Keep that pantry (and freezer) stocked! – Quick Easy Dinner Ideas

Submitted by Kelly Devine Rickert, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, Registered Dietitian/Health Coach, Franciscan WELLCARE

Many of my clients biggest obstacles to eating healthy is that they don’t have enough time to make a healthy meal for dinner. It’s all about the planning!! If you have an idea of what you are going to prepare all 5 days during the week, you will be less likely to eat fast food or binge on snack foods at home. Here is a list of ingredients to keep in the house/apartment at all times, and some samples of easy quick dinners!

Supplies/Staples: Outdoor grill or indoor grill (like a George Foreman)

  • Light dressings/mayo/sour cream
  • PAM Cooking Spray/Garlic powder/Mrs. Dash spices
  • Brummel and Brown or healthy alternative to butter or margarine

Ingredients to stock your shelves with:

  • Fresh (best) or frozen meats (no sauces) – chicken breast, pork chop, turkey breast, fish, 98% sirloin, veggie burgers
  • Low fat (2%) shredded cheeses
  • Fresh/Frozen vegetables (no sauces)
  • Fresh/Frozen fruit (no syrup)
  • Whole grain waffles
  • Uncle Bens 1 minute brown rice packets
  • Ronzoni or Barilla plus pasta
  • Bag of red, gold or sweet potatoes
  • Corn or Mission Carb Balance flour tortillas
  • Whole grain/wheat bread Tuna or Salmon in a can (packed in water)
  • Whole grain crackers Eggs or Egg Beaters
  • Peanut butter

Most meals that I make are under 20 minutes IF you have the ingredients defrosted and ready.

  1. Choose a lean protein: lean beef/pork/poultry/fish/eggs (THROW IN FRIDGE BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR WORK IN THE MORNING TO DEFROST)
  2. Cook on your George Foreman, or grill, or use PAM Cooking Spray in a skillet and cook on your stove top (to speed up cooking lower to medium heat and cover with a lid)
  3. Pick a vegetable- steam, cook on skillet or microwave. Bags of salad are great too! (Rinse first!)
  4. Pick a starch: brown rice/potato can be heated up really quick in the microwave or boil some water for wheat pasta
  5. Viola! Dinner is done!

Example meals:
Salmon or tilapia patties
1 sweet potato per person
Steamer bag of green beans
Salad with vinagrette dressing

Precooked grilled chicken breast strips, Salsa
2% cheese, heat up on skillet or microwave
Using a corn tortilla make into a quesadilla or wrap
Grill veggies or add corn and beans


This entry was posted in Franciscan Healthcare - Munster, Franciscan St. Anthony Health - Crown Point, Franciscan St. Anthony Health - Michigan City, Franciscan St. Margaret Health and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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