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Hearty, Easy 5-Minute Meals

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by monicadear

I’d like to share with you some of my hearty, easy 5-minute meals that I love to prepare when I’m in the middle of a busy day.

Prep ingredients before the week starts and have everything ready for your meals: just assemble and go.

Lola's Fruit Salad
My mother-in-law’s recipe, this is a fantastic, delicious yogurt-based fresh fruit salad that is great for lunch every day.

  • Organic fruits in season, such as:
    • Fuji apples or Pink Ladies (for the crunch and flavor)
    • Peaches
    • Nectarines
    • Grapes (cut in halves and remove seeds)
    • Orange slices (take off membrane and remove seeds)
    • Berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries
    • Bananas (firm)
  • 8 ozs of greek yogurt (recommend Fage or other thick yogurt)
  • A handful of walnuts, almonds, and/or pecans (recommend raw nuts, not roasted)
  • Honey

Cut up all the ingredients and layer into a bowl. Spread the yogurt on top, sprinkle the nuts, then drizzle with honey. Delicious! (And quick!)

A variation that I would also do is to use the same fruits but skip the yogurt and drizzle honey on top. A great alternative for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant.

7-grain Porridge
I love this for a cold day or when I need something simple to fill my tummy. I keep Bob’s Red Mill “7-Grain Cereal” on hand: you may order it online and store it in the fridge. This delicious, healthy option is milled and blended from “freshly ground whole grain high protein hard red wheat, rye, oats, triticale, barley, brown rice, oat bran, flaxseed.”

  • Grain-based Cereal
  • Half-and-half (substitute soy milk or rice milk if desired)
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • Toppings like nuts, blueberries, cranberries, or raisins

Prepare the hot cereal according to the package directions (typically you bring water to a boil, add the grains, and reduce heat to simmering for about 10-15 minutes or until the cereal is done).

Spoon out a generous amount into a mug and cover with half-and-half or cream.

Top with cinnamon, honey, and a handful of berries or nuts and enjoy while piping hot.

Mandarin Salad
A fun, light salad great for lunch or as a starter before supper.

  • A head of savoy spinach, chard, or butter lettuce
  • 1 cup of cooked chicken breasts, cut up (if desired)
  • Three mandarin oranges or clementines, peeled and sectioned
  • A handful of walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese (or feta cheese)
  • Balsamic vinegar (if desired)

Wash and separate the lettuce leaves in a medium-sized bowl. Add the chicken breast slices (if desired). Arrange the mandarin orange slices around the bowl. Next, sprinkle the walnuts, cranberries, and blue cheese over the salad, and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

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