A personal favorite of my own is meatless quesadilla - use whole wheat tortillas, low-fat colby-jack cheese, dice up some red and green peppers, a little red onion and snip some fresh cilantro. Warm up in a fry pan or griddle pan until the cheese is melty and serve with fresh salsa. YUM! (And only about 375 calories for the whole thing, which can be tough to finsh since it makes four large quesadilla wedges!)
Fitness Minutes: (29,339)
5/1/13 12:49 P
I eat a lot of chicken breast or turkey breast burgers on weeknights. I usually have them on half a piece of rye bread or one a whole-wheat English muffin. I like loaded them up with spinach, onion, tomatoes, etc, then either a few slices of avocado or LC light cheese.
My favorite "all week" thing to make for lunches is to boil a bunch of quinoa on Sunday, then make a salad with quinoa, 1/2 cup chick peas or chopped chicken breast, chopped cucumber, tomato, freshly parsley, lemon juice, and a little olive oil. You can really flavor it any way you want, and the protein from the quinoa chick peas or chicken is very satisfying.
Another good quick dinner I enjoy is taking a 180 calorie pita (I find them at Harris Teeter), toasting it in a little olive oil in a skillet, flipping it over and adding chopped tomato and garlic, roasted veggies (I usually have eggplant and mushrooms I've already roasted), and an ounce of fresh part-skim mozzarella (70 calories). It's a tasty,not-too-high in calorie pizza substitute that satisfies my pizza cravings and gets some veggies in!
Good luck and enjoy your food choices, whatever they may be!
I found this truly fantastic salad recipe at Publix, where you combine a bag of baby arugula with 1/4 cup of (light) ranch dressing, a (drained) can of artichoke hearts, a (drained) can of black olives, and 1/4 cup of (reduced fat?) parmesan cheese. Toss and add some black pepper. Well, bf hates arugula, so I started halving the recipe...it's delicious on a wrap (I use FlatOut or La Tortilla Factory Low-Carb-High-Fiber wraps) with chicken or tuna, and you could totally switch out the dressing to a light Italian, if you prefer. You can also make a couple of salad mixes in bags (or tupperware...or ppl apparently use mason jars...) in the fridge, then take one with you to mix with whatever greens and dressing you like...
I also make soup in advance and freeze it in the little 1-serving-size screw-top Ziploc containers, take them out the night before and take them for lunch the next day. Can be done with chili, too... Peanut Butter and Company makes a dark chocolate peanut butter that doesn't have any more calories or fat than regular peanut butter, and makes a delicious peanut butter and banana sandwich/wrap...
I like that idea. a wrap can cover a multitude of calories too! At least it looks like I am eating nutritious stuff in there.
Fitness Minutes: (10,650)
4/30/13 1:25 P
I make wraps for lunch with the Flatout Flatbreads. It's a good way to get protein with turkey and veggies with spinach and tomatos (I sometimes use salad spritzers dressings). It is also delicious to use Laughing Cow cheese, sunflowers, and hard boiled egg whites.
Fitness Minutes: (87,555)
1,151 4/29/13 6:23 P
Dump a bagged salad into a whole-wheat wrap. Roll it up like a burrito and enjoy. (Sometimes I'll toss the salad with some dressing, or add something like nuts or flax seed to it prior to putting it on the wrap.)
As far as adding veggies to your count, one of my favorites is grilled asparagus! I splashed some Worcestershire sauce on some fresh asparagus I got from the store last week and let it marinade for a little bit while the grill was heating. Then I grilled it on the top tray of my grill (made for veggies and lighter food that you don't want too close to the heat). It turned out fantastic!! I can't wait to go to the store to get more asparagus - it's in season here in the midwest.
Another thing I do is a cup of french style green beans sauted with about half a teaspoon of fresh garlic or 1 or 2 cloves in a splash of olive oil or spray of cooking spray. Actually, this is what I had with my dinner which was dijon baked salmon which was absolutely fabulous and from beginning to end took less than half an hour to cook. This with some angel hair pasta, italian bread, and a small salad (eaten while I was figuring out what I wanted to do with the salmon I had defrosted) was just under 500 calories for dinner, and I was stuffed!
Another way to add veggies is to chop some frozen up (after heating them) and put in some pasta with a little bit of butter. I do frozen broccoli or frozen broccoli and cauliflower blend with an ounce of angel hair pasta.
If you like baby carrots, you can always have a bowl of them ready and easy to grab in the fridge. I always have a bag on hand, but we would often forget about them until I started putting them in a bowl (found one what has a strainer and a lid at our local Kroger for around $5 on sale). Now they get eaten all the time. It's easy to grab a few to eat while you are thinking what you are hungry for and better than grabbing a handful of chips.
As far as lunch ideas, I used to always bring leftovers from the night before when I worked in an office (I work at home now, so I can just do whatever I'm hungry for). You can also grill some chicken and make it into chicken salad. I do a half serving of chicken chopped (2 ounces before cooking), 1 tsp of dijon mustard, 1 tbsp of light mayo, an egg white chopped, and about 1/8-1/4 cup carrots chopped. You can put this in a pita shell with some lettuce, on bread, or even on a bed of nice greens maybe with a couple of slices of tomato too.
I was at Allrecipes earlier today (where I got the salmon recipe from), and noticed a new thing they have for quick meal ideas take less than an hour. You can also find some really good marinades there too and just put your meat in before going to work to let it marinade it all day. Toss it on the grill and just add a couple of sides.
ANJADEXTER, About your "ticker"... Go to the Community tab at the top of this page, and you'll get a drop-down menu. Click on SparkPages, then choose "Edit your SparkPage". Scroll down near the bottom of your page, and you will be offered options about your ticker. Just follow the instructions, make your choices... and don't forget to SAVE your changes like I did the first time! LOL
Edited by: I.M.MAGIC at: 4/28/2013 (09:33)
Fitness Minutes: (365)
26 4/27/13 10:05 P
You can also set aside an hour or so each week to prepare all your food then throwing a meal together is fast. Cook extra side dishes, like rice, so you can just warm up some for a future meal. I like having a salad already made. That way, you can add grilled chicken to some and have a super fast lunch. Preparing food ahead of time is the key to fast meals.
Fitness Minutes: (5,966)
4/27/13 7:50 P
Egg white "tostada." I beat 2 egg whites, put them to cook in a nonstick pan. I flip it when one side is done ( think fried egg) and stack half a cup of steamed broccoli, 1 oz cheddar cheese, and top with 2 ounces of sliced ham. Turn off the heat, cover the whole pan with a lid or foil and let it sit until the cheese is melty. Pair this with a cup of your favorite fruit and it is very satisfying.
Starkist makes a premade 100 cal tuna salad that comes in a foil package. I eat that on low cal high fiber wheat bread or on top of a bed of lettuce. Also Egg Beaters are great and I add any veggies I have and make an omelet. Flat Outs are good too, spray lightly with oil, put in a hot pan and top with light cheese, turkey pepperoni and any veggies you can find. Once toasted put on a plate and cut like a pizza, have with a salad ! Fast and cheap and Filling!
I was digging through the freezer tonight looking for something to cook, and found that my boyfriend had purchased a PF Changs Terayaki Chicken skillet meal. The nutrition on these quick little meals actually isn't too bad! A serving is like 350 calories (of course the sodium is horrendous, but what prepackaged meal like this isn't.) And it was also delicious, and took like 15 minutes to make :)
I like to take leftover vegetables and meat and dice it, putting them in little containers. Then the next day I'll throw some into an omelet, sometimes with a little cheese, and call that a quick delicious meal that keeps me full until the next meal.
My favorite lunch is a tostada salad made out of 1/2 can of fat free refried beans (8 oz) plus 2 oz of ground turkey breast. I mix that with 2.5 oz of chicken breast and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Then I add a container of salsa (about 10 oz) - first I drain the water out. I mix that all together and season it with Mrs. Dash Table Blend and salt. Then I add about 4 oz of iceberg lettuce all chopped up. Then I mix everything together. Once a week I add guacamole as a treat. It is such a filling meal and is very low cal. (286 calories - higher on the day I add guacamole)
In the earlier post, forgot to add that I sprinkle with garlic powder, too.
4/26/13 11:42 A
I try to plan my meals ahead of time. Cooking several things for a few days to week in your free time helps greatly. In a pinch I toss together tuna salad and grab a tortilla and whatever veggies I have on hand for lunch. For dinner, lay out a piece of fish or meat in the refridgerator and cook throw it in the oven. You can add a nice salad on the side or, my favorite, have greek yogurt and a piece of fruit. Quick and convenient.
My fastest, lowest calorie dinner is the seasoned prepared frozen fish and the combo frozen seasoned potato/veggie mix. I just add a tossed salad. Since my husband and I are empty nesters, it's just enough food for us for dinner.
My fastest lunch idea is a low cal cheese stick wrapped in two slices of turkey lunchmeat. I add a fat free yogurt and apple, and I'm good to go.
4/26/13 8:44 A
One of my favorite lunches is to take the leftovers from whatever we had for dinner the night before, and put it on a bed of lettuce. I often take this to work.
Fitness Minutes: (3,158)
4/26/13 6:46 A
sound delicious, i love whole wheat spaghetti, lots of garlic, onion, chilli flakes, tin of chopped tomatoes dn some shrimp, quick, easy and tasty !!!
How about whole wheat spaghetti....cook super al dente....I cook 6 or 7 min....while preheating oven to 350 degrees.....drain, put in a casserole dish,drizzle with olive oil, add whatever spices you like (I use oregano or parsley) and put some precooked, deveined, shelled defrosted shrip (defrost under cold running water) on top and heat in oven until shrimp is warmed through!! Yummy. With a small side salad it can't be beat!
Well, I wanted to edit the post, but the first time I pulled it up, it didn't offer the option. I posted again, and now it does, lol.
Meant to say that I also sprinkle with garlic powder (been a while since I made it, but today is a good day for it!)
Edited by: CHUBBYNOMORE3 at: 4/26/2013 (11:56)
4/25/13 8:55 P
My go to is frozen chicken and veggies. It takes awhile to make, but it just sits in the oven and is 0 work. I have a ton of seasonings, and sauces so I add variety that way
I do sandwiches for lunch a lot. Or canned soup. Or an egg mug.
Fitness Minutes: (23,456)
364 4/25/13 8:14 P
Here is an easy one if you are eating carbs...whole wheat spaghetti, dressed with walnuts that have been toasted with some oil/butter lemon zest salt pepper and parm cheese with lemon juice salt and pepper . mmmmm
Fitness Minutes: (2,309)
4/25/13 4:04 P
SAMJUL, I posted this last idea to the wrong board LOL so I'm pasting it here. It's one of my favorite things to do, even in summer.
Do you like soups? Better Than Bouillon soup bases are VERY good and come in all sorts of versions. I also keep a jar of hot and sour soup base on hand, along with jarred ginger and garlic (I'm lazy). Start with about half the recommended amount and taste before adding more. You can have a week's worth of meals cooked in less than half an hour with almost no effort using frozen vegies (I prefer fresh but in winter can't get good ones). Add your favorite proteins and seasonings, maybe a starch, and voila! Tonight I'm making an Italian minestrone-type with chicken and veg or mushroom BTB bases, some chicken, frozen tortellini and vegies, canned tomatoes and beans, dandelion greens from the back yard, a bay leaf, and plenty of garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, and grated asiago or parmegiano reggiano. Except for picking the greens, that's five or ten minutes of prep time, and once the water boils, only ten minutes to the table. One reason I make a lot of soup is it's the best way to get my starch-junkie BF to eat enough protein and vegetables. I often eat soup for breakfast, too.
Right now, wild edible greens are popping up all over. There are books on what's safe and tasty and how to prepare it; you want one with photos, not drawings. I found a couple of good ones at the library. Look around your back yard, or take a hike. It's a fun adventure!
Edited by: KLUTZY68 at: 4/25/2013 (16:06)
4/25/13 2:49 P
I'm a big fan of roasting veggies. Makes them taste amazing and the leftovers can be thrown into a wrap!
4/25/13 2:09 P
Not necessarily quick but def easy, I batch cook.
Fitness Minutes: (901)
61 4/25/13 1:01 P
We bake a bunch of sweet potatoes on the weekend, and then you've got baked sweet potatoes for the week. We eat them with breakfast, and sometimes I'll throw in a half for lunch. It's so easy to bake them ahead of time, but it feels like it took more time than just a bag of raw veggies.
For quick dinner, I keep frozen turkey burgers on hand. That and a couple cans of veggies have gotten me through several nights when I'm in a rush or didn't plan anything.
Fitness Minutes: (29,134)
464 4/25/13 12:39 P
Thanks for all the great ideas. Spark people always come thru with good , healthy and practical ideas.
4/25/13 8:43 A
In my efforts to learn to cook light, lean, and fast, I have discovered the joys of easy, quick pasta. Cook bow-tie, penne, or other pasta. Then, take chopped, onion, garlic, and a pepper (choose your color!), and saute in a little olive oil. Add 1/4 cup chicken stock with spinach, a little salt, and 1/2 - 1/2 tsp of oregano. Saute until leaves wilt. Add a chopped tomato, pasta, and 1/4 cup of reserved water from the pasta. Cook through. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup Feta or other cheese and heat through.
Done! total time is about 18 minutes, most of which is waiting for the water to boil to start the pasta!
I appreciate this thread so I could get some other ideas!
I make turkey chili it is a weight watchers recipe, and then put it into containers and freeze it. A lot of the time I will also take leftover dinner for my meal the next day. I find if it is put in containers and I just have to take it out I am more likely to do so.
Fitness Minutes: (3,158)
4/25/13 5:59 A
hi, could somebody please explain to me how i can get the weight line on the board, i am really bad with computers and learning but want to see my progress like you all do, it's a learning progress so really appreciate some help!
They're about 6"x6" and don't taste coconutty. They come in plain and curry, and are very thin (about like an egg roll or spring roll wrapper). They're sturdy enough for cold or hot wraps; I've microwaved them with hot fillings. I've also filled them with berries and whipped topping as a dessert! yum. They're sturdy but not tough. They *ARE* pricey. Four to a package.
Since they're ridiculously easy to store ("do not refrigerate or freeze"), I buy them in bulk from the website. I've never found any in a store, health food or otherwise. For those lucky enough to be near the distributor (Atlanta GA), you might be able to get them directly from there. Otherwise, it's the manufacturer's website.
They're definitely worth trying. Don't let the name put you off. These make "regular" wraps or flatbreads seem like fast-food buns.
Fitness Minutes: (2,648)
4/24/13 10:07 P
Flat Out flatbreads...Delicious and only 90 calories!
I'm guessing everyone already mentioned batch cooking, freezing servings then microwaving, etc. My favorite "batch" is roasted vegetables - with them, you've gotten the hard part done. Add some whole wheat couscous (5 minutes), some beans (canned - rinse 'em) and you're off.
Eggs are always an easy one - make an omelette with some of those leftover roasted vegetables. If you're not up to making an omelette, just dump the whisked eggs (I use three whites and two yolks - give the remaining yolk to the dog) on top of the vegetables and scramble them together.
Whole wheat tortilla, beans (any kind you like), squash a few with a fork, grate over a TBSP or so of pepper jack cheese, top with salsa (my favorite is black beans is Paul Newman's pineapple salsa.) Broil til the cheese melts.
A big bowl of oatmeal isn't a bad dinner, either - throw in some dried cranberries or apricots instead of the usual raisins, or add a whole cut up apple and some cinnamon.
Bulghur is easy and fast - boil water, add bulghur, let it sit for a few minutes while you mic up some of those vegetables from yesterday. Toss in a little tamari or soy sauce.
My best "batch" tip is to use dried beans, soak them overnight, cook them all and them freeze the cooked beans in one cup portions. You can do this with brown rice, as well. Take out a package of each one, microwave them, and you're pretty well on your way to dinner.
If you're really pressed for time more than money, get the vegetables from the salad bar at the grocery - they have more kinds than they used to in bags in the produce section, too. For me, the prep time is always the trouble, rather than the cooking time, so if you can "hire" somebody else to do the prep, do it.
Lots of groceries will clean and steam your shrimp or other seafood, too, if you call ahead - mine does it at no extra charge. Grab a bag of salad while you're there. At home, make a quick vinaigrette, put the hot shrimp on top of the salad, and you're done.
Edited by: SCOOTER4263 at: 4/24/2013 (18:11)
Fitness Minutes: (5,689)
4/24/13 5:21 P
I'm big on using bases with different toppings to create a different "cultural experience." My bases are usually whole wheat pasta or brown rice (I make them in large batches ahead of time) . Add whatever protein you'd like (I usually do chicken, again I cook a few pieces at a time to save time), and I sautee most of the veggies (this is the only time-consuming part of the meal). Just a few ideas:
For Indian, I add chick peas, fresh ginger, tumeric, curry powder, cumin, cayenne, fresh minced garlic, spinach, and diced tomatoes and it's a delicious spicy meal. Just throw the ingredients together in a sauce pan to let it warm/cook for a few minutes.
For Mexican, I do black beans, fresh cilantro, tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado, a little apple cider vinegar, a squeeze of lime, and plain fat free yogurt. This one is super easy, because the mushrooms are the only thing that need to be sauteed. I usually just throw a can of black beans together with the rice, add the apple cider vinegar, and throw it in the microwave to heat up.
For Italian, I do lots of sauteed garlic, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, capers, and usually I eat with sardines instead of chicken.
Edited by: REGINA_PHALANGE at: 4/24/2013 (17:22)
Fitness Minutes: (2,309)
4/24/13 4:41 P
When I was working I usually did the batch thing. Something like chicken pieces, a pot of brown rice, and a pot of cooked veg. Or I'd use the slow cooker--the cooker and microwave are a working person's best friends! Are cukes and kale the only vegies you like or are you just in a rut? You might try one or two new ones each week. Asparagus is showing up now, yum! I actually like cereal for supper and plan to do that more often. It's better to eat a big breakfast than a big dinner; it keeps you going all morning, and doesn't load you up when you're about to go to sleep.
4/24/13 4:22 P
Today I practiced making a homemade protein shake, using up extra things I have around the house: dried egg whites, banana and frozen blueberries. I first whipped up the egg whites with water in the magic bullet, then threw in the banana and blueberries. Tomorrow I will add a bit of greek yogurt. I am stuffed.
I too was bored....
Fitness Minutes: (11,285)
4/24/13 11:50 A
I make my lunch for the week on the weekend. Lentils and rice, or black beans and rice. Then I alternate with a week of tossed salads, topped with rinsed, drained tuna, which I stuff into a pita pocket to eat. Good luck!
4/24/13 11:27 A
I personally like to batch cook on the weekends. I grill enough meat to last all week. I like to grill enough for dinners and lunch. I take in salads (I try to use different vegetable blends and dressings so it doesn't get old) or wraps loaded with vegetables (shredded carrots, spinach tomoates) and some lean meat.
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
4/24/13 10:33 A
Stir frys are also good things to batch cook.
I'm in a spinach salad mood atm. I buy a big bag of spinach and grape tomatoes, pre cut bell peppers, and hard boil some eggs at the beginning of the week and just dump portions of everything in a tupperware in the morning.
Fitness Minutes: (45,342)
1,317 4/24/13 10:12 A
Cook ahead! I do a quiche and cut it into 4, and it's all ready to heat up - ?or eat cold? Chuck a meal into the slow cooker and it's waiting for you when you come home!
Fitness Minutes: (42,411)
5,092 4/24/13 9:44 A
Plain greek yogurt with fresh fruit Carrots, celery and/or peppers dipped in homemade hummus Old fashioned or steel cut oats with flax seed and fresh fruit Omelet with fresh or frozen veggies Homemade quiche or frittata Homemade chicken, vegetable, lentil, etc. soup or chili with beans
Google freezer meals or batch cooking - things you make ahead of time then grab from the freezer and heat up for your meal. Saves lots of time.
Hello Everyone Hope all is well on this rainy Wednesday ...well at least here in T.O ...But on the bright side it is wed....so I was hoping to get some great ideas for lunch and dinners quick ones ...as I seem to always be pressed for time...
I am kind of tired of cucumber salads as I have them almost daily as well as Kale salad because I also have those for dinner lol ...any ideas like today I ran out of ideas and brought cereal with fruit and banana in it although it is a pretty healthy choice I get tired of it ...
So any suggestions would be good ...I would like to increase my veggie intake only because I eat more fruit then veggies and the only veggies I do eat is my cucumbers and kale ....
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