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Don't Fall Behind in Fall: Stay Ahead of Mealtime with These Quick Tips

Fall is a season of beautiful scenery, bountiful harvest, and the back-to-school frenzy. This season take time with your family to enjoy delicious weeknight dinners made in a fraction of the time with these helpful tips.

  1. Use Pre-Cooked Meats: You can purchase lean meat choices such as roasted beef or turkey in the grocery deli. Ask for extra thick slices and chop them up to use in recipes. You also can make use of fresh rotisserie chicken by removing the skin and shredding the meat you need for a recipe. Many grocery fish counters also offer cooked shrimp for a quick, lean protein choice.
  2. Make a Main Dish Salad: Fall still means that many fresh, new fruits and vegetables are coming into season such as apples and squash. Make use of these exciting fall items by crafting a quick salad.
  3. Go Vegetarian Once in a While: Meat is typically the longest part of the cooking process. Cut down cooking time by eliminating it for a meal now and then. Try new recipes like bean and cheese burritos, vegetarian burgers or omelets for quick healthful meals.
  4. Simplify on the Stove-Top: The stove-top can be a savior for a quick, freshly cooked meal. Meal ideas include grilled sandwiches, quesadillas, omelets, fried rice, BLTs or fajitas.
  5. Fill Up on Frozen Fruits & Veggies: Cool fall days are a perfect time to enjoy some warm soup. Instead of tying yourself to your cutting board to prepare veggies, use frozen vegetables for a quick creation. Try a variety of frozen veggie mixes to get the perfect blend you need without stuffing your freezer.
  6. Think Small: Roasting a chicken can take several hours, but sautéing chicken cutlets takes about 20 minutes. Aim for recipes that use smaller cuts of meats and pre-cut veggies for faster cooking times and quicker meals.
  7. Savor Your Slow Cooker: Have a half hour at night or in the morning? Throw some ingredients together and let the slow cooker do the work for you! Better yet, keep some freezer meals designed for the slow cooker for even faster prep time.

Compiled by Jayme Ericson, NDSU Extension Service Dietetic Intern and Student at Concordia College.

Filed under: fca newsletter

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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