But some days you just don’t have the time to cook. And, if you’re like me, there are plenty of mealtimes when you just want something quick and light.
That’s why I always keep my eye peeled for new food products that lend themselves to ultra-fast, super-yummy preparations. Today, I’m going to introduce you to three of my favorites.
While I always believe “fresh is best,” there are some surprisingly wonderful convenience foods that lend themselves to wholesome “quickie” meals. For instance . . .
Quickie #1: Super-Fast Mackerel in Sour Cream Sauce. This Quickie is a breeze to prepare because it’s made with canned mackerel.
|Canned mackerel? Because this canned Portuguese mackerel from Vital Choice is out-of-this-world amazing!
It’s smooth, buttery and the next best thing to fresh. And it’s loaded with super-healing fish oil. A single serving packs 1,383 mg of inflammation-busting omega-3 (including 694 mg DHA!), which is good for your joints, blood sugar and triglycerides, arteries and cholesterol, memory and mood. (And the extra virgin oil it’s packed in possesses its own list of healing attributes.)
Tons of research show that omega-3 fish oils may be the very best “medicine” for a variety of ills. And not getting enough omega-3s may be the cause of these health problems in the first place. (A 2009 Harvard study found that omega-3 deficiency is the 6th leading cause of death in the US!)
With super-yummy Vital Choice canned mackerel, you can eat your way to better health and savor every bite. It’s so good you can eat it right out of the can. But here’s a more elegant idea: Our new Mackerel in Sour Cream Sauce with Dill, Red Onion and Apples recipe from our Test Kitchen.
It’s so-o-o easy. Just combine some minced red onion, ½-cup nonfat sour cream, ¼-cup nonfat yogurt, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill. Gently fold in one 4-3/8 oz can of Vital Choice Mackerel (taking care to keep the filets as intact as possible). Full recipe here.
Place a scoop of this on a bed of greens and you’ve got a quick, super-nutritious lunch or supper. Or you can wow your dinner guests by presenting it as an appetizer over thin slices of Granny Smith apple. (I “wow” myself and eat it for a snack!)
I really like Vital Choice products because I trust their quality — and their flavor is consistently great. They deliver excellent “wild-caught” fish products to your door (only available from their catalog — not retail stores). And they’re a family-owned business, practice sustainable harvesting and have serious integrity. Vital Choice is one of the “good guys” and deserve your support. Check them out here.
|Quickie #2: Low-Cal Pizza On-the-Fly. I love pizza! So much so that when I order delivery (small veggie, extra tomato sauce and garlic, whole wheat crust and half the cheese), I usually wind up eating the entire pie (followed by a sheepish grin, and “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!”)
Of course, that’s the fast lane to weight gain, so I invented a clever way to save the extra calories and dough (as in “money”) by using Ezekiel Sprouted Whole Grain Flourless Tortillas to make my own low-calorie, healthy mini-pizzas.
These awesome tortillas work perfectly! And at 80 calories for the 6-inch size tortilla (or 150 calories for the 12-inch “burrito size,” which makes a perfect pizza-for-two), you can enjoy pizza as often as you want.
These are, without a doubt, the healthiest (and yummiest!) tortillas on earth. The Food for Life bakers start with six whole grains and legumes, which are sprouted to produce a complete protein that rivals milk and eggs — while reducing the calories and carbs.
Even better: These tortillas retain all of the flavor, fiber, bran and 21 vitamins and minerals that are stripped out of white and “whole wheat” varieties.
Besides being scantily low in calories (with no added oil or fat), they’re also “glycemically correct,” so folks with diabetes or other blood sugar issues can eat them without guilt or remorse.
The trick to these tortillas is knowing how to use them. Don’t even think about trying them as taco shells or “wraps” because they’ll fall apart. (If you really want to wrap something up, try Food for Life’s Brown Rice Tortillas.
But, man, these Sprouted Whole Grain tortillas make a heck of a pizza! Brush one lightly with extra virgin olive oil (sprinkle with a little unrefined sea salt if you like), then place it in a hot oven for a moment until it stiffens slightly. Next, add your favorite sauce and toppings. For example:
– You can slather on tomato sauce or paste, top with veggies and/or turkey sausage, then add cheese, minced garlic, fresh basil and dried oregano, plus a dash of red chili flakes.
– Or start with a bed of low-fat ricotta cheese, adding fresh tomatoes and basil, topped with paper-thin pieces of prosciutto. Full recipe here.
All veggie. (Our grandsons enjoy our pizzas so much they hardly notice they’re eating real vegetables!)
Thai shrimp pizza with cilantro mint peanut pesto, bean sprouts and fresh lime wedges.
Smoked salmon, low-fat ricotta, with dill and red onion.
Chipotle barbecue chicken pizza with peppers and onions.
In a pinch, you can use whatever’s in the fridge. Be creative!
The Food for Life Company Is a True Health Pioneer
Food for Life is another highly reputable family-owned company whose products you can always trust. They were the first wholesale natural foods bakery in the US over 40 years ago. And their commitment to health and purity are unrivaled. Look for their products at any natural grocer, or check their Store Finder for a supplier near you.
|Quickie #3: Quickie Cuban-Style Chicken Soup.Another of my favorite food companies is Seeds of Change — and I especially enjoy their whole grain products. The flavor and nutrition are light years ahead of the herd. And with their to dedication biodiversity (including preserving heirloom seeds in danger of being lost), plus a policy of contributing a portion of their sales to sustainable organic farming initiatives, this is a company I love to support.|
Alas, they’re not perfect: Some products have salt content that’s a bit high, while others contain small amounts of cane juice, corn syrup or maltodextrin. (I suggest you read their labels carefully; and you may choose to use only half of the flavoring packet — or eliminate it entirely and add your own spices.)
They also make super-quick microwavable packets of brown rice and whole grain mixes. I’m not comfortable with microwaving any food product in a bag that contains plastic, so I stick to their stove-top products or else microwave them in ceramic or glass bowls. (I put the mix in a bowl, add a bit of extra water, and then cover with a ceramic plate before sticking in the microwave.)
Seeds of Change products are perfect side dishes that deliver true whole-grain goodness in minutes. (I’m over-the-moon with their Whole Grain Blend Quinoa & Wild Rice!)
But they can also rescue you from a hectic schedule by standing in as the base for quick homemade soups or casseroles. Our Chef Emmy created this tasty Quickie Cuban-Style Chicken Soup recipe using their Havana Cuban-Style Whole Grain Black Beans and Rice in our MHK Test Kitchen. Enjoy!
Seeds of Change products are available at most natural grocers and commercial supermarkets. If you have trouble finding them, use this Store Locator.
There you have my Top Three Healing Quickies for the week. Now, who says there’s no time for a healing meal?