Keep it simple and real with Sliced Right Nutrition

By Kristina Adams Smith
I saw a meme recently that stated “so far I have cooked 395 times already, since the stay at home order went into effect!” Now this may be a little excessive, but definitely feels this way to most of us. Statistically, pre-COVID the majority of meals by Americans were eaten away from home. Keep in mind while we are quarantined at home, that this would be a great time to try out new recipes or even experiment at little on varying ingredients in some of your favorites. Since this will be one spring we will never forget and will be one for the history books, let’s make the most of it. Check around the house and see what food staples you have and see where you can make improvements. No self-quarantine checklist is complete without proper food supplies. Here are some of healthier food options to load up on, according to dietitian Kristina Adams Smith, owner of Sliced Right Nutrition:

Think healthy and fun when cooking at home during quarantine:
Stick to routine and scheduled meals and minimal snacks

Stock pantry with plenty of nutritious choices to offset some of the comfort foods like:

Canned beans, vegetables, fruits

Jars spaghetti sauce, salsa

Nuts, nut butters, popcorn kernels (not microwave)

Can tuna/salmon

Olive oil, flavored vinegars, spices

Whole grain crackers, pastas, cereals, wild rice

Freezer staples can help to stretch your dollar further and enhance nutrition 

Frozen vegetables and fruits (think high antioxidant: berries, dark green veggies)

Frozen cuts of unbreaded meats, chicken, fish

Frozen pizza crust, freeze loaves bread/buns,

Fresh is always best when you can so think of ways to use these items first or freeze for later

Eggs, milk, cheeses, yogurt, cottage cheese

Fruits and veggies – these can be used in casseroles, soups, pasta dishes and baked goods 

Citrus, apples, squash, potatoes, onions – these tend to last longer fresh

Stay hydrated – sometimes we are thirsty and not hungry – flavored teas and waters can help with variety, even some sugar free lemonades or just squeezing lemons, limes or oranges into the water for flavor

Quick and easy recipes for dinner or make ahead and freeze for later:

For all the recipes – place in foil packs or aluminum pans and cover and freeze for later if desired.

BBQ chicken with pineapple, peppers and onions – place all ingredients in casserole and bake or grill in foil pan until chicken is cooked through( about 30-40 minutes(165 degrees internal temperature)

Chicken or beef enchiladas with beans – use salsa or salsa verde – mix with chicken and bake, broil or throw in the crockpot – once chicken is cooked, shred it up and use in tortillas with beans, cheese (onions and peppers if desired), roll ‘em up and place in casserole dish and pour over enchilada sauce or salsa verde mixed with a little sour cream and top with cheese and bake for additional 5-10 minutes. (155 degrees internal temp for beef and 165 degrees internal temp for chicken)

Sheet pan salmon or other fish with vegetables – use nonstick spray on cookie sheet or large baking pan, in separate bowl toss veggies (peppers, onions, chopped potatoes, Brussel sprouts or asparagus if available) with little olive oil, salt and pepper, generously season fish with little oil, salt and pepper also, place all ingredients on pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until done. Place a few lemon or lime slices on fish for extra flavor. (165 degrees internal temperature)

Savory veggie meatloaf – ground sirloin, oats or crushed sun chips, shredded zucchini, smashed peas, minced onion, egg, ketchup, season salt, pepper – mix together and make mini loaves to freeze for later or place on foil pack and grill or bake 40-45 minutes or until done. (155 degrees internal temperature)

For more information on healthy meal planning and preparation contact registered dietitian, Kristina Adams Smith at  slicedrightnutrition@gmail.com.

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