El Centro, California (NAPSI) - According to a recent survey, 40 percent of Americans spend 30 to 60 minutes cooking dinner, yet nearly 80 percent would like to spend 30 minutes or less.
The weeks leading up to summer can give us the motivational push to make positive lifestyle changes, but busy schedules can make eating right a challenge.
From cookouts to lengthy vacations, summer is filled with on-the-go activities and tempting food choices. Just because you have a full social calendar doesn’t mean your diet should suffer—there are surprisingly easy ways to maintain healthful eating habits.
Turning out guilt-free and delicious meals can be done in 30 minutes or less. Choosing 98 percent fat-free, pre-cooked meats and prepared vegetables allows you to treat yourself to mouth-watering dishes in minutes. These simple tips from Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien, a New York Times best-selling author and star of “Hungry Girl” on Food Network and Cooking Channel, will have you on the way to eating smarter in no time:
• Keep easy-to-use ingredients on hand to make guilt-free meals in minutes. Think steam-in-the-bag veggies, high-fiber tortillas and prewashed salad mixes.
• Make sure you’re getting enough protein and fiber. These nutrients help you feel full longer. Find them in ingredients like fat-free egg substitute and bagged broccoli coleslaw.
• Take salads up a notch with flavor-packed add-ins like roasted red peppers, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomatoes. Easy and delicious!
• Embrace the 80/20 rule. If you’re smart about what you eat 80 percent of the time, you can loosen the reins the other 20 percent.
• An easy meal to whip up is pasta, but topping it with nothing but sauce can lead to excessive carb consumption. Make a single serving of whole-wheat noodles go far by tossing it with some Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken and lots of veggies.
There are eight different varieties of pre-cooked chicken and beef options found in the grocer’s freezer and refrigerated sections, so you can create delicious and smart meals in minutes. Lillien suggests you try them in recipes like:
Grilled Fuji-n-Chick ‘Wich Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 10 min Total Time: 15 min
½ cup peeled and thinly sliced Fuji apple
¼ cup thinly sliced onion
2 dashes ground sage
2 dashes garlic powder
3 ounces Tyson Grilled & Ready Fully Cooked Refrigerated Grilled Chicken Breast Strips
2 slices light bread
1 wedge light spreadable Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon light whipped butter or light buttery spread
1. Bring skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Add apple, onion, sage, and garlic powder. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
2. Prepare Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Strips according to package directions. Set aside, keep warm.
3. Lay bread slices flat and evenly spread with cheese.
4. Evenly top one slice with Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Strips and apple-onion mixture.
5. Place the other bread slice on top with the cheese-covered side down. Press gently to seal.
6. Clean skillet, if needed. Remove skillet from heat, respray, and return to medium heat.
7. Spread ½ teaspoon of butter on the upward-facing bread slice. Place sandwich in the skillet with the buttered side down. Spread the remaining ½ teaspoon of butter on the upward-facing bread slice.
8. Cook until hot and toasty, 1−2 minutes per side, flipping gently.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 282, Total Fat 6g, Protein 29g, Carbohydrate 30g, Sodium 907 mg, Sugars 10g, Fiber 6g. Serves: 1