Anita Shaffer, RD
If you’re super busy (and who isn’t these days), and you need a quick and easy meal for you or your family, fast food and take-out can be tempting solutions. But with a little planning ahead, and keeping the right foods on hand in your refrigerator and pantry, you can put together a healthy meal in about the same time it takes you to scoot through the drive-through. Taking a few minutes to prepare quick and healthy meals yourself more often can give you more control over what you and your family are eating, save you money, and be a wonderful way to share time with family and friends.
Get a game plan. Taking a few minutes once a week to plan ahead for a week’s worth of meals can pay off later. Sketch a quick menu for dinners for the upcoming week, write a grocery list for what you’ll need, and make one trip to the store to get the goods.
Stock up on foods that are quick to fix. Pre-washed and cut lettuce salad blends, cherry or grape tomatoes, pre-shredded or cut carrots, broccoli florets, tipped green beans, and snow peas are convenient to throw together a salad, and these no-waste forms of vegetables can be quickly steamed, sauteed, or dipped into reduced fat dressings or dips. Chunk light tuna in water, canned beans, grilled chicken breast strips, 98% fat free ham are ready to go lean proteins you can use to top salads. Raw chicken breast tenders, beef stir-fry strips, thin boneless pork chops, and frozen peeled shrimp (just rinse under cold running water for a minute or two to quickly thaw) can be quickly sauteed or grilled. Eggs are a high protein powerhouse and cook up in little time. Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain corn or flour tortillas, and whole wheat rolls and bread are quick, versatile foods that are full of fiber to help keep you feeling full.
When it comes to convenient foods you can use to prepare fast, nutritious, and satisfying meals, Campbell can help. Below are some of my personal favorite time-saving Campbell’s products, and how I’ve used them to create quick, crowd-pleasing balanced meals for my own family of five after a busy day of work, errands, chauffeuring my kids, and whatever else my crazy schedule includes.
|Product Picks||Benefits||Quick as a flash entree suggestions||Super speedy side dish suggestions|
|Prego® Lower Sodium Italian sauces- Traditional, Mushroom, Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic, Ricotta Parmesan||
|Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Chunky™ Soups||
Try these soup varieties over these quick-cooking whole grains for a meal that’s ready in less than 10 minutes:
|Campbell’s® Skillet Sauces||
|Campbell’s® Slow Cooker Sauces||
*Each 1/2 cup serving of sauce provides 1 cup equivalent of vegetables. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 2½ cups of a variety of vegetables per day for a 2,000 calorie diet.
**While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Eat well my fast-paced friends, and remember to take the time to enjoy your quick and easy meals and the good company you share them with!
Anita has over 25 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian. She received her Bachelor of Nutrition Science degree from Drexel University and completed her clinical dietetics training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. Her diverse professional experience in the food service industry includes clinical nutrition practice and management, nutrition education program development, food services systems management, and recipe and menu development for healthcare and school food service operations. At Campbell, Anita is the Senior Nutritionist supporting the Campbell Away From Home Division. She collaborates with the Campbell foodservice team to develop and promote innovative products and menu solutions that provide balanced nutrition for food service operators in commercial and non-commercial settings.