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How to Eat Healthy with Pre-Packaged Goods!

Busy schedule? Do your vegetables constantly go bad in the fridge? Feel as if you are wasting money? Don’t worry, we have some solutions. Eating nutritious meals on a busy schedule can be challenging. However, 90 percent of the work is getting the groceries in the house. Solution: hit the grocery store and load up on healthy ingredients that you can stash in your pantry or freezer.  Keep these staples on hand and you will be set for healthy dinners!

1. Tuna packed in water

In the can or in the pouch, tuna is a great low-fat source of protein. Flake it over whole wheat pasta and mix with olives, parsley, capers, and a drizzle of olive oil to make a simple, satisfying dinner. Or for a healthy twist on tuna salad, toss with a little olive oil and lemon juice, minced Granny Smith apple, and a pinch of curry powder.

2. Canned beans
Keep an assortment of low-sodium organic varieties–black, pinto, chickpeas, kidney, and navy–on hand. Drain and rinse, then add to soup, pasta, green salad, brown rice, quinoa, or couscous. You can also make a quick bean salad by combining one can of beans with chopped peppers (any kind), celery, and a splash of low sugar Italian dressing.

3. Boxed organic soups
They taste fresh–almost as good as homemade–and obviously they’re a million times easier to cook. Add a can of drained and rinsed beans to the soup and you have a fast, light meal. For a heartier dish, toss in frozen vegetables, too.

4. Whole-wheat couscous
What’s not to love about a pasta that simply needs to soak rather than simmer on the stove? Just add 1 1/2 cups boiling water to 1 cup couscous in a bowl, then cover with a plate for 30 minutes. Turn it into a main course by combining with beans, veggies, and toasted nuts. (You can prepare this in advance–it’ll keep in the fridge for up to three days in an air-tight container; reheat in the microwave.)

5. Frozen spinach
Defrost in a strainer under warm running tap water. Squeeze out water and purée spinach with some low sodium chicken or vegetable broth to make a fast soup, or stir it into brown rice with some sautéed onion and crumbled feta cheese. For a super-easy side dish, microwave a 1-pound package for 60 seconds, add 1/4 teaspoon fresh garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, and a dash of salt and ground pepper. Top with some toasted pine nuts and there you go!–almost a day’s worth of vitamin A in only two minutes.

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