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Meals: Easy steps to make meals simple

Updated on July 2, 2014

Dinner: Help is on the way

In this article I will do my best to:

* Share tips and advice to an easy, health dinner

* Share a few of my favorite recipes

* Give you some freezer ideas

* Help with the daily struggle of , " What's for dinner ?"

Today's rush and meals

In today's rush meals are often times, call in, fast-food, or a frozen dinner. But what about nutrition? Where are the nutrition values in precooked food? According to www.healthyeating.sfgate.comDietDiabetic Diet The truth is there are very limited, if any nutrition in these foods. Therefore you are over feeding the family and under- nourishing them at the same time. Kids are often the ones that are wanting the chicken nuggets from the local fast-food restaurant. The truth is that chicken nuggets and other fast- foods are almost 50 % full of fillers and additives, more information on the ingredience of fast- food chicken can be found at Did you know that restaurant's uses chemical additives to make you crave their food ? According to there are over 80,000 food additives that may be toxic to your health. Yeah, I was shocked too. But it is true fast-food have several additives and preservative, in which lead to over eating and malnutrition. Obesity is higher now , in children and adults alike , than ever before. According to the CDC childhood obesity has more than doubled in children, and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. With the obesity levels rising and chronic disease is right there with it. It may make one stop and ask the question why? Well the reason that I keep running across points to the eating habits of the whole family. Chances are if you and your family are constantly feeding your body chemicals it is eventually going to take the tolls we are seeing. Parents are often time pushed so far that there is no time for a home cooked meal with the family. Eating habits start from the high chair and continue throughout life. These behaviors can be linked to obesity and disease. Not having the time to prepare a well nurturing meal, over time, can lead to mal-nutrition and that can lead to other diseases.

Focus on colors when planning meals for the most nutrition
Focus on colors when planning meals for the most nutrition | Source
Salads are a good choice for healthy meals
Salads are a good choice for healthy meals | Source

Lori's Skillet Chicken and Rice

Lori's skillet chicken and rice

You will need:

* 2 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil

* 2 pounds Boneless Chicken breast tenderloins

* 2 tomatoes, diced

* 1 garlic clove, minced

* 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

* 1/4 cup of diced red pepper

* 1/4 cup of green bell pepper

* 1 cup of water

* half an onion chopped

In a skillet, add your oil, chicken, onion and garlic, cook on medium heat until chicken is no longer pink, then add your red and green peppers and water, cook for an additional 5 minutes and then top with parmesan cheese. Serve over brown rice, will make 4-6 servings depending on serving size.

Cooking for the week: Time saving tips

When you decide to cook most nights of the week , there are some things that may help you to be time-smart. Some of the things that come to mind would be cooking several lean meats, chicken, pork and fish, preparing your own meat lets you be sure that the meat is of genuine animals and not full of fillers and additives. The occasional red meat, is ok but I will focus more on that in a bit. Cooking your meats, in advance, for a few days and freezing them, cuts dinner prep time in almost half.

Your opinion matters

Cast your vote for Lori's chicken and rice, broccoli and cheese casserole

Crock-Pot Meals

In today's rush, crock-pot meals are very handy, you simple add the ingredients, with a little water and cook. Crock-pot meals are especially easy and ready when you get home from work. Some of my favorite crock-pot meals are, Bar-b-que chicken, Chuck roast with carrots and potatoes, Pulled pork, whole chicken and mixed vegetables. There are numerous things you can cook in the crock-pot. Beans and bacon are good served with homemade cornbread. You can get some excellent recipes, for the crock- pot at :


Casseroles are a great, nutritious way to cook in advance and freeze. You can put casseroles in freezer safe bowls in adequate portion sizes. When the time comes, you can take out, thaw, warm, and serve.

Lori's chicken and rice, broccoli and cheese casserole

You will need:

1 package of boneless chicken breast

1 medium onion

1 package of frozen broccoli

1 cup of milk

a Velveeta cheese block

2 cups of success brown rice

1 can of Campbell's cream of chicken soup

1 can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup ( can be substituted with cream of celery)

1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive oil

What you need to do :

In the skillet you will added your olive oil, chicken, and medium onion, cook on medium high heat until Chicken is no longer pink.

Prepare broccoli as instructed on the package

Prepare Rice as instructed on the package

In a saucepan add your cream of soups, both cans, chop up cheese in squares and 1 cup of milk. Cook until cheese is melted

Add rice and chicken skillet mixture to a 13x9 casserole dish, then top with broccoli and soup and cheese mixture, mix together well. bake at 350 degrees, for 20-25 minutes

soups are great for early prep and also very nutritious
soups are great for early prep and also very nutritious | Source
Fish is high in the omega fatty acids.
Fish is high in the omega fatty acids. | Source

Easy peanut butter cookies

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 20 yummy peanut butter cookies

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

  1. Add peanut butter, egg, and sugar to a large mixing bowl, stir until well blended.
  2. On a cookie sheet, roll mixture into 1 inch balls, use a fork to cross each way, on each ball, once all mixture is rolled out place in pre-heated, 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before enjoying

Freezer meals

There are several benefits to being able to plan and prepare dinner. Even more than being quick and easy, they should be nutritious. Making nutritious dinners is not as difficult, as you may think. There are several tips and tricks to reduce preparation and cooking of healthy meals. I am going to share with you a link that tells you how to prepare 30 meals, in the freezer, for a month !! meals can be prepackaged by you, and cooked when needed. This saves on prep times and is sure to get you some assed moments to enjoy the evening. Some vegetables and fruits do not freeze well, such as potatoes, so be sure to do your research on how to safely freeze meals.

One dish Meals

Meals that can be prepared using only 1 cooking pot saves you time on clean up. They are rather easy to prepare some of the one dish meals include, soups, pasta dishes, Spaghetti, jambalaya, stir-fry's and the list can go on and on. These meals are often times, easy to prepare and in a reasonable amount of time, In one dish meals, cook the meat first, then add the other ingredients as you finish up the dishes. Vegetables offer more of a nutrient count when they are not cooked longer than 5 minutes. One dish meals are the easiest ones to invent with what you have around the kitchen, to avoid a time consuming, trip to the grocery store.

one dish spaghetti
one dish spaghetti | Source

There is an app for that :

When you are wanting to keep track of your caloric intake there are applications, on smart phones, that can help you do just that, from calories, sugar, to exercise. I personally use , Fitness Pal, however, There are several. Here are some choices you:

* Fitness pal

* Life sum

* Fitness calculator

* Health and fitness program

These are just a few, there are several and you can research and find the one that will work best for you.

Food Choices

You have several choices when it comes to meals and snacks. The important facts are that you get the recommended amounts, of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. It is important to make your meals healthy. For a person that has food allergies, it is important to find other means, that are beneficial to your health.

fresh foods contain the highest nutrition
fresh foods contain the highest nutrition | Source

When preparing meals

It is important that you have the necessities. Food can be fun, delicious, healthy and easy. If you put forth the effort to carefully prepare well balanced meals, not only will you feed your body what it needs to be strong. Remember to be colorful, when choosing vegetables, the different colors offer different essential nutrients. Cooking doesn't have to be a chore.

Meals made easy

A few key factors to keep meals quick and easy :

* make a schedule, to avoid the "what's or dinner" question

* do as mush as you can ahead of time, to make meal time a pleasure

* crock-pot meals are a great choice for a working family

* keep your meals colorful

* lean meats are best, red meat in moderation

Conversion and substitution charts

Conversion and substitution charts are very handy to have in your kitchen, Should you need to convert or substitute an ingredient.


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