Make and Take Meals: Fast-Food Alternatives
Good nutrition and good fast food can go hand in hand.
Healthy Fast Food: At Home continued...
Work the Weekends
Just a couple of hours spent cooking main courses one or two weekends a
month works wonders for whipping up fast and healthy food on hectic weeknights.
Tips to try:
- Let your slow cooker save you time. Throw the ingredients for chili or beef
stew in and turn to other activities.
- Roast a chicken or turkey. This frees you up to concentrate on projects
around the house, too.
- Put together a pan or two of lasagna.
- Make double batches of anything you cook, and freeze half.
Super Sandwich Suppers
Sandwiches can help you get supper on the table super fast. For tasty
fast-food alternatives, try:
- Pre-formed lean beef burger patties or veggie burgers. Serve on whole-grain
buns. Pair with cooked frozen carrots and peas; fruit; and milk.
- Barbecue pulled pork served on whole grain buns with corn and fruit on the
- Tuna melts with reduced-fat cheese on whole-wheat bread, and salad.
- Quesadillas made with low-fat cheese, fat-free refried beans, and leftover
chicken served with a green salad.
Breakfast for Dinner
"Eggs are the basis of several quick and nutritious dinners," Neville says.
For example, try:
- Scrambled eggs served in whole-wheat pita pockets with salsa and low-fat
grated cheese; salad; milk or 100% juice, such as orange juice fortified with
calcium and vitamin D.
- Whole-grain French toast, applesauce for dipping, and milk.
- Omelets made with leftover cooked vegetables and served with whole-grain
rolls, fruit and milk.
- Hard cook a half dozen eggs. Toss them in salads, or use them for
grab-and-go snacks or lunch.
Healthy Fast Food: Half-Way Homemade
Supermarkets can save the day when you want fast food and great nutrition.
Think of these quick grab-and-go meals as half-way homemade:
- (Practically) No-Cook Chicken Dinner. Pick up two cooked
rotisserie chickens (the extra is for meals to come); precut broccoli florets
in the produce section or frozen "steamer" vegetable combos from the freezer
case, and crusty whole-grain bread from the bakery department. Serve with
canned pineapple or Mandarin oranges.
- The Salad Bar. Let your kids loose on the supermarket salad bar for
a great fast-food alternative. Be sure they include a protein source, such as
tuna, beans, eggs, cottage cheese, tofu, or cheese; dark leafy greens; and
fruit. Keep dressings and toppings to a minimum. Buy whole-grain rolls to serve
with the salad at home. You can also pick up shrimp cocktail or sushi,
- Fast and Health Stir-Fry. Combine frozen Asian vegetable stir-fry
mix, leftover rotisserie chicken, precooked chicken from meat case, tofu, or
shrimp and serve over quick-cooking brown rice.
- 20-Minute Pizza. Neville favors whole-wheat Boboli-type crusts,
spaghetti sauce or prepared pesto sauce, and part-skim mozzarella cheese and
veggies from supermarket salad bars for concocting a quick pizza. You can also
use whole-wheat English muffins, tortillas, or pita bread for crust, she
- Soup-er Star Main Courses. Start with lower-sodium canned soup and
add frozen diced vegetables, cooked macaroni or quick-cooking brown rice, and
leftover diced cooked chicken or turkey or beans. Serve with fruit or salad and