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healthy for the holidays: pantry staples for easy weeknight dinners

With the holidays around the corner and so many things going on, it’s hard to always find the time to plan easy healthy meals during the week. With that in mind, I keep a few handy staples around at all times to help

  • Salad
  • Pasta sauce
  • Whole wheat/fiber added/vegetable pasta
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Canned beans
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Frozen ground meat/ground poultry

With this simple staples, it’s really easy to make a quick and healthy weeknight meal. Below are a few of my favorites that I go to when I’m feeling tired or don’t want to make something really complicated but still want to eat healthfully and on a budget.

Veggie Pasta

Cook some whole wheat (or other kind of) pasta according to package directions. Heat up some sauce (or you can toss with olive oil or butter instead). Cook some frozen vegetables according to package directions. Toss together sauce, vegetables, and pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese or crushed red pepper as desired.

Simple Chili

Season ground beef/poultry to your liking and cook until brown. Combine with canned beans and diced tomatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and serve topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or tortilla chips.

Takeout + Salad

While I try and avoid takeout (mostly to save money/calories) every now and then I’m really just not in the mood to cook. It is absolutely possible to eat healthfully while ordering takeout but unfortunately that usually costs a pretty penny. I’ve reached a pretty happy compromise by always keeping a big bowl of salad around. I have a wonderful OXO Salad Spinner/Bowl set that keeps my salad fresh and ready to go in the fridge. It even looks great on the table. Instead of spending a lot of money or completely throwing moderation out the window, I will have a little bit of something inexpensive (i.e. pizza) but make sure to have a large side salad with it.

What are your favorite weeknight dinners?

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