5 Easy And Nutritious Dinners For Busy Nurses
These quick and healthy meals are simple enough to whip up even after a long shift.
You know preparing nutritious meals at home is better for you and your family than picking up fast food or takeout. But, let’s face it: After a long shift, you’re exhausted, or if you work evenings, prepping food before you walk out the door just adds to an already mad rush. That’s why having tasty, simple, and good-for-you staples in your supper repertoire is crucial.
Here are five types of meals you can make in a flash. Best of all, the variations are endless, so with these few techniques, you’ll be able to put a variety of dinners on the table every night.
Sheet Pan Suppers
A simple search on Pinterest for “sheet pan meals” will turn up thousands of results. With these recipes, you’ll assemble meat, veggies, spices, and possibly grains on a single sheet pan and roast at high heat. Examples of hit meals include shrimp fajitas and beef and broccoli. Here are 21 other sheet pan meals you can work into your dinner rotation.
Crockpot Crowd Pleasers
Is your crockpot collecting dust in your pantry? Now’s the time to relocate it to a priority spot on your kitchen countertop. A crockpot (or slow cooker) lets you cook meals at low temperatures for hours without turning on the stove or oven. Most slow cooker recipes have a “set it and forget it” approach. Dump the ingredients into the pot, which is plugged in on your countertop, and anywhere between three and eight hours later a delicious meal is prepped and ready to eat. Bonus: Since slow-cooker meals lock in moisture, most recipes don’t call for oil or butter, so dishes tend to be lower in fat. And because of the nature of the low heat, tough pieces of meat (which are cheaper in price) become soft and tender. It’s even safe to leave your slow cooker on (following some simple rules), when you’re not home, so you can start a meal before your shift and it’ll be ready when you get back.
A few crockpot favorites: Pork Loin Stuffed with Spinach and Goat Cheese, Quinoa Chicken Primavera, and Buffalo Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. Here are some other recipes to get you started with the slow cooker.
One-pot Stovetop Meals
Unlike using a slow cooker, one-pot recipes do require turning on the stove. But since you only need one sauce pan, clean up is easier and meals cook faster. Possibilities include Chicken with Farro, French Ratatouille, or Spinach, Mushroom and Tomato Spaghetti. Here are more one-pot ideas to try.
Another way to keep meals quick and clean up seamless is cooking in a skillet. Instead of dumping all ingredients into a big pot to simmer on the stove or slow cooker, these recipes require a solitary frying pan. And since you can cook veggies, starches and protein simultaneously, there’s no need for multiple pans or intricate assembling. Try this easy Veggie Skillet Lasagna, low-fat Skillet Mac and Cheese, or even a Shepherd’s Pie. Looking for more? Peruse these 50 skillet recipes from Taste of Home.
On days when you have time (they’re rare, we know!), consider prepping a casserole in advance. Many casserole meals freeze well so you can take them out before a shift and they’ll be ready to pop in the oven when you get home. Some casserole dishes do require prep work, but many recipes are so simple you can dump everything into the dish shortly before you’re ready to bake it. A few examples: Swiss Chard Casserole with Shiitake Mushrooms, Stacked Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas, or Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole.
What healthy, easy dinners do you turn to on busy nights? Tell us in our discussion or in our private Facebook group. And if other meals are your problem, check out these healthy, quick breakfast and lunch ideas! If you found this post helpful, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by clicking the icons to the left.
Have you joined the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation (HNHN) Grand Challenge yet? Join us today!
The benefits of slow cooker meals. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2017, from https://extension.psu.edu/the-benefits-of-slow-cooker-meals
Prakash, S. (2016, March 04). Is it really OK to leave your slow cooker on all day? Retrieved September 14, 2017, from http://www.thekitchn.com/is-it-really-ok-to-leave-your-slow-cooker-on-all-day-228491
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