What's for dinner? Quick and healthful mealsSometimes after a busy day, preparing a meal may seem like too much work. However, eating out can put a dent in your budget. These easy tips can help you put a meal on the table in minutes and save you money, too. For a quick meal on the go, make a stuffed pita pocket or tortilla wrap. Simply stuff a pita or roll up a tortilla with veggies, meat and/or cheese, and be on your way.
By: Luella Morehouse, The Jamestown Sun
Sometimes after a busy day, preparing a meal may seem like too much work. However, eating out can put a dent in your budget. These easy tips can help you put a meal on the table in minutes and save you money, too.
For a quick meal on the go, make a stuffed pita pocket or tortilla wrap. Simply stuff a pita or roll up a tortilla with veggies, meat and/or cheese, and be on your way.
To boil water faster for cooking pasta, start with hot water and cover the saucepan with a lid.
Hard cook several eggs for a quick and easy addition of protein to any meal. Add sliced eggs to a chef’s salad made with a variety of leafy greens and other vegetables, or make egg salad sandwiches. Use hard-cooked eggs within one week.
If you have leftover cooked or grilled chicken, cut it up, place recipe- or meal-sized amounts in freezer bags and freeze for up to four months. Or make a quick stir-fry with frozen vegetables and serve it on a bed of rice the next day.
Cook extra pasta or rice. Drain and toss with a little oil to prevent sticking. Place the desired amount in storage bags and either store in the fridge for up to five days or freeze for up to six months.
Make your own frozen veggies. Chop, slice or dice fresh vegetables such as onions and bell peppers. Arrange in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet, freeze until firm, place the desired amount into freezer bags and freeze for up to one month. They will be ready to use in your favorite recipes.
Check the number of servings a recipe makes. For do-it-yourself frozen dinners, double the recipe and freeze half in meal-sized portions. For a quick meal, put the “frozen dinners” in the refrigerator to thaw before leaving for the day, then microwave when you return.
Question: I just bought a freezer. Do you have any tips?
Buying foods that are on sale and freezing them can help stretch your budget. Be sure the food is packaged or wrapped properly before freezing. Good packaging materials should be moisture-proof and easy to fill, seal, mark and store.
Some packaging materials, such as freezer bags, are specially made to prevent freezer burn that can lead to food deteriorating in the freezer. Be sure to mark the packages with the date you froze the food. To maintain the quality and safety of your food, set your freezer at 0°F or lower.
You can learn more about freezing fruits, vegetables, meats and other foods by contacting your local office of the NDSU Extension Service or by viewing the food preservation materials on the NDSU Extension website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/preservation.html. The website includes information on the proper packaging and storage life of various foods.
This was excerpted from http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise/newsletters.htm.
For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, FNP Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 116 1/2 First Street East, Jamestown, ND. You can reach me at 252-9030 or email@example.com.