Weekday Meal Survival Skills
In our dream scenario, we’d awake each morning refreshed and full of eager anticipation for the day, barely able to contain our excitement at the opportunity to try a new, challenging work-out routine and the chance to create three inspired, healthy colorful meals. Naturally, all amidst checking off every single item on out “to do” list, spending quality time with the people we love and getting to relax and unwind with a good book or our favorite hobby. Reality check! This is not normal every day life for us, or anyone else we know. :) We’re all working hard to achieve a healthy balance of these important elements to a full and vibrant life – one thing that we’ve found that makes feeding our family healthy, fresh and inspired meals is having some simple building blocks in our fridge and pantry.
Having a few items prepped and stocked in our cupboards means fewer decisions we have to make when we’re rushing to get out the door to work before the sun has even risen, or a little more time to relax and unwind in the evening because our dinner just needs to be thrown together, not brainstormed and created from scratch.
Here are a few of our weekly pantry and fridge staples – they vary by season or what looks especially fresh at the grocery store, but these are some simple, inexpensive items we routinely keep on hand so that at a moments notice we can whip up a nutritious meal without a lot of forethought or a huge amount of effort:
Bananas! They’re about the cheapest fruit at the grocery store and are a breakfast staple (with a little granola and plain yogurt) for us during the week. When they go “past their prime” we use them to replace oils in baking (they’re great in muffins and quick breads) and in smoothies.
Hard-boiled eggs are another regular in our weekday meal rotation – they’re inexpensive and make a great snack or protein for a salad or sandwich. One of our regular lunches is a couple hard-boiled egg whites, diced and on a bed of greens with lots of veggies. We usually boil enough for the week on Sunday or Monday evening so they’re ready to eat.
Frozen bags of spinach are a weeknight lifesaver for us! We add it (still frozen) to smoothies, throw spinach in pasta sauce, scrambled eggs or rice. We also keep a head of lettuce handy (it seems to keep best wrapped in a cold, damp dish towel and tucked in a mesh produce bag) for lunches and dinners. Beans, lentils, eggs and meat all regularly get piled on a beg of roughly chopped lettuce for a quick lunch or dinner.
Dried beans and brown rice are probably the cheapest things in our stash of go-to ingredients and they figure into our weeknight meals on a regular basis. We frequently make a huge batch of beans over the weekend that can be reheated and incorporated into different meals during the week. Our brown rice recipe that we rely on is 1 1/4 cup of water per cup of rice, simmered for 30 minutes with 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt and then allowed to rest, off the heat with the lid still on the pot for 10 minutes. Perfect brown rice every time!
And don’t forget – there is still time to participate in our free training giveaway! What is your 2013 New Year’s SMART Resolution? Write it in the comment section. We’ll pick the one we think best applies S.M.A.R.T. and hook you up with the New Express Training Plan ($17 value) for free. You have 2 days left to share and we’ll announce a winner this Wednesday! Be fit, be blessed.
- Posted on January 7th, 2013