What’s for dinner?

I hear this question at least once a day (whether it’s coming from within my own head or from someone else). I absolutely love it when I am able to blurt out at least two or three options, but what about those other days? Y’know, the days when you’re so relieved to just lay down on the couch after a long days work? Or the days where you’re so busy, food is the last thing on your mind? (Yes, it actually happened to me once or twice) These are the days you need to pull something out of your sleeve.

The best way to solve the issue of accidentally skipping a meal is to keep the kitchen stocked. I am my happiest when the fridge is loaded with fresh fruits/vegetables. It makes life so much easier. However, we all know it takes time and effort to have a stocked kitchen on a daily basis. So, what to do? This is how I manage to stay healthy and sane:

  • Go food shopping once per week. I buy enough to last me one week, and I can always choose to freeze something if I see it’s about to go bad. If you can spare the time, stop by the market to grab some produce if you’re all out.
  • Use up the most perishable items early on in the week such as berries, mushrooms, and meats. More hearty items such as potatoes, broccoli, apples, eggs can be saved for the end of the week.
  • When you use up an item in the pantry, put it on your shopping list (which can be helpful on your fridge door). This way, you will always have something to make a meal of. Tuna salad, bean salad, and fried rice (just to name a few) are easy, quick ways to whip up dinner when the fridge is running low.
  • Use your produce crisper! You know…those drawers in your fridge. This is the best place to keep your produce crisp and fresh (who would have thought?)
  • Take some time to wash and prepare some produce for ready-eating. For example, bought bell peppers? Wash, seed, slice, and bag them for a quick snack when you’re busy. (Hint: try not to cut up the fruit/vegetable too much–just enough to fit into a container. You don’t want precious nutrients to oxidize!)

Here are some fast meal ideas, if you just can’t swing a trip t the food store:

  1. Tuna Salad: make it into a sandwich/wrap, a melt, or add on top of a salad.
  2. Bean Salad: great side dish, or snack. Great with (thawed) frozen corn, bell peppers, and vinaigrette
  3. Fried Rice: use sesame oil, and quickly cook frozen peas, corn, and other vegetables you may have with an egg or two–add brown rice and low sodium soy sauce.
  4. Pasta with chickpeas
  5. Quinoa/couscous/bulgur salad
  6. Omlette/frittata
  7. Pasta with your favorite sauce (which is frozen from the other week’s batch) OR with a vegetable on hand
  8. Whole wheat quesadilla with salsa and beans
  9. French toast (not just for breakfast)
  10. A portion of frozen soup (because you took my advice from a previous post)

10 ways to make a nutritious dinner in a flash!

Book an appointment here! Marina Bedrossian, RDN, CDN, CLT is a family holistic dietitian who specializes in nutrition for digestive issues, nutrition for Autism, ADHD, and nutrition for food sensitivities. 

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