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  • A Healthy Pantry = A Healthy Cook!

    Monday, October 21, 2013

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    One of the biggest obstacles to trying eating healthier is time. Sometimes even the healthy meals that we are told are really quick to prepare (think grilled fish, roasted broccoli and brown rice pilaf) still take way more time than we are sometimes able to commit.

    So, what are you to do on those days when the thought of using more than one pan (or one utensil for that matter) is simply more than you can bear? Well, the first step is to have a pantry full of healthy short cuts on hand.

    Some favorite healthy kitchen staples www.kindred-kitchen.com

    Some of my favorites:
    Canned vegetarian chili (Amy’s is a favorite)
    Canned Indian entrees (Jyoti is my favorite)
    Canned beans of all types (garbanzo and black beans are probably the most versatile)
    Canned tomatoes
    Canned or frozen artichokes
    Lemons and limes
    Soy or almond milk
    Whey protein powder
    Frozen fruit and veggies (whatever your favorites are)
    Eggs
    Stock or broth (veggie, chicken, whatever you like)
    Frozen brown rice in individual 4-serving sized packages
    Quinoa
    Frozen whole wheat Naan (not only are these great as a classic accompaniment to Indian food, they are a great base for pizza)
    Shredded low fat cheese
    Greek yogurt
    Whole wheat pasta
    Bagged organic salad mixes
    Dates and dried figs (both excellent treats to satisfy a sweet tooth)
    Your favorite dried spices (I like to have a variety based on my favorite international flavors (Spanish/Mexican, Indian, Asian)
    Nuts (raw almonds, cashews, walnuts and pinenuts are particularly versatile)
    Olive and canola oils

    Some tips when purchasing convenience foods. First, always read the ingredients. The fewer the better (and you should recognize every ingredient listed). One of the big drawbacks of these foods tend to be the sodium content, so keep this in mind as you plan meals for the rest of the day.

    Another idea…prepare proteins, sides and veggies on Sunday (or whatever day in the week that works best for you) and package them for the week. I often will make a big batch of brown rice, roast a chicken, or prep veggies and save them in large glass containers ready for the microwave.

    Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day! Study after study show that people who eat the morning meal are more successful at losing weight and are thinner in general than their non-breakfast eating peers. Strapped for time chasing kids, feeding pets and coordinating pick-up times with your spouse? A smoothie whipped up in a to-go blender container is one of the best ways to start your day. Not only will you get a serving of fruit checked of your list, adding a scoop of protein powder will ensure that you are ready to go until lunch.

    Here is a recipe that is quick, easy, nutritious and made with staples I had on hand. Make it for brunch or dinner. Share your ideas for making healthy eating a priority in your busy life!

    Kindred Kitchen huevos rancheros
    www.kindred-kitchen.com

    ©2013 Nancy Granada / Kindred Kitchen

    A Healthy Pantry = A Healthy Cook!

    servings: 6 | time: 30 minutes

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    ingredients:

    1 can of you favorite vegetarian spicy chili (or 2 cups of prepared left over chili if you have it on hand)
    3-4 eggs
    1/3 cup shredded low fat Mexican or cheddar cheese
    4 Corn tortillas
    2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
    Pinch each of ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, dried cilantro and salt
    Juice of 1/2 a lime
    Handful of chopped green onion

    directions:

    1. Heat the chili in a large oven-proof skillet. Once the chili is bubbling, carefully crack and drop each egg on top

    2. Sprinkle with grated cheese and place in the oven for 5 minutes

    3. Wrap the corn tortillas in aluminum foil and place in the oven with the eggs/chili

    4. Meanwhile, make the spicy yogurt sauce by combining the yogurt, spices, and lime juice. Whisk until well combined. Set aside

    5. Once the eggs are done to your liking, top with green onion (you could also add chopped tomato and avocado if you have them on hand) and drizzle with the spicy yogurt sauce. Serve right from the pan with the tortillas

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