Healthy Emergency Meals
Healthy Emergency Meals are a must-have in your menu planning routine. These are crucial for those busy weeknights that don't go as planned (e.g. stuck in traffic, a last minute project came up at work, your child forgot to tell you they have an extra practice - tonight!). They are also useful for those times when your taste-buds simply don't want what's on the menu board (it happens to all of us) or when a family member ate a key ingredient to your recipe (Who me, Mom? It wasn't me... sound familiar?).
So what exactly is a Healthy Emergency Meal?
It is a meal that meets each of these criteria:
- It is on the table, ready to enjoy in 15 to 20 minutes from start to finish, tops!
- You can prepare it without a recipe - you just know it
- You have the ingredients on-hand, meaning you do not need to go to the grocery store to buy anything when you need to make it
- It uses healthy ingredients and is a balanced meal
Tips to Make It Work
- Keep 2-3 healthy emergency meals on-hand at all times; if you prepare one, make sure you replenish the ingredients for the same meal, or a new one when you go to the grocery store next.
- Resist all-or-nothing thinking - this is one of the main benefits of Emergency Meals. If you can't make the dish you planned, go to your Emergency Meal options!
- Make sure you enjoy the Emergency Meals you decide on. If you don't enjoy the flavors of your chosen Emergency Meals, you are probably not going to make it.
- Change your Emergency Meal ideas with the seasons to keep your flavors enjoyable.
Ideas for Healthy Emergency Meals
Scrambled Egg Burritos (Scrambled eggs with Tex-Mex cheese and any veggies you have, like onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms; serve with salsa and sour cream if you have some on-hand; stuff the ingredients into a whole-grain tortilla).
Turkey Spinach & Cranberry Sauce Wrap (Spread cranberry sauce on a whole-grain tortilla -or- pita, place 2-4 slices of turkey breast or chicken breast down, add a big handful of spinach or any leafy greens and other vegetables you have on-hand; roll it up and serve with raw vegetables).
Bagel Tuna Melts (Toast a bagel -I like the 'Everything Bagel'- then top it with your preferred tuna salad recipe, a slice of tomato and cheese -I like Swiss or Monterrey Jack-, place these on a baking sheet and bake in the oven or broil until the cheese is melted; if you are in a real rush, you can always microwave it too). Serve with raw veggies.
Chicken & Apple Quesadilla (Use leftover chicken breast or deli meat, add a thin layer of Dijon mustard, thinly sliced apple, and brie cheese if you have it; If you have arugula or spinach, this goes great with it too; use a panini press to grill -or in a skillet if you dont' have a panini press-). Serve with raw vegetables.