We started our video, How to Stock Your Kitchen for Fast and Easy Meals, by showing what to buy and keep on hand for each MyPyramid food group - and then realized - we are going to lose our audience because it is too overwhelming to show so many foods - although we had a lot of fun listing the best items from each food group and we are probably going to make a fun handout using our list.
So after watching our first take, my assistant and I decided that we have to come up with a master list of around 20 foods to buy and then show at least 12 different fast meals you can make from these ingredients! That is a challenge!! I do admit to stretching the list to 25 items, but then I did come up with 15 different items you can make with those that everyone will like that are easy to prepare - we make them over and over here and my son can even make some of them.
Here is our list of foods starting with whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables and dairy (mostly fat-free except for Parmesan cheese which is used sparingly):
- Pasta, whole grain penne
- Brown rice
- Tortillas, whole wheat
- Chicken, whole
- Salad mix
- Fresh spinach
- Tomatoes, plum
- Baby carrots
- Butternut squash
- Canned diced tomatoes, no added salt
- No Salt Added Tomato Sauce
- Fat-free sour cream
- Yogurt – light vanilla
- Parmesan cheese
The cost for all of those ingredients was just $63!! (This assumes you have staple cooking items like oregano, black pepper, cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, vinegar, oil, soy sauce and sesame oil on hand. )
And our list of meals - including 1 snack and 2 desserts:
- Lentils and rice – plain, winter squash, onions
- Lentils and rice – burrito or wrap
- Whole chicken - Roasted with potatoes/onions, carrots, salad
- Chicken salad – with chicken, potatoes, salad
- Chicken - pasta, broth, veggies
- Chicken with rice – arroz con pollo
- Chicken stir fry – spinach, celery, broccoli, onions, carrots
- Chicken rice veggie soup
- Fish – microwave with zucchini and rice
- Tortilla Pizza
- Potato Pizza – potatoes with plum tomatoes, spinach, onions, parmesan cheese
- Baked stuffed potato – potato with broccoli, ff sour cream, parmesan
- Snack platter with apples, carrots, celery
- Dessert with berries and yogurt
- Apple sauce with vanilla yogurt
We feel this teaches many lessons -
- Making balanced low-fat, high-fiber meals that are based on grains, fruits and vegetables with minimal amounts of animal protein and fat - helps you get to requirements of MyPyramid and the Dietary Guidelines
- Buying more fruits and veggies is a great idea to add variety and color for all of your meals - note how we just have a few grains and lean protein items on our list
- You can save money, time and calories by cooking yourself versus going out to eat.
- You save a lot of money by buying less-processed food and it really doesn't take that much more time or effort to cook yourself - with our easy ways of course!
- Stocking your kitchen for fast healthy meals that save significant time, money and calories from eating out
- How to use planned overs
- Meal planning and list making
- Time saving tips
- Cooking tips
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.