Friday, July 2, 2021

For those getting ready to come back to campus this fall and for those who never left, busy weeknights, schedules, and commutes may get in the way of your motivation and desire to cook healthy meals. It is easy to grab something and pick it up on your way home. However, you can still eat healthy at home when you are too tired to cook. All it takes is a little pre-planning for your grocery list, and you can whip up these delicious healthy meals in 20 minutes or less.

• Mini pizzas

• Baked potato bar

• Tossed salads with veggies and protein

• Pasta with veggies and protein

• Quick soups

• Ready-made burgers

• Egg dishes with veggies

• Sandwiches or wraps

• Rotisserie chicken and veggies

• Tacos or burritos

For preparation instructions and details, view the “Healthy Meals in 20 Minutes or Less” video and companion document here.

Tips for fast healthy meals throughout the week

• Pick your weekly menu based on the cuisine you are craving and add staple ingredients like proteins, veggies, and whole grains to your shopping list. With the healthy meal ideas above, you don’t have to follow a specific recipe. You can just use the ingredients you have on hand.

• Add more variety to your menu from week to week by swapping different veggies, proteins, whole grains, and seasonings.

• Stock up on frozen veggies to save on prep time. You don’t have to worry about them going bad or spend time chopping.

• Prepare extra proteins or veggies earlier in the week, so you can reheat leftovers and add to your soups, salads, wraps, or tacos. This is a great option for meal prep and packing a healthy lunch. Pair with some baby carrots and hummus, fruit, or some nuts, and you’ve got a healthy lunch on-the-go.

Healthy grab-and-go lunch items

• Tuna packets, hard boiled eggs, sliced turkey, or chicken breast. Look for low sodium options.

• Low-fat, plain Greek yogurt. Look for low sugar options.

• String cheese

• Fruits and veggies such as carrots, celery, cauliflower, grape tomatoes, apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, and berries

• Single-serving packages of guacamole, hummus, peanut butter, or nuts

Make your own Bento Box!

Bento Boxes are the fancy, adult version of home-made Lunchables. ® They’re a great way to put together an easy and healthy lunch with ready-made items. Check out this link for inspiration for your next healthy lunch! gallery/13659/easy-bento-box-lunch-ideas-for-work-and-school/

This article originally appeared in the liveWELL 2021 Summer Employee Well-Being Newsletter.