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More Tips for Stress-Free Meals

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  • Skip the recipes. "Recipes are a luxury I reserve for weekends and guests," Rotondi said. "I use formulas for cooking."
  • The boxed meals that just need hamburger added arent all that great for you, but they are convenient, Jegtvig noted. "You can make them healthier, though, by using ground turkey instead of beef, and adding frozen peas and carrots to your one-skillet meal," she said. "The peas and carrots, or other favorite vegetables, will add good nutrition. Then serve with a salad on the side to make it even healthier."
  • Keep unbreaded fish fillets and boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the freezer. "They are easy to work with and easy to cook in skillet or in the oven," said Jegtvig.
  • Have some extra toppings on hand to help dress up a meal. Rotondi keeps a large supply of different kinds of nuts in her freezer. "You can put almonds on a salad to dress it up. Or toast walnuts for three minutes and put them on a salad with mandarin orange slices from the pantry. It just makes it healthier."
  • Another idea: Take the apple that has been in your childs lunch bag for two days, cut out any bad spots, and slice it on a salad, she said.
  • If you have children, and they are old enough, enlist them to do some of the peeling and chopping. "Yeah, you went to school all day, too, so youre even," Rotondi said.


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Two Quick Meals from Foodies

Since teachers often are watching their pennies, one suggestion Rotondi had for an inexpensive meal is boneless pork ribs. They are really cheap.

If you have any type of slightly sweet, oily, vinegary marinade, or dressing -- maybe something you got as a housewarming gift and put aside put that on the ribs and bake them. Its easy and you got a bottle off the shelf.

Another suggestion for a one-dish meal: Pour some olive oil into an 8-inch-by-8-inch pan and toss in some vegetables. Try to add some tomatoes since they have juice. Add kosher salt and bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. Then add a piece of fish or chicken and bake at 375 degrees for another 15-to-20 minutes for fish, about 30 minutes for chicken.

Article by Ellen R. Delisio
Education World®
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