Health and Wellness

Home > Health Plus

Get in Touch with Us

Health Plus
PMB# 407804
2700 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37235

Meals in a Snap


Meals prepared at home are often linked to healthier food choices and smaller portion sizes. One of the common barriers to preparing meals at home is finding the time. With these five simple strategies for quick meals, anyone can enjoy the benefits of meals from home without spending too much time in the kitchen.

Strategy #1: Prep basic ingredients
Start by identifying the foods that you like to have on-hand each week. Examples might be cooked grains, hard boiled eggs, grilled meats, roasted vegetables, or sliced fruits and veggies. To maximize your time, set aside one hour to prepare basic ingredients before the busy week starts. Store these food items in air-tight containers in the fridge to make them accessible during the week. Have fun with this weekly routine by playing music and getting your family involved!

Strategy #2: Have a stocked pantry
Research shows that having a stocked pantry is a motivator to preparing meals at home. Examples of healthy foods requiring minimum prep include whole grains, beans, frozen fruits and vegetables, nuts, eggs, and canned tuna. When these items are in stock, it is easy to throw together a quick dinner. For example, simply combine cooked grains, frozen veggies, and beans into a stir-fry. Add a favorite sauce and an egg on top, and the meal is complete! Here is a list of kitchen essentials that make meal prep a breeze!

Strategy #3: Create one-pot meals
One-pot meals only require one dish during the preparation process, which means less clean-up. Combining all the ingredients in a single dish means that no extra time is needed for preparing side dishes. Use the one-pot meal strategy for soups, frittatas, and even pastas!

Strategy #4: Cook once, eat twice
Cook enough food to have leftovers for future meals. To avoid leftover boredom, create different meals from the same ingredients. For example, cut leftover grilled meat into strips to add to salads, wraps, and sandwiches. Use leftover vegetables for salads and sandwich toppings!

Strategy #5: Pack quick lunches
Put together quick “adult lunchables” by selecting one food from each of the major food groups: grain, protein, fruit, veggie, and dairy. For example, combine whole-wheat pita (grain), 2 tablespoons hummus (protein), sliced red peppers (veggie), one whole apple (fruit), and one low-fat cheese stick (dairy) in a to-go container.

Here are 12 meals in minutes that have 5 ingredients or less!

Prep basic ingredients for at least one meal in the upcoming week.  Or, try a recipe from the “Meals in Minutes” handout.

Posted on Friday, July 28, 2017 in Health Plus, Living Healthy, Feeling Good and tagged , , ,


8 Comments on “Meals in a Snap”

Thanks for this week meal plans. I am excited to try-especially the Avocado Toast with fried egg >3

Jacquie on August 3rd, 2017 at 10:00 am

I love the ideal of meals in a minute. I am looking forward to trying them out.

Millenese Fluellen on August 3rd, 2017 at 10:33 am

I need to get better about this. I pack my lunch, but sometimes I don’t properly prepare. This is very helpful information.

Unique Robinson on August 3rd, 2017 at 11:07 am

Thank you for the list of essentials! This helps so much!

Rebecca Lane on August 3rd, 2017 at 2:39 pm

I like the stocked pantry list for items you can make in a hurry. Good idea. Looking forward to trying the peanut butter oatmeal with fresh fruit with my grandkids. All five are spending the night this weekend.
I always cook extra during the week, so one night I can have left overs for the family and I get a break.

Emily Duvall on August 3rd, 2017 at 3:22 pm


Unique Robinson on August 7th, 2017 at 2:04 pm

These recipes sound great. Thanks!

Carol Collett on August 7th, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Can’t wait to try the sweet tooth quesadilla

Denise Musgrove on August 9th, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Leave a Reply

We'll review your comment as soon as possible. If you have an immediate help request, please contact us at the following:
Vanderbilt Health & Wellness - 615-936-0961
Occupational Health Clinic - 615-936-0955
Work/Life Connections-EAP - 615-936-1327
Health Plus - 615-343-8943