4 Tricks for Easy, Healthy Cooking
By Ali Struhs
Who has time to spend hours in the kitchen each day preparing nutritious food three times a day? We get it: work, errands, and kids’ soccer practices can easily get in the way of your new healthy lifestyle, but keeping your kitchen routine healthy doesn’t have to be time intensive or complicated. Balance your schedule and make your life simpler with these four tricks for easy, healthy cooking.
Slow cook your dinner
Imagine coming home from a hectic day to the smell of homemade soup or the rich smell of baking sweet potatoes. Utilize your slow cooker to make healthy meals for your family or sides with just a few minutes spent in the kitchen. For a healthy and comforting soup, combine low sodium chicken broth, cooked chicken breast chunks, and your favorite vegetables and let simmer in the slow cooker while you’re busy at work. For sweet potatoes at dinnertime, simply wash the potatoes well and place them in the slow cooker for 6-7 hours.
Wrap up leftovers
When making healthy foods, always make more than you need and freeze the leftovers for busy nights when you don’t have time to spend in the kitchen. For example, a medley of roasted summer squash, tomatoes, and onion with fresh basil and garlic can be frozen in air-tight containers and later microwaved in minutes for a healthy side to a serving of Jenny Craig Cheese Ravioli.
Prep on Sunday
You can save time by washing, cutting and portioning your fruit and vegetables on Sunday night, making it easy to add healthy nutrients to your meals throughout the week. Put carrot sticks and broccoli in sandwich bags for quick mid-afternoon snacks, layer mixed greens in mason jars for salads at dinner, and wash ripe berries and citrus fruits for easy fruit salads in the morning. Try roasting vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets and cauliflower for an easy side dish. You can also wash fresh herbs like basil and rosemary and store in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for quick and easy seasoning at dinnertime, instead of reaching for the salt shaker.
Make lunch at dinnertime
If you’re already on the Jenny Craig weight loss program, your lunch should be as easy as grabbing your favorite meal on the go! But what about healthy sides? Grab some of the fresh vegetables that are already washed and sliced and toss them in a container. By having lunch ready to go when you head to work in the morning, you won’t be tempted to eat out with coworkers and derail your diet.