Quick and Easy Healthy Meals
Preparing your nightly family meals may be time consuming leaving less time at the dinner table with your loved one, but don’t worry we are here to help make cooking that much quicker and easier.
John Soules Foods wants to make your shopping, preparing and cooking experience as quick and easy as possible. We also want to help you choose the best food options for you and your family.
Components of a Healthy Meal
Before we jump into looking at recipes, let’s talk about what a healthy meal consists of. We want to make sure everyone has a good understanding of the components of foods so that your meals can truly be a good option for you. Depending on where you look, you’ll get all sorts of different information on nutrition and diets. Some articles or companies will tell you to avoid carbs, some will tell you to stay away from sugar and some will just tell you to watch your calories. It can be hard to decide which options are best suited for you and your family. So to help, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USHHS or HHS) teamed up to give their recommendations.
These organizations suggest that you limit:
You may recall learning about the food pyramid in health or science class when you were younger? It still stands as a good resource today for guidance on a well balance diet. The most important food groups you should include in your diet to stay in good health are:
- Fruits and vegetables: Including these in your diet can help reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and some cancers. For each meal, at least half of your plate should be fruits and/or vegetables.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains include foods like whole wheat, whole oats, brown rice, corn, quinoa and whole-grain breads. Having whole grains in your diet helps with weight management, reduces the risk of constipation and could reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Protein: While it is essential to have protein in your diet, you don’t want to consume too much. The recommendation is between 2 and 6 ounces per day. The exact amount depends on your gender and age. You should also be consuming a variety of different proteins and meats.
- Dairy: Including dairy in your diet is important, but many dairy products are high in fat, which lead to some people avoiding them. There are low-fat dairy products that still provide a source of healthy dairy that can be beneficial to your health.
The highest level of the food pyramid includes things like fats, oils and sugars/sweets. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this food group, but these food groups should be consumed in moderation to lead to a balanced diet.
Tips to Make Cooking Healthy Easier
We want to help make nutritious cooking easier for you. We live in such a fast-paced world, and it can be hard to fit in cooking. Well, these tips will help you cut down on cooking time and make the overall process easier.
- Add salt to your boiling water. This may sound crazy, but a little bit of added salt to the water you’re boiling pasta in can help it boil quicker and at a higher temperature. This can shave a few minutes off your cook time.
- Pre-preparation. If you prep, cut, measure, etc., before starting the cooking process, it can speed up your cooking time. If you try to make the preparations as you go, it could slow you down.
- Preheat your pan. While you’re doing those pre-preparations, have the pan on the stove preheating. This will save time because the pan will be immediately ready to go once you’re ready to cook.
- Preheat your oven. Like with the pan, make sure your oven is preheating while you’re doing the pre-preparations.
- Use fully cooked meat. Using fully cooked meat from John Soules Foods cuts down on cooking time and ensures your meal is delicious.
- Use kitchen shears. Kitchen shears are a life-saver, as it makes cutting and chopping so much quicker and easier.
- Don’t use too large of a pan. If you’re using a large pan when it isn’t needed, it can take longer to heat up, which means longer cooking times.
- Use lids. Using the lids on your pots and pans can reduce the influence of outside temperatures. It will also keep the heat inside, which will help your food cook or boil faster.
- Cut foods smaller. Smaller chunks will cook faster than larger ones.
- Make sure you’re sharpening your knives. If you’re using a dull knife, it can take longer to get everything cut or chopped. A sharper knife will keep you from wasting time fighting with the food.
Of course, there are so many other tips you can consider to cut down on cook times, but this list will get you started.
Quick and Easy Healthy Meals You Can Prepare at Home
We wanted to give you some dinner ideas that would include the main food groups we mentioned above. It is also important to remember that adding extra fruits and/or vegetables to any recipe is super easy. Fruits can be cut up and served, while vegetables are simple to cook/warm/roast. Take a look at some of our recipe suggestions.
- Chicken caesar salad. This recipe can be prepared in about 15 minutes and is great when made with our rotisserie seasoned chicken. It will make roughly six servings. This is great if you need a quick meal.
- Chicken spinach salad. In this recipe, we create a honey mustard mixture to use as the dressing, but you can definitely make changes to your preferred dressing. This salad can be prepped in about 15 minutes and will take about 20 minutes to cook. It will produce about five servings. We also recommend our frozen grilled chicken, but if you would like a flavor, check out our other chicken options.
- Chicken breast nachos. This is a super fast and simple recipe, as it preps in about 5 minutes and cooks in about 15 minutes. It will make about four servings. We recommend the fajita chicken for this meal, but you could choose the oven-roasted, frozen grilled chicken or one of the other flavors.
- Grilled chicken pasta. Another recipe with speedy prep and cook time, this pasta will serve about six people. We recommend our grilled chicken strips, but, as always, you could always use a different flavor/seasoned chicken.
- Chicken breast fajita tacos. This recipe is still a quick one, but it serves a little more than the others, as it can prepare about eight servings. We recommend our chicken breast fajita chicken for this one.
- Beef tostada. Similar to the nachos, this beef dish is brief, but it only serves about two people. We recommend using our beef steak for the best-tasting dish.
- Grilled chicken on wild rice. You’ll need to allow a little more cooking time here, as it takes about 40 minutes, but the prep time is quick with only 5 minutes. Try out our grilled chicken breast strips for this recipe.
- Asian beef and vegetable stir-fry. This recipe is a great way to incorporate your grains and vegetables into your meal. Try preparing this one with our beef steak.
These recipes can all be prepared and cooked in under an hour, which is great for those who like quick and simple meals. The serving sizes vary between each recipe, but you can very easily double a recipe if needed. If you are worried about fitting veggies into your meals, you can definitely add a side of fruits and/or veggies. Fruits are easy to cut and serve. Depending on the vegetable and how you like them, they could also be cut/sliced and served effortlessly. However, if they need to be warmed or cooked, vegetables are very easy to roast in the oven. If you like these meals and/or our meat products, we have so many other recipes available to you. If you have any questions or comments about any of our recipes or products, we’d be happy to hear from you. We are also always open to recipe suggestions. If you use our products for your own recipes or have created a recipe from scratch, we would love to hear about it. You can always contact our customer service team to share any feedback you have.
Types of Fully Cooked Chicken to Speed up Meal Prep Times
Sometimes, meal prep times can be long and tedious. You might get stuck working late or caught up running errands with kids. To avoid eating dinner late in these case, you need an alternative. John Soules Foods offers several fully cooked meats, that taste great and make dinner time easier.
- Oven-roasted, diced chicken
- Rotisserie seasoned chicken breast strips
- Flame Grilled chicken breast strips
You can use these meat options in any recipe you have in mind. You can also make your own, impromptu dinner. Heating up one of our meat options with a side of rice, fruits and/or vegetables is a fantastic and speedy meal choice. Find out where our products are sold near you.
Choosing John Soules Foods
At John Soules Foods, our focus is providing great food made simple, which makes us a top choice for retail grocers and foodservice providers. Our meats offer the perfect balance of seasonings for a high-quality product. We use top-standard meats without all those artificial ingredients and additives. Additionally, we offer plenty of gluten-free products, as our grilled beef and chicken products are gluten-free (but our breaded chicken products are not gluten-free).
John Soules Foods products can help you with quick, easy, and protein-filled meals. Find our products in a local store today!