Cheat Meals: Simplify Your Dinner Time Routine

“Cheat meals” are a go-to for busy professionals. If you are working long hours, or have a second job and you come home tired, how do you manage to put tasty, healthy food on the table with minimal effort? Here are some tips about how you can shortcut dinner prep without shorting yourself on taste and nutrition.

Core “Cheat Ingredients”:

  • Rotisserie chicken is a go-to “cheat” ingredient. You can use this chicken in entrees, stir frys, soups and salads. Inexpensive, easily available and tasty.
  • Steam in bag” veggies are a great foundation; look in the produce section of your supermarket for a variety of options.
  • Stir-fry beef options; this thin-sliced option is great for stir fry, saute, quick ramen-style soups and more.
  • Make a batch of soup and you’ll have lunch for days! Vegetable soups and chili reheat well; you can add pre-cooked meats to fortify leftovers for a hearty lunch. Your freezer is your friend: when you make batches of chili, soups, etc. — you can stockpile a reserve of great food that is ready to be reheated!
  • Eggs are often overlooked as a dinner-time option. They are versatile, a great source of protein and cook in minutes.
  • Have a microwave? Potatoes are a quick, microwave-friendly option. Topped with leftover meat, cheese or veggies, you can make a quick meal in minutes. Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to white potatoes and add beta carotene to your diet.
  • Pre-made meatballs are available in many grocery stores; broiling these and topping with cheese and fresh tomato slices over fresh pasta delivers a fabulous meal in 15 minutes.
  • Pizza dough is available in many grocery stores; top it with leftovers, or quick “adds” for a tasty, hearty meal in minutes! You can also use store-made dough to create easy calzones; filling them with veggies is a healthy, lower-calorie alternative. You can usually find pre-cut vegetables in the produce section of your grocery store.

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