered Dietitian and founder of 2 Your Health. Her extensive career working with individuals with health challenges led her to create this site dedicated to helping people enjoy their lives while working to prevent or minimize the impact of kidney disease.

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