One of the biggest challenges of being a busy mom is finding the time to prepare healthy foods.
I have found 3 staples that are must haves in my home, that not only the kids love, but are also easy to prepare and can be used in a variety of dishes. Be sure to throw these staples in your shopping cart each trip. Then take a few minutes to prepare at the beginning of the week and you will be thanking yourself later!
Quinoa is a great staple to have on hand each week and gives a nutritious alternative to use in place of rice or pasta. It is one of the few plant protein sources that is considered a complete protein (includes all 20 amino acids). It is gluten free, high in fiber and naturally low in fat. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals such as thiamine, folate, iron, zinc and magnesium.
You can make a big batch early in the week and have it handy when you need to throw something quick together for the family. It is super easy to make using the Instapot. Just add 1:1 ratio of quinoa and manual IP for 1 minute.
Some of my favorite recipes to make using Quinoa are:
-Chicken stir fry
-Meatballs + Quinoa
There is a reason that eggs are at the top of everyone’s list when rushing to the store before a big snowstorm. They have a pretty long shelf life (raw), can be prepared ahead of time, and are so versatile.
Eggs are also very nutritious and filling. They are one of the few foods that are considered a complete protein (all essential amino acids) and also one of the few foods containing Vitamin D. Eggs is the perfect healthy snack, with only 80 calories but has 6 grams of protein!
I usually start each week by making a batch of eggs in my instant pot. Just add eggs and water, then Manual IP of 4 minutes and Quick Release. Or you could always boil water on the stove and make them the old-fashioned way😊
Here are a few ways I like to use eggs:
-Hard-boiled egg with fruit for a quick snack
-Add to a salad
Having sweet potatoes on hand at all times has been a lifesaver for me. I can always use them as an easy way to add in a vegetable at dinner, eat them alone for a quick snack or even come in handy as a dessert!
Potatoes often get a bad name. They are considered a starchy vegetable, but what makes things worse is they are usually fried and/or loaded with unhealthy toppings. But you don't be afraid of sweet potatoes!
Although they have the basic nutrient content as a potato, it's the orange color in them that really sets the two apart. Beta carotene is what gives sweet potatoes their color and is a precursor to Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A and C which are both antioxidants that help fight off free radicals in our bodies. Hence, keeping us looking and feeling younger longer :)
Easy ways to use sweet potatoes:
- Fries (Sliced sweet potatoes seasoned with TJ chili lime spice and drizzle with coconut oil. Bake on 400 for 15 - 20 minutes... Or until smoke alarm goes off)
-Whole with butter and cinnamon
-Sweet potato wedges
cut into wedges ( I clean them really well and leave the skin on) I place them in a ziploc bag and add avocado or coconut oil, salt, garlic, paprika, chili lime spice and a drizzle of honey. Shake really well until they are all coated and lay flat on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake on 400 for 30 minutes)
-Stuffed Chummus + Chickpea Boats
For more tips to make meal planning easy go check out the busy and healthy moms FB page!