What I keep on hand to eat healthy all week long

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We all know the trick of cooking once and eating twice. And while that works great, what about when you run out of leftovers? Then what, order pizza?

Having a few things on hand can take a lot of time out of cooking on a busy weeknight. Here are a few of my go-to things that make it easy:

  1. Fried onions

Having fried onions ready in the freezer takes at least 10 minutes off of cooking time. The next time you have to fry onions, fry a few, and keep bag them for the freezer (I like to use about one onion per bag so I know how much I’m putting in without having to defrost the whole thing).

2. Cooked beans

Cooking beans can take *forever* so I soak and cook up big batches ahead of time. Defrost and enjoy alone, with quinoa, in a lettuce wrap, or blend up into hummus.

3. Chili and Soups

Whenever I’m making chili or soup, I make an extra large pot. When it’s cool, I place a bag in a bowl and fill the bag until the bowl is full. Take the bag out, close it, and freeze. The contents of each bag will now fit into one bowl.

4. Hard Boiled Eggs

Talk about an easy protein! These can be a lifesaver when you need to just grab and go, or when you don’t have time to arrange a protein for dinner.

5. Energy Balls

Whenever I (or the kids!) need a quick something to keep us going between lunch and dinner, we reach for all natural, home made energy balls. I make a big batch and keep them around in the freezer, or if I’m going to be out all day, I keep some in a container in my purse. Try this recipe to get started, and tweak to your tastes!

6. Instant Frozen Dinners

Home made, of course. Place a portion of chicken or fish on a piece of aluminum foil. Spice or sauce as desired. Wrap it up so it can be opened from on top. Take a small pan and add veggies into it (green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, whatever you like). Place the protein pack on top, and cover the whole thing with foil and freeze. To eat, unwrap, and remove the protein pack. Pop it into a pre-heated oven. 45 minutes later, remove, carefully unwrap, and place on top of the veggies in the dish (pouring any juices over the veggies also). Cover, and return to oven for another 20 minutes. Healthy dinner, no work. Enjoy!

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