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Don't take the easy way

May 30, 2013 - Kathie Evanoff
Thanks to social networking websites, such as Facebook and Pinterest, it’s easy to find quick and easy recipes to help get through a busy week, but is it really healthy?

One thing I’ve noticed about the plethora of one-dish, casserole-like meals that everyone seems to be excited about on these sites is the huge amount of cheese, particularly bagged and shredded cheese, that go into these dishes.

Simply toss in a couple cups of meat, a can of prepared (over-salted) creamed soup, a package of unprepared salad dressing or chip-dip mix and a bag of flash-frozen shredded, diced or “totted” potatoes, and voila…dinner is served.

There might be a token bag of frozen vegetables in there too, such as peas and carrots to alleviate the guilt from all the fat and salt, not mention the cheese (which contains both), that goes into these toss-it-all-together meals.

I have seen a few, and I mean very few, healthier options on these sites that enable busy people on the go to make better choices. One that comes to mind is the salad in a jar, which I admit caught my eye enough to “pin” it to one of my “boards.”

The website (blog) that accompanied the photo explained the process of making up different greens and other salad vegetable combinations and filling a simple canning jar with the mixture. Put together different salad dressings as well, or at least the recipes for the dressings and attach them to the jar to be made up or mixed later.

Feel like a Caesar salad? How about taco salad or a simple tossed garden variety salad? There it is, already prepared. Simply toss the jar in your lunch bag with a baggie or small container of dressing and a healthy lunch is served.

I haven’t yet tried this idea, primarily because I know what I would do. I would make up five salads, one for each weekday lunch at work, and then by Wednesday I wouldn’t be able to look at another lettuce leaf. So there sits the rest of my good intentions, wilting and turning brown, while I try to decide if Taco Bell is healthier than Burger King. I know me. I need more variety to keep my taste buds from rebelling.

Let’s face it. There is no easy way out when it comes to preparing healthy meals and prepare is the key word here.

Preparation and planning might be a pain in the neck, but do you really want that sluggish feeling that comes from eating something that is too heavy and so full of salt and fat that it barely resembles real food?


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