In today’s world of fast-paced, overbooked, double scheduled days, the notion of a healthy home cooked meal with the whole family may seem like a whimsical notion of the past. However, family meals are an important part of any familial life. In fact, according to The Family Dinner Project, studies have shown that regular family dinners equate to lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and depression and higher GPAs and self esteem. Of course, it isn’t just about being together as a family but what you eat. Healthy food can improve your family’s physical and mental state. So…how can you put together a fast and healthy meal that your family will still eat?
No, it isn’t an unsolvable riddle. The answer is healthy frozen meals. I’m not talking about the so called “healthy frozen meals” you find in the grocery store like Weight Watchers microwavable dinners. I’m talking about healthy frozen meals that consist of “real” food prepared at home by you and frozen for later consumption.
The trick is to pick dishes that are easy to prepare and freeze and reheat well. Those are the type that make the best quick healthy frozen meals. It may take some experimenting to find what works best for your family but it is definitely worth the effort. If you need some help getting started, simply do a Google search for “Healthy Frozen Meals”.
To put you on the right track, below is a recipe for a healthy frozen meal that is sure to be a family favorite….
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Healthy Frozen Meals: Mexican Quinoa
1 tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 C. of quinoa, uncooked
1 ½ C. chicken broth (you could also substitute 1 ½ cups of water and 2 chicken bouillion cubes)
1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes, un-drained
1 C. frozen or canned corn
1 tsp. salt
2-3 tsp. lime juice
1. Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a medium saucepan and add the fresh jalapenos and minced garlic. Let cook a few minutes.
2. Add in the chicken broth, quinoa, black beans, diced tomatoes, corn and salt.
3. Turn the heat down to low/medium and cover the saucepan with a lid. Cook covered for about 25 minutes.
4. Add in the lime juice.
5. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Note: If freezing, allow to cool a bit and then freeze in an airtight container. When ready to make, simply un-thaw and heat in the oven on 300 degrees until heated through.
**Serve meatless or add grilled chicken on the side for some added protein.
This recipe can be served all on its own as a healthy frozen meal or as a side dish. The fact that you can put it on to cook and basically walk away for about 25 minutes is a real bonus. That’s the perfect amount of time to get little Johnny going on his math homework. Plus, it’s quick and easy to reheat later.
Do you know any other great recipes for healthy frozen meals? If so, share them in the comments.