12 November 2010

Healthy meals in 10 minutes or less

Who has time to cook anymore? Fortunately, with more and more supermarkets catering to time-strapped shoppers, it's easier than ever to find healthy, heartburn-friendly dinners.

1. Pick your protein
“Pick a source of protein and work around that,” says Ward, “because that’s the hardest piece of the puzzle.” Good places to start:

  • Rotisserie chicken A deli department staple and a favorite of the swoop-in-just-before-dinner shopper. Add veggies and brown rice for a complete hot meal.
  • Steak strips Buy a few strips of this flavorful store-cooked beef, and use it to top a mixed green salad.  
  • Fresh fish Many fish departments will steam fish for you while you wait, providing a healthy centerpiece for any meal.
  • Roasted chicken breast strips Fully cooked -- serve cold right out of the package, reheat in the microwave or toss into a quick stir-fry.
  • Cheese Make a healthy open-face sandwich by top-grilling reduced-fat cheese on whole-wheat bread, pita or English muffin.
  • Beans and lentils A valuable vegetarian source of protein, even when canned. Tip: Rinse well to halve the salt content and get rid of the carbs that contribute to gas.

  • Precut vegetables, including broccoli florets, cauliflower and bell pepper slices (often packaged as a colorful trio of red, yellow and green peppers)
  • Salad in a bag Choose an arugula blend for maximum nutrition, or combine with Romaine or mixed baby greens
  • Spinach Steam right in the package
  • Baby carrots
  • Frozen vegetables Pop in the microwave and they up the nutrition of just about anything you add them to. Consider green peas or butternut squash -- colorful on the plate, which means nutritious, too
  • Precut fruit, including melon, pineapple, mango, papaya and kiwifruit
  • Dried fruit Go beyond raisins and try apricots, bananas, cherries, cranberries, mango, papaya and pineapple


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