(Family Features) - Providing healthy meals for the family is a challenge for today's busy cooks. Everyone's on the go and there hardly seems to be enough time to eat well, much less cook nutritious food.
But there are two things you can do to help you get healthy meals on the table fast - stock up and get it to go.
A well-stocked pantry and freezer goes a long way toward letting you create healthy meals in a jiffy. Keeping nutritious ingredients on hand makes it easy to throw something together in a rush. Here are some items to stock up on:
Eggs: great for a quick family omelet or fried rice dinner
Canned tuna or salmon: whip up a tuna salad and tuck it into a whole wheat pita, or use the salmon to top off a salad or make a quick chowder
Canned beans, such as garbanzo: great in soups or as part of a meatless meal
Whole-grain breads: heart-healthy whole grains make great panini sandwiches
Marinara spaghetti sauce: look for sauces low in sugar and create a delicious pasta dish in no time
Grated hard cheese, such as cheddar: a good source of calcium and protein, cheese makes everything taste good
Frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast: lean, healthy chicken is a versatile source of protein
Frozen or canned fruit and vegetables: toss them into soups or spaghetti sauce, or sauté with some herbs for a tasty side dish
Getting It to Go
Take advantage of ready made items at your local grocer or warehouse club, such as Sam's Club. There are a lot of nutritious choices available that will make dinner time fast and healthy.
Rotisserie chickens can be a fast, affordable way to get dinner. At Sam's Club, for example, one rotisserie chicken (for $4.97) makes a hearty meal for four to six people. For two easy meals, pick up two juicy, rotisserie chickens. Pair up the first with a pre-washed salad mix and a quick-cooking grain for one meal. Then use the second bird to make an Italian Rotisserie Chicken Salad or a quick Chicken Fried Rice.
Ready-made side dishes. You can often find freshly made side items that are a snap to cook. For example, Sam's Club offers a creamed spinach that's full of spinach, artichoke hearts, shiitake and button mushrooms. It's great as a topper for baked potatoes or chicken, or tossed with fresh pasta. Their diced sweet potatoes are seasoned with a sweet citrus glaze accompanied by Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasonings. Warm them in the microwave and they're ready to serve alongside rotisserie chicken or a pre-cooked ham.
Some other good-to-go items include:
- Thin-crust cheese pizza topped with veggies
- 100 percent ground turkey breast burgers or prepared veggie burgers
- Flash-frozen seafood
- Healthy, hearty soups
No matter how busy the family is, it's still possible to feed them well and keep them going with delicious and healthy meals.
For more recipes and meal solutions, visit samsclub.com.