Friday, December 19, 2008

Make it easy to eat healthy foods!

If you can make it easy to have healthy foods on hand, would you be more likely to eat at home?

How often have you made the decision to pick up fast food or go out to eat simply because you don't have foods on hand ready to be prepared?

Part of a Million Dollar Life is nourishing your body so that it can serve you well, both physically and mentally.

Here are some ways I make life easier and my meals healthier and even save some $:

1. Vegetables:

I buy large bags of frozen organic beans and mixed vegetables to have in the freezer ready for times that I am out of fresh veggies.

Check for specials in the grocery ad and choose those vegetables that are featured that week. You'll have variety week to week and generally these are fresher because of the turnover of lots of people buying the specials.

Garlic and onions keep pretty well if they are kept dry. I keep them in an open bowl.

2. Meats:

I buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts when they are featured at a special price and package them in sandwich baggies... one or two to a baggie. Costco actually has their chicken already in individual plastic. These keep well in the freezer. It is a good idea to put the bagged chicken breasts in a second plastsic bag to prevent freezer burn. You should mark with a permanent marker so you use them up in the order you buy them.

Safety tip: Never use a wooden cutting board for cutting raw meats. It is very difficult to get all of the meat out of the wood. There is danger of salmonella or ecoli from raw meat. Using a plastic board that can be washed in the dishwasher or thoroughly in soapy water, you will be avoiding this risk.

When lean ground beef is on sale, I buy it in quantity and make hamburger patties and freeze in sandwich bags. Again, mark with the date and put the small bags into a larger plastic bag.
Sometimes I cook a couple of pounds of lean ground beef with chopped onions and garlic until brown. I package this mixture in plastic containers, ready to thaw and use for tacos, in omelets...anyway you'd like. It's great not to have to make the mess again...quick and easy!

If you like meatloaf, you can use some of the ground beef to make meatloaf. Sometime I'll post a good meatloaf recipe. These can be frozen and are ready to pull out and bake.

Shrimp is reasonably priced in the large bag at Costco. It is easy to take out a few at a time to thaw and use.

Turkey meatballs are also sold in a large bag. I take out a few, cook for a while in a non stick skillet and add some tomato sauce for use with pasta or with some zucchini.

Salmon is sometimes sold as a whole fish. You can buy it this way and cut it into individual portions and freeze them in baggies.

3. Breads

I have discovered wonderful whole wheat kaiser rolls that are perfect for burgers or chicken sandwiches. They have fewer carbs or calories than having a normal bun or two pieces of bread. I cut a center slit before freezing so that they are ready to be pulled out, thawed for a little while and filled with yummy stuff!

Any bread without preservatives needs to be frozen to avoid mold... at least in Phoenix this is true!

These tips are GREAT for cooking for one or two, but are also perfect for having easy family meals ready to go.

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