It’s that time of year….many of you are gearing up for school (or have already started!) and your schedule is about to get busier. Our family is no exception as we look forward to the coming year with our 3 kids. School, soccer, birthday parties, Halloween….and the holidays will be right around the corner!
As I think about this coming year, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite food products and ways to use them for quick meals. You’ll note I frequent Costco (a lot!) as it’s a budget friendly way I can feed my family well. However, these and other similar products can be found many places.
OOOOBY (Out of Our Own Backyard) Produce Boxes:
If you aren’t familiar with OOOOBY, you should check them out! We get our box of produce every other week, but you can choose to get it delivered weekly. You get fresh produce that’s in season and they recently made it easier to create your own custom box (based on your own food preferences) as there is no added cost to the service. I love being able to pick up our box and go!
Kirkland Frozen Stir Fry Vegetables:
You get a variety of stir fry ready vegetables that can be cooked in minutes. Beyond using this bag of vegetables to create stir fry dishes, we’ll sauté the vegetables to create delicious veggie wraps with a touch of soy or other Asian sauce. You can add scrambled egg, diced chicken, and/or a mild cheese to add protein to your wrap.
Sonoma Creamery Parmesan Cheese Crisps:
These are a nice change from your usual snack options. With 10 grams of protein per ounce, these crisps are a nice, shelf-stable option for adding protein to your snacks on-the-go.
Papa Pita Greek Pita Flatbread:
This pita bread actually has 4 grams of fiber per serving, making it a good source of fiber! We create flatbread sandwiches as a quick dinner or lunch meal, use this flatbread to dip in hummus as a part of a “snack-style” lunch, or use them as pizza crusts, topping with fresh mozzarella, grilled vegetables, chicken, and tomato sauce.
We try to have avocados in the house as often as possible and we go through them so quickly! Use them on whole grain toast for a quick breakfast option (the ever so popular avocado toast), in sandwiches (our kids’ favorite – cheese, avocado, and a touch of mayo), or add them to quesadillas at dinner time. I love using these in quick cooking meals because they provide such great nutrition, healthy fats, and help provide satisfying meals without a lot of effort.
Foster Farms Frozen Chicken Breasts:
I pull out frozen chicken and add different spices, herbs, vinegar and oil to marinate for a couple of days. When completely thawed, I sear the chicken on both sides on the stove and then place it in an oven at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes (until internal temp reaches 165 degrees). We use the leftovers for several lunches and meals throughout the week.
Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown Rice Packets:
These microwaveable packets are awesome when you don’t have time to cook rice on the stove (or don’t own a rice cooker). You get a great source of whole grains and can eat it as a side dish or use it as a base for a variety of rice bowls….add a lean protein source, vegetables and oil and you’re all set!
Sabra Hummus (any flavor):
While I’m not a vegetarian, hummus allows me to make many plant-based meal options that are rich in flavor and nutrition for the family. We spread hummus on sandwiches and add to wraps (often with sautéed vegetables) to add a nice mix of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It can always be used as a dip for vegetables and crackers, as well, as part of a nutritious snack or meal.
Kirkland Peanut Butter:
I’m always an advocate for natural nut butters (where you can see the oil floating at the top) with nothing but nuts and a touch of salt. Don’t ever forget the simplicity of peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread (with some fruit and a cup of milk to complete the meal). But, we also love to use it to make peanut butter pancakes and waffles! My kids and I will create a large batch of pancakes or waffles we keep in the fridge or freezer to pull out during the week. Adding the peanut butter adds protein, healthy fats, and makes them more satisfying and delicious! Plus, they can be eaten on the go.
With a few staples in your fridge and in your pantry, you can easily create some simple meals without a lot of stress!
Wishing everyone a great start to this fall season, Sunny
Note: There is no conflict of interest to report as I don’t get paid by any of these companies.