Today’s guest post is courtesy of Amelia, from Eating Made Easy
The next few weeks are filled with parties, feasts, and running around like crazy. You may feel like trading in your regular trips to the grocery store for treats or meals on-the-go, but resist the temptation! This is the most important time of year to focus on good meals and snacks at home, because if you can stick to healthy habits between all the celebrating, you’ll avoid having to buy bigger pants come January.
Here are some easy, healthy meals you can make ahead and pull out on a chaotic night.
1. Homemade Frozen Burritos. Load large whole wheat tortilla with your favorite burrito fixin’s, like chicken breast (perfect time to use a rotisserie chicken–check out the organic ones from Whole Foods), brown rice, beans, corn, salsa, and reduced-fat cheese. Roll into a burrito and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then place burritos in a large Ziploc bag. When you need a quick lunch or dinner, unwrap and pop a burrito into the microwave. Add lettuce and a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt or light sour cream after heating.
2. Shrimp with Roasted Red Peppers and Feta. This dish takes virtually no time to prepare, can be put directly into the oven from the freezer, and is still ready in 20 minutes. Plus, it’s low-cal and delicious. Toss some baby greens in a light vinaigrette to round out the meal.
3. Enchiladas and Ready-to-Bake Pasta. Any enchilada recipe (like this yummy one) can be prepped in a baking dish, covered with plastic wrap and foil, and frozen right in the dish. Just remove from the freezer, uncover, and bake until heated through. The same goes for any pasta in sauce. Make pasta with marinara sauce and tons of veggies (too busy to saute some up? Just mix a bag of thawed and drained chopped spinach into a jar of sauce), pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, then cover and freeze. When you’re ready to enjoy, pop it into a 350 degree oven until the cheese browns and the dish is bubbling.
4. Soups and stews. Soups are a great go-to, because you can make them out of anything, they last a week in the fridge, and when you get bored of what you made you can freeze single portions for a few months from now. My favorite healthy recipes are: Chickpea Stew with Chicken Sausage, Mushroom Barley Stew, Healthy Cream of Mushroom Soup, and Barley Stew with Lemon, Fennel, and Dill. And this Pumpkin Soup is fantastic for fall and winter, plus quick to make. Remember: soups are hard to mess up–so feel free to improvise and experiment using whatever veggies, meats, herbs, or broth you have on-hand.
5. Angel Hair with Fresh Tomato Sauce. The simple flavors of this dish will please everyone in your house, even picky eaters. And bonus: it only has a few ingredients and takes 10 minutes to prepare, so no need to make ahead of time.