The cooking situation has changed quite a bit at our house. With our two girls in college, we spend many weekends at one campus or another watching football games. Weeknights often find us getting in a late-night bike ride, going to the gym or meeting with friends. So big, fancy dinners that require lots of time and even more dirty dishes? Not so much! These five favorite foods provide several meal options that go (mostly) easy on the waistline.
Trader Joe’s Marinated Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini. Tonight, we rolled out some whole wheat pizza dough (Trader Joe’s refrigerated dough that comes in a bag), topped with a thin layer of olive oil flecked with minced garlic. We thawed the veggies in the microwave, placed them on the dough along with canned mushrooms and topped them with grated Kraft Italian Three Cheese. Bake it at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, add a salad and dinner is served. The veggies can also be topped with marinara sauce, grated Parmesan cheese and heated in the microwave for a few minutes. Place the goodies on top of whole grain spaghetti and you have Eggplant Parmesan.
Kirkland’s Grilled Chicken Strips from Costco. I created white chili in minutes using these strips. First I sauteed 1/2 cup of chopped onion and 1 tsp. of minced garlic. Then I added diced chicken strips, two cups of chicken broth ( buy the carton of Swanson’s broth), a can of navy beans (drained) and one can of Old El Paso chopped green chilies (drained). Simmer for 10 minutes, then dig in. These chicken strips will work in place of any recipe requiring diced chicken.
Tyson’s Grilled Steak Strips. I make fast fajitas by sauteing one orange pepper cut in strips and one small onion cut in strips. Add the steak strips and heat on medium heat for ten minutes. Serve on flour tortillas topped with guacamole, sour cream, grated cheese and salsa. Yum! Again, you can make anything that requires steak strips (stroganoff, steak soup …) with these goodies.
Shady Brook Farms Turkey Meatballs. Warm the meatballs in a skillet with marinara sauce. Then place on a bed of whole grain spaghetti or on top of a wholegrain hot dog bun for a meatball sandwich. Top with some grated Italian cheese and viola!
For dessert? (Okay, this is supposed to be “healthy” eating but work with me here!) Trader Joe’s Apple Blossoms. These are like individual apple crisps. Top with a bit of vanilla ice cream and you have a winner!