Preparing healthy meals at home sometimes seems to get lost in
the shuffle. With a little bit of planning ahead, you can make it
easier to prepare healthful meals in a rush. Read on for a few tips to
help you balance mealtime with your busy schedule.
Making extra food to serve another day can be a great time-saver.
For example, if you have time on the weekend and plan to make a
casserole, make two instead of one. It often doesn’t take much more
time and preparation to double the recipe. You can serve one when you
make it and freeze the other one to pull out for a busy night. Soups
also freeze well, so make a large pot to have enough for another meal.
Keep in mind that some foods do not freeze well. This includes things
such as cooked eggs, cooked “chunks” of potatoes, pasta, and raw, watery
vegetables like lettuce.
Sometimes leftovers reheat well, and we don’t mind eating them for a
second time. However, some foods just don’t taste as good after
cooling and reheating. If you have a hard time getting your family to
eat leftovers but need a quick meal, try to turn those leftovers into
“planned-overs”. How is a planned-over different from a leftover?
Rather than just reheating and serving foods again, you can create
“planned overs” by taking leftover foods and turning them into a new
meal that only takes a few minutes to prepare. Think about what
leftover foods you have and how you could quickly repurpose them.
Leftover beans could be refried and used to make burritos. Leftover
chicken could become a quick chicken salad or a barbecue sandwich with
the addition of some bottled barbecue sauce and served on a bun. Turn
leftover vegetables or meats into a tasty soup. A stir fry is also a
great way to quickly turn leftovers into a meal that seems far from
This recipe for Teriyaki Stir Fry is super-fast to prepare and could
turn leftover chicken or rice into a great planned-over meal that your
family will love. Add a green salad and some fruit for dessert and you
have a quick complete meal!
Lightly spray a large nonstick skillet or wok with vegetable cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Sauté the vegetables until tender crisp and heated through, about 5 minutes. Season the vegetables with the soy sauce and sesame oil and add the chicken. Allow to heat together. Serve over the cooked, hot rice.
Serves: 4 to 6
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture