(NC) Weeknight meals are easy with the right ideas, a well-stocked pantry, and occasionally a little prep work. Experts recommend the following tips for a healthy meal every night of the week:
1. Map out your meals for the week ahead of time. Even you’re just cooking a few nights a week and ordering out or using leftovers the rest of the time, a plan will create order and help ensure you’re meeting nutritional requirements.
2. Keep an assortment of both dry and fresh staples on hand for quick-assembly meals. Items such as ready-to-eat soups, dried pasta, flatbread (keep frozen until ready to use), canned beans, cheese, fresh grapes, and a container of fresh greens will cover a lot of meal options.
3. Look for quick and easy recipes online, such as at grapesfromcalifornia.com.
4. If you have time before the week kicks into high gear, do some meal prep like chopping veggies or pre-cooking rice. Convenient options like cut veggies or frozen rice are great shortcuts.
5. Embrace the comfort of a hot sandwich for dinner by using a toaster, panini press, or a hot skillet to heat the bread.
6. Consider fresh grapes or baby carrots as easy, no-prep side dishes for supplementing any meal.
This Quick-Fix California Pizza is an ideal way to avoid midweek mayhem at mealtime — it’s quick to make, you can prep all the ingredients ahead of time, and can be customized to suit individual taste buds and dietary restrictions.
Quick-Fix California Pizza
• 1 (10-ounce) ready-to-bake pizza dough
• 1/2 cup prepared pizza sauce
• 4 ounces lean ham or Canadian bacon
• 1 jar (6-ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
• 1 1/2 cups California seedless grapes, halved
• 1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Pat pizza dough into bottom of 10-inch pizza pan. Spread dough with sauce. Arrange ham, artichoke hearts and grapes on sauce. Sprinkle cheeses evenly over the top. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until cheese melts and edges brown.
Tip: You can also use a ready-to-use 10-inch pizza shell instead of the dough.
Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 246; protein 14 g; carbohydrate 34 g; fat 8 g; calories from fat 27%; cholesterol 16 mg; sodium 805 mg; fibre 4 g.