About Me

Note from Maria: I am a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Public Health Degree in Nutrition from UNC at Chapel Hill. I have a passion for helping people with nutrition & wellness, especially moms. Women & moms provide care for everyone else often at the expense of considering their own needs. I hope to provide good resources to you to help you make nutrition and wellness a priority.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Easy ways to make a complete dinner......

I have been working full time an intern since late spring and through most of the summer. Prior to this, I have stayed at home for years. I now have a new appreciation for having to cook for a family after working all day. Dinner doesn't have to be fancy, there is nothing that says you have to spend hours in the kitchen to make complete meal. A whole grain, fruit, vegetable and  lean protein is all you need. Here are some ideas to make dinner healthy & easy:

  • Fruits & Veggies:
    • Serve fresh fruit. Pineapple, watermelon, berries, etc. make an excellent side dish to most any meal. 
    • Cut fresh veggies and serve with hummus or low fat dip. Bolthouse Farms makes excellent low fat dressings made from yogurt, including ranch and blue cheese. Baby carrots, cut squash, cut cucumbers, grape tomatoes, with dressing count as a vegetable!
    • Stock up on plain frozen veggies when they are on sale. Steam broccoli and serve w/ fresh lemon. Steam green beans and quickly stir fry with a drop of oil and garlic. 
  • Easy protein foods: 
    • Beans from a can are fine! Just drain and rinse before serving to help remove some of the sodium. 
    • Try low fat natural precooked chicken sausage without nitrates. If you haven't tried these, they are awesome and cook in a few minutes. Brands include Hormel Naturals, Target - Archer Farms all natural sausage, Aidells, and Applegate farms. Here are some links so you can recognize the packages when shopping. 
    • Roast 4 or 5 chicken breasts (more if you need them) on Sunday afternoon. Add to salad or make chicken tacos, etc. quickly during the week.
    • Put a lean beef roast in the crock pot with fresh onions and a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Cook on low all day. 
    • Keep frozen shrimp in freezer, steam up in a few minutes. Serve with lemon and cocktail sauce. 
    • Use canned tuna to make tuna salad. 
    • Buy fresh fish on your way home and bake, broil or grill. 
  • Easy whole grains/starches:
    • Whole wheat couscous (cooks in 5 minutes)
    • Brown rice (takes about 45 mins to cook, so start this when you first get home)
    • Premade fresh whole wheat ravioli or tortellini. 
    • Quinoa, quick, easy and high in protein too!
    • Whole wheat pasta. If you think it is too tough, cook it a few minutes longer than recommended to help make is softer. Serve with steamed veggies, drizzle of olive oil and Parmesan cheese, add meat or beans or meat to make a complete meal. You can also use jar marinara sauce, just read labels to find ones with simple ingredients and the lowest sodium. 
    • Scrub sweet potatoes and cover lightly with oil. Place in crock pot on low and cook all day. This makes perfect baked sweet potatoes. Prep the potatoes the night before if that makes it easier.
  • Favorite 10 minute meal: Bean burrito w/ refried beans with low fat cheese on whole wheat tortilla, can add salsa &/or guacamole. Serve with salad or cut veggies and fresh fruit. 
Hope you find something that you want to try. Would love to hear some feedback if you do try one of these ideas!! 

1 comment:

  1. Let me know if you like these recipes!! Maria =)