Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Faster than the Drive-Thru Line

One of the big frustrations many nutritarian wanna-be's have is time in the kitchen. After all, you can't microwave a salad into existence, or create cooked whole grains with a can opener. Making your own salad dressings hardly seems instant, and vegetable soup is not available from the pizza delivery man.

Yet, here are 10 ideas that are practically immediate:
  1. Yam-It: Mash canned yams onto a whole wheat tortilla. Spoon on chili, bean soup or cooked beans - whatever you have in the cupboard or freezer. Top with salsa. Warm in microwave, then add  greens and/or sprouts. Roll!
  2. Salad Bar Soup: Heat vegetable broth to a boil. Remove from heat and drop in as many leftover cut vegetables as you can find in the frig.Let steep just a few minutes. Beans are also a nice addition.
  3. Racy Lentils: Dump a can of lentil soup onto a bowl of cooked rice (I keep bags of cooked brown rice in the freezer.) Mix in some finely chopped greens. Sprinkle with cayenne. Microwave.
  4. Thai Paradise: Steam some frozen mixed vegetables and serve over cooked rice (from the freezer). For the sauce, mix Thai chili-garlic sauce with coconut milk. (or use a purchased peanut sauce)
  5. Lettuce Wraps: Set bowls of pea pods, water chestnuts, rice, tofu, mung bean sprouts, cashews, mushrooms, carrot shreds and green onion, and bottled stir-fry sauce on the table, along with a head of butter lettuce. Let each person fill and roll their own leaves.
  6. Burrito Soup: Mix equal parts vegetable broth and refried beans. Add frozen cooked rice, canned green chilies, and salsa. Fun extras would be canned olives, fresh tomatoes and bell peppers, frozen corn and cabbage shreds.
  7. Stand-by Salad: Bagged lettuce can be topped with any of the following "instant" foods: seeds, nuts, sprouts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, canned mushrooms and artichoke hearts, canned beans, frozen or dried fruits, and frozen vegetables. Many homemade dressings are quick, but possibly none as convenient as Jane Esseltyn's 3-2-1 dressing: 3 parts vinegar (she uses balsamic; I think apple cider vinegar would be yummy), 2 parts mustard (any kind), 1 part maple syrup.
  8. Beet-Pear Salad: Toss canned beets and canned pears with balsamic vinegar and herbs. Serve over  greens with a garnish of slivered almonds. A warmed pita helps round out the meal.
  9. Farmhouse fare: Saute bagged shredded cabbage in orange juice with sliced onion and sliced apple, just until soft, 3-5 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with nutmeg. Pairs well with canned baked beans.
  10. Breakfast time Soup: Dump fresh vegetables, Mrs. Dash, and vegetable broth into a crock pot in the morning. Barley is a nice addition. Set to low and eat 8 hours later.
 As James Simmons says, vegetables and fruits are the original fast foods!
To your health and happiness,

1 comment: