How to Cheat on Weekday Meals with Less Guilt!

I do my best to pre-plan menus, use the crock pot and cook double the amount then freeze for later use....all this to avoid a non-nutritious dinner or horror of horrors the drive through dinner!

However, occasionally I need to "cheat". Whether I've run out of time, forgotten to defrost something or my arthritis is out of control......I need to come up with a "Plan B"!

To avoid the guilt involved with serving these quickie throw together less then nutritional dinners I've come up with my own "fix". Are you ready?

Rita's Fix = Less Guilt:

I serve one non-nutritional item then pile on the fruit and salad. In other words if I do end up throwing in a Frozen pizza then we'll each have 2 slices max and a huge pile of salad and cut-up fresh fruit. This way not only are we eating less of the non-nutritional item but we're each getting servings of our daily veggies and fruit.

This does take some planning ahead:
  • Have salad making items and fresh fruit on hand always!
  • Cut-Up melon, strawberries, pineapples etc... when you get home from shopping....this makes for quicker meal prep.
  • Consider making a salad earlier in the week and keeping it in the fridge for fast lunches and sides to quickie cheats!
Here are some of my favorite "cheats" all served of course with a generous portion of Salad & Fruit:
  • Frozen Pizza (it don't get quicker then this!)
  • Homemade Pizza - I keep dough or already prepared crusts on hand for quick dinners
  • Frozen Chicken Nuggets or Breaded Chicken Breasts
  • Canned Tomato Soup w/Noodles ( I use Cambells and Creamettes)
  • Wrap ham and cheese into Crescent Rolls and throw in oven...hhhhmmmm!
  • Roll out Pillsbury Grands and make "mini" pizzas!
  • 2 Cans Campbell's Cream of Celery Soup/ 2 cans canned potatoes, sauteed onions = quickie Potato Soup!
  • Bottled Spaghetti sauce poured over can grate veggies and throw it in with the sauce - it will add nutrition but will cook down to nothing and your family will never know!
  • Frozen Fish Sticks or Frozen Fish anything
  • Chili-Dogs.....just use canned Hormel Chili!
  • Pigs in a Blanket - Wrap Crescent rolls around Hot Dogs then bake - a kid favorite....ohhh...who am I kidding it's an adult favorite around here as well!
  • Use plain or flavored Bagels as the base for Pizza or Pita Bread for individual pizzas! Get the kids involved .... let them make there own!
Do you have any "Cheats".....any tips on making the "Cheater Dinners" more nutritious? Let me know and I'll post it!


Jennifer Beedie said...

My favorite cheat is making a double portion of a meal and then freezing in individual containers. Kind of like a home-made tv dinner.

I also have a dish that I call the poormans dinner.
2 packages of Buddig or similiar type beef
1 can sweet peas
1 can o cream of celery or mushroom soup
1 loaf of bread.
Throw everything but the bread in the pot and cook on medium until heated up and then serve over bread.

I love your salad idea, I am soooo addicted to it.

Rita said...

Thanks Jennifer I will be posting! E-Mail me if you want me to add anything else to the post

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