Six Ways to Make Heart-Healthy Meals in a Hurry

Think that you don’t have time to eat healthy? From experience, I know it’s only too easy to dial for pizza or pick up takeout on a busy day. But by planning ahead, you can get healthy meals on the table in a flash.

  • Break Out Your Baking Sheets. If you follow cooking magazines and websites on social media, you can’t miss the current sheet pan meal trend, where creative combos of vegetables and other ingredients cook together a baking sheet. allowing quick meal preparation and a speedy cleanup. In June 2018, Cooking Light offered more than two dozen recipes for sheet pan meals—ranging from Sheet Pan Parmesan “Fried Chicken” With Broccoli and Sweet Potato Wedges to Sheet Pan Chipotle Tofu Tacos.
  • Mix Up a Grain Bowl. Set your creativity free by experimenting with grain bowls, mixing together colorful vegetables, whole grains, proteins and other ingredients in one tasty dish.
  • Take It Outside. Save time by cooking all of the components of your meal—protein and vegetables—on your outdoor grill. We sometimes marinate chicken and vegetables in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs and grill them together.
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  • Make the Most of Technology. One of the hottest new kitchen gadgets is the electric pressure cooker, which cooks meals quickly and often offers additional functions such as a slow cooker, rice cooker and even a yogurt maker. Air fryers are also a popular tool for cooks who want to achieve the crispy texture of deep frying without the grease.
  • Shop Strategically. Craving a stir-fry? You’re halfway there when you pick up pre-cut vegetables from the grocery store produce section or salad bar and check the meat and seafood counters for pre-cut chicken strips or peeled shrimp.
  • Round Up Recruits. As the old saying goes, many hands make light work. Dinner prep time also offers a chance to chat with your family while you prepare dinner. An added bonus: kids learn important skills for a lifetime of healthy eating as they make salads, side dishes and pitch in with other tasks.

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