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It’s Three Tip Tuesday!

So yesterday’s workout was less than stellar. It was one of those where you know it is getting you nowhere therefore you are already thinking ahead to saving your muscles and strength for the next day.

Oh well, a crummy workout one day means a great one is on the horizon, right?

Anyway, today is Three Tip Tuesday! In keeping with the “Freedom of Meal” theme from yesterday’s post, here are today’s tips:

Tip #1 – Buy frozen vegetables

There is often much debate about buying fresh produce versus frozen whenever possible. The truth is, frozen vegetables (as well as frozen fruits)  retain their nutritional content just as well as fresh, if not better. One may prefer fresh produce for texture and flavor over frozen, but other than that, I see no reason at all not to buy frozen to always ensure you have veggies on hand.

They cook up quickly and can be added into any dish at the last minute. The steamfresh bags are perfect for quick cooking and are ready in under 5 minutes!

Plus, you don’t have to worry about using up frozen vegetables like you do the fresh since they store in the freezer for long periods without issue.

I am known to throw frozen vegetables straight into a stir fry pan or into the oven to roast and they come out quite delicious!

Tip #2 – How to roast your potatoes quickly

Since I like to decide my meals sometime at the last minute, one would think roasted potato wedges cannot be achieved quickly. 

WRONG!

Here is my super quick super delicious method:

  1. Preheat oven or convection oven to 450 degrees. Wash potato (either sweet potato or regular) and place in microwave. I use the setting for “potato” which must cook for about 5 minutes (every microwave is different). I usually stop it before it is fully cooked, I just let it soften.
  2. Slice potato into wedges or discs and place on cookie sheet or foil that is sprayed with olive oil cooking spray.
  3. Drizzle olive oil or spray potatoes with olive oil spray.
  4. Sprinkle any type of seasoning you want!  For sweet potatoes, I either sprinkle cinnamon (for sweeter flavor) or oregano and other seasonings for more savory.For regular potatoes, I sprinkle oregano, parsley and other italian seasonings or even 21 seasoning salute from Trader Joe’s with a final seasoning of Parmesan Cheese. The Parmesan cheese makes an amazing crust!
  5. Bake in oven for hmm 20 minutes or until you reach the desired crispiness you love.

Now how fast and easy is that? Microwaving your potato is the key, it speeds up the cooking process and the potatoes come out amazing!

If you want to plan ahead, make extra potato wedges. They keep well in the refrigerator  – they even maintain their crispness when reheated!

Tip #3 – Don’t be afraid to mix it up

Per my post yesterday where I said I like to play a game of coming up with many different combinations of meals based upon the foods I keep on hand, I know some people aren’t always that creative. Some people prefer to follow an exact recipe or need specific ingredients and plans to follow in order to make a meal.

Trust me, you can do it without a recipe! There is no right or wrong food combination, it is all up to your taste buds and what you prefer to eat!

I typically start with the question: What type of flavor am I in the mood for? BBQ flavored? Asian inspired?  Italian themed? Mexican?

Then I look to achieve a balanced plate of a protein, complex carbohydrate and a large serving of veggies.

Once you have that all in place, you can create your meal. Here are some examples:

From yesterday’s post, I felt like the BBQ flavor so I roasted up some sweet potato wedges, threw some vegetables (and most of them came from the freezer!) into a pan and then added in black beans towards the end. I stirred in some BBQ sauce and topped with avocado.

Quick, easy and delicious!

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And below is another night’s Asian inspired meal:

I had leftover brown rice to use up from Mexican Burrito Bowls that the little boy and I had made (I will post the recipe and picture for our burrito bowls in another post).

I threw in a pan a mix of veggies that I had on hand, chick peas and the leftover brown rice medley. Added in some Island Soyaki, a drop of peanut butter (of course!)and a drop of soy sauce,  topped it all with avocado.

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So delicious and easy.

There are endless combinations of quick and easy meals. Of course many of these meals that I throw together are meatless (since I am a vegetarian) but I also throw together many a quick meal for the little boy that aren’t meatless.  Look for this package of individual chicken breasts at Trade Joe’s in the freezer aisle. They are perfect for last minute meals since they are ready to be cooked and can be grilled, breaded, fried, baked at a moment’s notice! Best part is you can take out as many pieces as you want rather than make more than you really need!

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Have a Happy Tuesday!

Question:

What are you cooking up this week?

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