By Dr. Trevor Tew
It's always a struggle during these summer months to keep our diets well balanced. When your days are packed with work, appointments, and errands with the kids it's difficult to find enough time to eat a healthy meal. Here are a few quick and easy options that are sure to satisfy and fuel you for all your summer adventures.
Mason Jar Salads- To make the perfect mason jar salad, it's all about how you layer the ingredients. 1. Dressing in first, to assure your salad won't become soggy 2. Grain or protein 3. Nuts, seeds, non-absorbent veggies 4. Lastly, top with your leafy green of choice. One of my favorite recipes is the southwest chicken mason jar salad. Start with chipotle ranch dressing on the bottom. Next, add quinoa and seasoned grilled chicken. Add corn, black beans, tomatoes, and whatever other toppings appease to you. Lastly, add your green of choice! These are great to grab out of the fridge if you're on the go. Try mixing and matching your ingredients to create a personalized salad for each day of the week.
Buddha Bowl- Buddha bowls are one of the trending meals of 2019. These bowls are comprised of whole grains, lean proteins, veggies, nuts, seeds, and a complimentary dressing that coincides with all the ingredients. The goal with a meal like this is to eat as many colors and nutrient-dense foods as possible. The average adult should be eating close to 6 servings of whole grains per day, alongside 3-4 servings of vegetables. Here is a recipe for one of my favorite styles, the Thai peanut chicken buddha bowl. You will start with your grain base of choice, for this recipe, I suggest brown rice. Add your chicken satay on one side of the bowl. Top with shredded carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro, edamame, cucumber, shredded red cabbage, and lime. Top with peanut dressing, and there you have it! These bowls are fantastic to prep for the week and give the opportunity to add or take away whatever ingredients you're feeling each day.
Lettuce Wraps- If you're looking for meals with minimal carbs, this one is for you. Lettuce wraps are one of the most versatile meals that you can easily dress up or keep simple. These wraps cut out the bland bread we are all tired of, and add in an additional crunch to your meal. Whether you choose romaine, kale, or even collard greens, you're sure to find a green that pairs perfectly with your wrap for the week. Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps are one of my favorite styles. Start with your green of choice, I suggest butter leaf lettuce or romaine for this recipe. Add your shredded buffalo chicken. Top with green onion, shredded carrots, celery, blue cheese crumbles, and ranch dressing. This is sure to be a fan favorite in the household. Pack the lettuce separate from the other ingredients to assure it will stay crisp.
Today I gave you 3 different options to keep your diet on track, while also cutting your meal preparation each day to a minimum. I challenge you to find different ways to keep your weekly prep fun and innovative, sparking your creativity in the kitchen. Don't let your busy schedule override your diet by preparing nutrient-dense meals the whole family is sure to enjoy.