Healthy Meals at Home continued...
Little Dippers: Set out a "party tray" of vegetables and fruits for your family, Fischer suggests. Mix it up with interesting, lower-fat dips -- even melted chocolate and strawberries once in a while for dessert.
Freezer-to-Table Main Dish: "For a dinner that's ready in seven or eight minutes, start with a frozen healthy meal like Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine," Fischer says. "They don't give you a lot of meat, which is good." If you use a frozen-in-the-bag vegetable dinner, don't add much meat; keep it the size of your palm, she adds. "Some huge chicken breasts are enough for two servings."
Speedy Side Dishes: Keep frozen, canned, or fresh veggies on hand to round out a healthy meal. "A lot of frozen vegetables are frozen fresh, right on the spot, so they still have all the nutrients," Fischer says. "Canned vegetables are also good. And you need some fresh vegetables, like celery, carrots, and tomatoes and fresh fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and grapes."
Quick Baked Potato: It's a perfect addition to a healthy meal, and you can get oven-baked taste in less time than you think. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the potato, then microwave on high for about 4 minutes. Rinse it again so it's wet. Finish baking in oven for 10 to 15 minutes. "It's nice and crispy outside, with the texture of an oven-baked potato inside," Fischer says.
Quick Chicken Dinner: Chicken is a yummy beginning to a nice, lean meal, Fisher says. Skin a whole chicken. Then shake on the spices -- lemon pepper, Cajun spice, or paprika. Thyme and rosemary can go into the cavity, if you like. Place chicken in an oven-cooking bag. Then microwave on high for 10 minutes.
"I arrange the chicken on a platter of lettuce, surrounded by fresh asparagus or green beans or both, lots of grapes, orange slices," Fischer tells WebMD. "People can pick and choose whatever they want. It makes a marvelous steamed chicken."
Easy Black Bean Soup: Soup is a great filler-upper and can be a very healthy meal. Heat black beans and corn (frozen or canned) in the microwave. Ladle into bowls. Top with any of these: chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, black olives, shredded reduced-fat cheese, "plus a few lime slices, to make it look really pretty," says Fischer.