Saturday, September 18, 2010

Quick cooking

Hello lovely readers! I have to admit that amidst all of the hectic days lately, I've been wanting to share some struggles I'm having. Busy does not even begin to describe how life gets during soccer season. I'm eating horribly or not at all (well cereal counts right...) because I'm getting home so late from soccer. I have tried freezer meals (homemade and store bought), but even that seems to be a struggle at times. When my life is normal, I tend to take my leftovers as my lunch the next day. I have bought the fixings for some delicious sandwiches, which have unfortunately remained in my refrigerator since I NEVER wake up early enough to tackle this in the morning. I've resulted to taking soup for lunch or making the quick trip to the Subway right around the corner from school for a scrumptious $5 foot long. With saving so much more for retirement this year, I cannot afford to do the Jared diet too often. I've been getting some great deals at the store lately (when I actually have time to go) and I want to take advantage of my creativity to incorporate fall veggies into meals! I just can't seem to figure out healthy options that take limited amounts of cooking time for maximum flavor. So today I decided while watching football to tackle all the resources that I have for advice. Here are just a few of my solutions. Feel free to share some other ideas for healthy eating with limited time and money.
1. Crock pot meals-my quick fixes for the next 2 weeks will be 2 different chicken recipes and one for pot roast. One chicken breast, 1/2 cup rice, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup teriaki, and 1 cup mixed stir fry veggies. One chicken breast, 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous, 1/3 cup water, 3 cloves garlic (smashed), 2 sprigs of rosemary, 6 mushrooms, sliced. 1 pot roast, 1/2 cup water, 1 potato in chunks, 1 carrot, sliced, 1 onion, chunked. All can be cooked on low for 6 hours.
2. Macaroni Grill and Bird's Eye Voila frozen meals-I personally love the Chicken Florentine(MG) and shrimp scampi (Voila). Both are delicious! I used $1.50 off coupons to get the MG ones for about $4.00 each. I used $1 off coupons to get the Voila ones for about $2.50 each. I can definitely get dinner and a lunch out of 1 of these.
3. Weekend cooking-Over make weekend meals then package them up in individual portions for the whole week. Throw some yogurt, string cheese, or a fruit cup in the lunch bag for a well balanced meal.
4. Quick cook recipes from cookbooks and my Food TV magazines. I love Rachael Ray....that being said, I have a number of her 30 minute meal cookbooks. I've used post it flags to mark some of my favorite recipes that I can make in 30 minutes or less. I was also fortunate enough to receive a one year subscription to Food TV magazine using points from My Coke Rewards. I am about to extend this as a paid subscription because it is such a wonderful I got an offer to get the whole year for just $5 that I couldn't pass up. Food Network also has a database of all their recipes online. You can just enter the ingredients you have on hand and it will find a meal for you.

What resources do you use to try new meals with limited time and a limited budget?

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