When I hear the word “simple” my thoughts jump to the acronym “KISS” that I was taught in a public speaking class. The professor used it to represent Keep It Short and Simple. Since then, I’ve heard multiple variations for the S’s. Maybe you have, too. For the sake of this blog, let’s have the letters stand for Keep It Simple and Sensational.
Yes, just because something is simple, it doesn’t have to be boring, bland or bad for you. Simple is good – even great. This is especially true when we run short on time yet desire good nutrition and great taste. It seems like the times for leisurely meals are reserved for holidays. I would suggest cutting back on the meal’s prep time so it leaves time in our busy schedules for enjoying not only the meal, but also the company of the people eating the meal.
Keeping the meals SIMPLE allows busy people like us to have sensational, satisfying foods with little fuss. I have some hints for accomplishing this.
S — Start with the basics. A hearty-sized salad can be filling and nutritious and is definitely simple. Simple Truth has a wonderful Organic Baby Spring Mix (with or without herbs). Then, add favorite toppings such as low-fat shreds of cheese, ST Organic Cauliflower, ST Organic Whole White Mushrooms (sliced) and ST Honey Almond Flax cereal. The pre-shredded ST Organic Broccoli Slaw mix is another great “open and serve” topper for salads that provides eye-catching color and crunchy texture. Dried cranberries and sliced almonds are also great, easy, tasty toppers.
I — Invent new ways of dishing up the foods so they can go on the road with you. One idea is to place the salad basics on a whole grain tortilla, roll it up and wrap it like a burrito. Now the salad is ready to eat on the go. Be creative! “Logs” of celery filled with ST Organic Creamy Peanut Butter are not only a good source for protein and minerals, they’re easy to eat in the car (or minivan).
M — Make meals tasty. Just because we’re short on time, doesn’t mean we need to skimp on flavor. Add a dash of ST Organic Ground Cayenne Red Pepper to chicken breasts before baking or sprinkle some ST Organic Ground Saigon Cinnamon on fresh apple slices. Simple — yet sensational.
P — Plan ahead. If chicken is the main course for a meal, bake a few extra pieces to use later. ST offers many forms of Natural and Organic chicken. The tenders will bake or grill faster since they are thinner than boneless chicken breasts. The “planned over” chicken can be refrigerated, then used as a salad topper. Another great use of the already-cooked chicken is to chop it up, add some pre-made tartar sauce and, almost instantly, we have chicken salad! It’s easy and delicious.
L — Lessen the prep time for busy nights by peeling, seeding and chopping vegetables in advance, when possible. This works great for many foods including peppers, onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Be sure to drain them and place in airtight, refrigerated containers. This tip can also be slightly altered for snack items such as the ST Popped Chips, which come packaged three servings per bag. Simply divide out the portions into sealable bags for those grab-and-go meals.
E — Employ the help of others. Children who have helped create the meal are more likely to eat it. They can be in charge of gathering the beverages, condiments, eating utensils and napkins. As a bonus, I want to add ENJOY!
One of my favorite meals includes baked chicken tenders with sweet potato chips and ST Organic Broccoli Slaw. It will take about 20 minutes from start to table.
Even though our lives are busy, we need to pause and enjoy the moments. What better way to do that than with a meal where we have KISSed — Kept It Simple and Sensational!
Karen’s role as Home Economist in the Kroger Customer Connect (C|c) is to answer customer questions and write about recipes, ingredient substitutions, and Food Safety. She holds BS and MS degrees from The Ohio State University’s College of Home Economics with a specialty in Resource Management. Karen also has teaching credentials from Miami University (of Ohio) and Wright State University. After having been a food teacher for 20 years she transferred to the corporate world in 2011. Farming and crafting have always been a part of her life. Karen values being part of our food production and preparation processes PLUS being able to share those experiences with others. The Simple Truth Brand embraces the wholesome nature of the foods we select and consume which makes a perfect choice for Karen’s lifestyle.
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