Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quick and Easy Meals!

Busy weeks call for easy meals! The last thing I want to do when I come home from a busy day is cook a meal that takes forever! While I'm usually in search of something easy, the last thing I want to do is choose something unhealthy because it's convenient. Luckily, I have a few go-to "recipes" that are great for busy nights.

My favorite, easy meal to make is soup! No, not just pouring canned soup into a bowl and heating it up...there's more to it! I usually use a hearty soup as my "soup base." A great soup is Amy's Lentil Vegetable. While I let the soup warm up on the stove, I steam veggies in the microwave! Carrots, peas, broccoli, squash, or just about any vegetable would go well in this soup! Throw in some onions or garlic if you have some on hand too! Once the vegetables are defrosted and steamed (frozen veggies are the easiest to use on busy nights), mix them in with the soup! Allow the veggies to simmer with the soup to absorb the flavors for a few minutes. Add any spices you want (e.g., pepper) and then you're done! This whole process probably takes around 15 minutes total. This meal is great because it combines protein (lentils), vegetables, and a whole grain if you add a piece of bread!

My second go-to meal would be a pasta salad. You can combine any sort of pasta or quick-cooking grain, veggies, pre-cooked chicken, fish, or canned beans and choose a vinaigrette/dressing to tie it all together! Recently, I combined Israeli couscous, veggies, and an onion. After sauteing the veggies + onion I mixed them with the couscous. This meal came together perfectly after I added some EVOO and seasoning. I usually would have added a little more to this, but I was trying to use up everything in my pantry before I went out of town.

Lastly, when I absolutely have no time or if I am getting ready to go out of town, a small sweet potato and hearty soup will do the trick! 

Do any of you have suggests for quick, healthy meals?

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