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Fast entrées are essential for mamas who are working hard to lose weight, feed themselves and feed their families. I am a big fan of fast entrées because my boys still give me little time for lots of cooking. When I do cook, I actually do more of the batch-cooking style, where I cook and prep a lot at once, which really helps me have things ready to go and warm up.
I also do this for myself, because otherwise I end up eating hand fulls of cheese crackers, crusts of peanut butter and jellies, a few gummy bears and cheese sticks. Then I wonder why I am so tired later that afternoon. So, I have a few tips and tricks that can really help you have some healthy and fast entrées ready to go when you need them! These tips are perfect for lunch or dinner, and if you’ve read my blog at all, you will know that smoothies are my favorite fast breakfast! So, let’s get into my 5 best tips for your fast entrées to help you stay fit and full!
5 Tips For Fast Entrées To Keep You Fit, Full and On-Track for Weight Loss:
Have Roasted Veggies Prepped and Ready:
I am a HUGE fan of roasted broccoli and cauliflower. I roast BIG batches at once, then store in the fridge for the week. What I LOVE about roasted veggies like these is that they can mix with almost anything. You can throw roasted veggies on salad, pair with a lean meat or mix in a bowl with left over. Roasting veggies is also SO EASY. I throw all my veggies on a sheet pan and spray liberally with olive oil. Then I sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. If you have fresh garlic to add, that is even better. Pop in the oven at about 425 for 20 minutes or so. Depending on how you like your veggies. I like my cauliflower super soft and broccoli crispy, so I rarely actually time it. I watch it until it looks like what I want. These veggies are also super filling because of the fiber content. These will add bulk and satiation to EVERYTHING.
Use Healthy Frozen Entrees:
Shop these right from my post! They taste great!
Frozen entrées are a great option for those nights when you have no energy to cook healthy, or those lunch-time hours when you’ve fed everyone but yourself. I’ve found the STOUFFER’S® FIT KITCHEN® Teriyaki Chicken Bowl and LEAN CUISINE® Fiesta Grilled Chicken, which are great options! Chicken is my favorite with lots of flavor like teriyaki or spicy, so these ones go over well for me. I also got the LEAN CUISINE Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese, which is made with organic ingredients for the kids. The STOUFFER’S FIT KITCHEN Teriyaki Chicken has 24 grams of protein, no artificial flavors and tender white meat chicken with rice and vegetables in a savory teriyaki sauce. I ADD my roasted veggies into these bowls. It adds more nutrients from the veggies, makes a HUGE entrée and still has lots of protein and flavor. The edamame adds a good crunch too.
The LEAN CUISINE Fiesta Grilled Chicken also has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, gluten free, made with natural chicken raised without added hormones and 19g protein. I prefer white meat chicken, which this has, it is lightly seasoned rice, black beans and vegetables in a delicious Mexican-style cream sauce. This mixes really well with my roasted veggies, or salad! You can make a fabulous fiesta chicken salad by mixing this dish in! Which leads me to my next tip.
I actually grabbed mine using Walmart Online Grocery. They have an app that makes it really easy. You order via the app or online, pick your day and time for pick up, then pull into one of their pickup parking spots.
You can either call a number when you are there, or check in on the app.
Always Have Bags Of Salad Or Prepped Salad Ready:
Having prepped salad, or bags of pre-washed lettuce (or your favorite greens), is so helpful! It makes throwing a salad together a breeze, and if you combine your salad with your frozen entrée, it can be the best salad you’ve ever had! Or, you can make sure that you get in extra nutrients, fiber and vitamins with your food. Filling up on veggies is KEY to staying full. This will help you stop from snacking on your kids’ goodies or overeating later. Letting yourself get full on healthy food is really important to hormonal balance as well. It triggers the satiation hormone, which is a normal and needed function. You just don’t want to trigger that hormone on cheeseburgers. The fiber in the veggies helps your body signal that hormone.
Having healthy veggies ready and waiting is key, but how do I get this done? Let’s get into some batch cooking tips, so you can be prepped and ready.
Have Fresh Fruit On-Hand:
Fresh fruit will really help you keep from munching on less-than nutritious snacks til you get to your entrée. I tend to like to get my kids fed and cleaned up, then get to my entrée. This is because they are little, and need management while eating. Drinks spill, they refuse to eat, I have to help feed them, get more drinks, wipe up the floor, keep them in their seat and basically manage the whole entrée process. This leaves no chance for me to eat until they are done and off to play again. I will snack on fruit while I am managing their eating process, so I can nourish myself until I get to my entrée. I grab whatever fruit is on sale. That is my thing. I eat what is on sale, wash it all at once, and either cut it up and have ready in a bowl, or have it easy to grab in the fruit bowl. We get fruit flies really easy here, so my berries and grapes have to stay in the fridge. Fruit is a wonderful way to keep from craving sweets after your entrée too. The added fiber helps you get full, and the sweet taste is really satisfying after a protein-rich entrée.
Batch Cook Your Entrées:
This is one of those tips you hear quite a bit, that actually really helps. I like to only cook and prep a couple times a week. This is another reason I love LEAN CUISINE and STOUFFER’S FIT KITCHEN, they’re already prepped and I can fit them into my weekly plans and routine. For salads, you usually have to prep those every few days because they go fast, and don’t keep as long. You also don’t want to add any dressing to the salad, otherwise it will be soggy. Roasted veggies keep well in the fridge, so you can roast a lot at once. I basically get everything out that I want to prep and cook. This might include spaghetti, cooked ground beef and grilled chicken and veggies. I do all my veggie cutting and prepping while my meats are cooking. I do a lot of tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro and romaine lettuce in containers so it is fresh and ready. I add tomatoes if I know I’m going to eat it quicker because the tomatoes will make your lettuce soggy. I also have my veggies roasting while my meats are cooking, or I throw chicken in with my veggies sometimes too. I basically think of everything I can cook at once, and get it done. This include chopping and prepping veggies for myself. I will also fry up eggs during this time, so I have pre-made eggs. It is a huge mess, but I get lots of recipes and foods cooked up for easy entrée times. I can’t stand cleaning up the kitchen after cooking. I just don’t like it. So, I only make myself do it a few times, rather than every night.
These are the exact steps I take to help myself have fast and easy entrées ready to go. I eat healthier when I am prepared. I am able to fill up on nourishing foods my body needs, as well as keep my kids better fueled. They eat much better when I have their entrées prepped and ready. Otherwise we want to go through the drive thru way too often.
I highly recommend you try the LEAN CUISINE and STOUFFER’S options because they offer some great flavors and foods that will help you stay full, fit and on track for your weight loss!