Making dinner has become a daily nemesis. Buying groceries, putting them away, prepping and cooking and cleaning up when you’re tired at the end of the day is too much of a hassle when you’d rather be relaxing with your family. But then…eating out is expensive, take-out is often unhealthy and people large and small still need to be fed a nutritious meal each day. What’s a busy person to do?
I have a plan for countless simple meals that can be served in less than 20 minutes, start to finish. Meals in a Flash, if you will. The key is to start off with Heinen’s Gourmet Case where a delicious, homey meal can be assembled with ease. From basic Poached Salmon to Bacon and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes, there’s always something in the case that can be matched up with a dish from the Salads We Love or even the freezer case, to create healthy, on-the-go dinners for busy families.
To make the process easy, I’ve developed a Meal In A Flash Chart which will help you mix and match dinner at a glance. The chart is located at the Gourmet Case* and provides a road map for countless dinner combinations with basic heating directions and variations. You’ll be sure to find a dinner solution for those busy nights when you need a break from the usual routine. Here’s a sampling of it…
|Heinen’s Prepared Food Feature||Favorite Side Dish||Quick Cooking Tips||Optional Serving Ideas|
|Mango Coconut Shrimp||Honey Lemon Bow Tie Pasta or Frozen Heinen’s Spicy Basmati Rice with Edamame||Heat a skillet over medium heat with pasta and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Lay shrimp on top and simmer, covered, until warm; 10 minutes. Or microwave shrimp 2 minutes per pound or until warm and cook rice as directed.||Saute shallot, snow peas and red bell pepper in oil over medium-high heat. Stir in cooked brown rice and soy sauce to taste. Top with warmed shrimp and cashews or almonds.|
|Vegan Mandarin Nuggets||Frozen Heinen’s Spicy Basmati Rice with Edamame||Microwave nuggets in 1 minute increments until warm. Cook rice as directed to serve on the side.||Quarter baby bok choy and cook in oil in a skillet over medium heat. When tender, add the nuggets and toss gently til warm. Season with soy sauce. Top with chopped cashews.|
For example, we love salmon at our house so Two Brothers Seasoned Salmon is a dinnertime favorite. Some nights we just break it up over salads I’ve prepared at the grocery salad bar, divvying it all up on dinner plates and topping it all with a basic vinaigrette of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts olive oil. It’s fresh and clean and one of our favorite summer meals. Other nights when we want a hot meal, I might heat a skillet and add spicy Black Bean Salad and 1/2 cup chicken broth, bring it to a simmer and top it with the Sweet and Smoky Salmon, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the salmon warms. I’ve also tried Butterbean Salad, Tuscan Bean Salad or Crunchy Wheatberry Salad instead of the Black Bean Salad. It is truly a Meal in a Flash because it comes together so quickly and there is only one pan to clean up. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
This plan is all about taking something from the Gourmet Case and using it either as a mealtime starting point or as a simple side to complement your own main dish. After all, it’s relatively easy to grill in the summer but you may want some help with the go-withs. Or on those nights when you have a little time, be creative and boil up a pot of pasta, toss it with Garlic Grilled Shrimp, a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese to make a hearty pasta meal for a crowd.
So, relax. Take a breather. Enjoy a simple, yet delicious meal as a family with little to no prep, cooking or clean up in the relaxing environment of your own home. Better yet, take it outside and enjoy a summer evening on the deck. And remember, with a little help from Heinen’s, home is where delicious happens.
*A printed copy of the Meals in a Flash Chart is available at your Heinen’s Gourmet Case in the Prepared Foods Department.