4 Secrets to Simple Home-Cooked Meals
4. Stock Up continued...
In the freezer:
- Meats: boneless skinless chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, salmon, shrimp, ground turkey breast, and lean beef
- Assorted frozen vegetables: spinach, corn, green beans, and mixed vegetables
- Shelled edamame
- Assorted frozen fruits: blueberries, mango, peach, strawberries
- Breads: whole-grain rolls, whole wheat pizza crusts or pita bread
- Low-fat frozen desserts: frozen yogurt, fruit bars
- Healthy frozen dinners
In the pantry:
- Onions, garlic, sweet potatoes
- Pickles, olives, light salad dressings, bottled marinades
- Fruit preserves
- Extra virgin olive oil and canola oils
- Assorted mustards and vinegars
- Low-sodium beans -- black, kidney, garbanzo
- Assorted fruits in their own juices
- Low-sodium chicken and beef stock
- Low-sodium soups
- Tomato sauce, whole tomatoes
- Water-packed tuna
- Canned artichoke hearts
- Canned olives
- Whole grains: pasta, couscous, brown rice, crackers, cereals, and oatmeal
- Treats: simple cookies, high-protein granola bars
- Nuts and natural-style nut butters
Simple Throw-Together Meal Ideas
Serve your family low-fat milk and fruit for dessert along with these easy, kid-pleasing meals:
- Create your own pizza using whole grain crust, tomato sauce, part-skim mozzarella cheese and a variety of toppings including beans, spinach, mushrooms, lean meat, peppers, onions, artichoke hearts, and pineapples.
- Hearty soup can be whipped up by adding frozen veggies and beans to a box or can or prepared soup. Serve it with a side salad and a whole grain roll.
- Frittata filled with leftover vegetables, potatoes -- or whole grains, lean meat, and cheese -- paired with a cup of vegetable soup or a salad and a whole grain roll.
- Tacos stuffed with lean protein or beans, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded low-fat cheese, and salsa in a corn tortilla.
- Spaghetti sauce mixed with 100% ground turkey breast or lean ground beef on whole wheat pasta, side salad, and a roll.
Keep It Safe and Clean
You will definitely find thermometers in all compartments of my refrigerator and freezer to ensure safe temperatures. If you don't already have one, I highly recommend purchasing a thermometer that can be easily hung from a wire shelf or attached to the side wall, and is visible when you open the compartment doors.
Be sure to keep your refrigerator and freezer clean by wiping up spills and debris whenever they happen. This will minimize bacterial contamination to fresh food. Once a week, wipe the interior down with a mild bleach solution to keep it sanitized.