Prep Once, Eat Twice: Double-Duty Ingredients

By , SparkPeople Blogger
The key to getting a nutritious and delicious dinner on the table in under 30 minutes is not a culinary degree or a team of sous chefs. It's one short French phrase: mise en place.

In the kitchen, mise en place means everything in its place. The vegetables are chopped, the herbs are washed, and the pots are clean and ready to go. When you're short on time, using prechopped vegetables (either chopped ahead of time or purchased that way) is a huge time saver.

In these two videos, I used one set of ingredients--chopped vegetables and precooked chicken breasts--to create two very different meals: Veggie Chicken Stir Fry and Spring Rolls. Watch now!

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For a two-cup serving (including 1 1/2 cups of vegetables), this dish has 149 calories and 2.3 g fat. Add a half-cup of brown rice, a cup of milk and a half-cup of melon balls for a meal that clocks in at 375 calories and 4 g fat, plus four servings of fruit and vegetables.

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The next night, use the leftovers to make spring rolls. If you're nervous about using rice paper, don't be. I show you how to use it in the video. I created three sauces that can be used with a variety of fillings. Take your favorite leftover protein and chopped vegetables and turn them into a light and healthy dinner.

What is your favorite stir-fry vegetable combination? What ones do you always have in your house?