Sometimes life can get ahead of you and eating well can fall way down on the priority list. But being short on time, money, or cooking experience doesn’t have to mean falling short on nutrition. With a little imagination, basic cooking equipment, and some simple ingredients, anyone can prepare quick, tasty, and healthy meals.Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Pita pizzas
Top a whole grain pita with pasta sauce, shredded low-fat mozzarella, and, if desired, diced deli ham or crumbled, browned ground chicken or turkey. Pile on your favourite veggies and bake on a pan in the oven at 375°F until cheese melts, 5 - 7 minutes.
- Quick quesadillas
Mix a little salsa with canned refried or black beans and spread on one side of a whole wheat tortilla. Top with veggies (try thinly sliced green and red peppers, mushrooms, etc.) and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla in half and toast in an ungreased frying pan until cheese melts and tortilla is lightly browned (about 3 minutes each side). You could also replace the beans with sliced chicken.
- Tuna or salmon melt
Mix drained canned tuna or salmon with a spoonful of mayo. Add chopped celery, onion, and a little pickle relish if desired. Spread on a sliced whole grain bagel or English muffin halves. Top with cheese and bake in the oven at 375°F for about 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with carrot sticks.
- Simple stir-fry
Lightly brown thinly-sliced beef, chicken or pork, peeled shrimp, or cubed firm tofu in a little oil in a large frying pan. Add your choice of bite-size fresh or frozen veggies and cook until vegetables are tender but still a little crunchy, stirring frequently to cook evenly. Season with a tablespoon or two of bottled stir-fry sauce or soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Serve with brown rice, whole grain pasta or noodles.
Eating well doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive but it is important for physical and mental wellness and supports academic success. Be sure to eat three meals a day, even during times of stress, in order to fuel your body and brain with needed nutrients to stay healthy, energized, and focused.
For more healthy eating information, see our Nutrition Services page for additional articles, recipes, and FAQs answered by our Registered Dietitian.