How many things do we have to do on a daily basis? If you are like me at this time of the year you have New Year’s resolutions on your mind, weight management, diabetes management, job duties, shoveling (if you live in the snow prone areas of the US!), picking kids up from school, trying to get to the gym…the list goes on and on. I have found that having some quick meals set to go, or that are easy to prepare in a pinch are really helpful in keeping my blood glucose controlled as well as providing overall good nutrition instead of relying on those carry out places.
Stock your pantry with the following items:
Dry or canned beans (black, garbanzo, kidney) (high protein and fiber)
Wild or black rice (High fiber carbohydrate source)
Barley or other hearty grain (High fiber carbohydrate source)
Lentils (High fiber carbohydrate source and protein)
Sweet potatoes or butternut squash (you can even buy these in the frozen or refrigerated section already cut up and skinned making preparation even faster) (Carbohydrate and fiber)
Frozen bags of veggies (easy to steam in the microwave or to add to soups – these are already cut up and cleaned decreasing the time needed to prepare and increasing the nutritional value of your meal) (Fiber and low Carbohydrate)
Carrots (the big ones are less expensive)
Canned diced or stewed tomatoes (you can even buy these with herbs and seasonings in to make it easier to use in recipes)
Pre-portioned pre-cooked frozen chicken breasts (or vegetarian chicken strips) (Low fat protein)
Canned tuna and/or salmon (low fat protein)
Dried onion flakes
Dried herbs, spices
Each of these items provides good nutritional balance when combined at a mealtime. If you rely on your slow cooker, or crock-pot you can set the ingredients in the pot in the morning and when you get you home you have a meal all set to put on the table!
Try the following crock-pot meal and package up the remains for leftovers. Most of these types of meals can also be packaged and frozen for use much later.
Multi-bean soup with tomatoes: (makes 8 servings)
5-quart slow cooker
2 ½ cups mixed dry beans (many can be purchased in a bag mixed at your grocery store)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 medium chopped onion
3 stalks celery
2 large carrots
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
32 oz. vegetable broth or 3 vegetable bouillon cubes dissolved in 32 oz. warm water
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Add water and bouillon cubes (or vegetable broth) to slow cooker. Mix in rinsed dry beans and cook on high for 30 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and set slow cooker on LOW for 6-8 hours.
40 grams Carb.
10 grams fiber
12 grams protein