Mom Foodhacks: 7 Low-effort, balanced meals

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You’ve been running your way through an entirely too-busy day, with all 26 cylinders (who ever said it was eight was crazy) firing. Then…

foodhack-low-effort-meals“What’s for dinner?” your normally ruggedly-handsome husband asks. Your frazzled brain wonders why he can’t, oh, I don’t know, find the initiative to make something himself.

“When’s dinner ready? I’m hunnnnnngry!” your sweet-as-sugar little girl says, her voice morphing into that kind of whine only an over-extended mom is capable of hearing. You consider running for the hills. Or the closest drive thru.

You know, you can feel the masses – at least in your home – without putting out more than ten minutes of effort, while still providing a balanced (if non-conformist) meal. Try one of the following the next time your internal fuel gauge is sitting at empty:

1. Ants on a log is so passé

You know the good-old celery, peanut butter, raisin ‘dish’, right? Take it a step further. Toast some whole wheat bread, slather it with a nut butter and accompany it with a glass of milk and a fruit salad or some apple slices.

2. Breakfast for dinner

It takes approximately three minutes to scramble eggs and top them with shredded cheese. Putting bread in the toaster is another one. Slicing tomatoes and avocados, two more. Done.

3. Pasta prima-whatever

Drop some pasta in boiling water. Slice up some carrots and broccoli, and chop a tomato. When the pasta has about three minutes to go, add in the crunchy veggies. When they’re tender enough to spear, drain and toss ‘em with some tomato sauce and the chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. (For extra protein, add lentils with the pasta or garbanzo beans with the veggies.)

4. Who says that you don’t make friends with salad?

Convenience food has a time and place. Bagged salads can be tossed with chopped tomatoes, celery, cucumber, avocado, hard boiled eggs, sliced meats, garbanzo beans, and shredded carrots and beets for a delicious salad that fills everyone up.

5. You can never go wrong with pizza. Ever.

Commercial pizza can be pretty unhealthy, though. The trick: make your own, with whole-wheat, toasted bagels. Top halves with pizza sauce, meat, veggies and fruit, and seasoning as adored, then shred cheese on top. Throw them under the broiler until the cheese speaks of perfection.

6. Lebanese rabbit food

A stand-by in my house. Cut up favourite veggies like peppers, carrots, celery, and cucumbers, and mushrooms. Throw some cherry or grape tomatoes in the mix. Organize around the rim of a large platter, with a bowl of hummus in the middle. Serve with pita, naan bread or tortilla chips, too.

7. The standard

Remember those cold winter afternoons when you’d come inside to a bowl of steamy tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich? Soup and sandwiches work for dinner, too, and it doesn’t have to be the usual red and cheesy combo. Be a little wary when shopping, though! Canned soups and deli meats can be high in sodium.

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