Easy Meals – A Guys Guide to Dining In: Easy-to-Assemble Meals
Is dining out taking a toll on your wallet and your waistline? Restaurant eating can mean adding hundreds of extra calories to your diet. The easiest way to monitor your caloric intake is to prepare your meals at home. But don’t worry – if cooking isn’t on your list of favorite things to do, we have some ideas for healthy and delicious meals that are also easy to assemble and require limited time in the kitchen. Here’s how you can get started.
- Pre-washed Bagged Salad: No chopping, no cleaning, just open the bag and serve. With over 20 varieties available at your local ShopRite, you can have anything from arugula to romaine. Add a source of lean protein, like grilled chicken, steak, shrimp or tofu, and a few salad fixins like fresh vegetables, fresh or dried fruit and nuts, and you’ve got a complete meal. Go easy on high-fat fixings like full-fat cheese, high-fat salad dressing, and fried croutons. Pair with a baked potato (cooked in the microwave) and you have a meal!
- Store-bought sauce: Basil pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, hummus and marinara add great flavor to meals. You can use these sauces on pizza, pasta, as a marinade or as a sandwich spread. Try grilling or baking chicken breast that has been marinated in a few tablespoons of basil pesto. Serve this as a sandwich on whole-grain bread or slice and toss into pasta or on top of a salad.
- Rotisserie Turkey and Chicken Breast: Pick up one and suddenly you have the star ingredient of a quick dinner. Serve with microwaveable brown rice and ShopRite Steam in Bag veggies or remove the skin and shred or cube the breast meat for the base of quesadillas, tacos or a salad.
- Microwavable sides: When your main entrée requires a bit more time and effort in the kitchen, opt for a quick side dish with “some assembly required.” These items require just a few minutes in the microwave. Be sure to check them out at your ShopRite!
- ShopRite Steam in Bag frozen veggies
- Uncle Ben’s 90 second brown or wild rice
- Ore Ida Steam and Mash potatoes
- Birds Eye lightly sauced sides
Here’s a simple easy-to-assemble meal that’s great for lunch or a light dinner.
Parmesan Balsamic Salad
1 bag prewashed Boston Bibb lettuce blend, 1 pint ShopRite grape tomatoes, ½ lb kalamata olives (optional), ¼ cup shredded Parmesan
For Dressing: 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, salt and pepper
Place sesame seeds on a toaster tray and toast for 15-30 seconds. Add seeds, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to bottom of salad bowl and whisk together. Add lettuce, tomatoes and parmesan cheese, toss to coat.
Pesto Pita Pizza
2 whole-grain pocket-less pitas (found in the bakery department), ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese, ¼ cup store bought pesto
Toast pita until lightly browned and crispy. Spread with ricotta cheese then top with dollops of pesto. Cut into triangles and serve with salad. For a heartier meal, add shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken into your salad!