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This blog is purely informational and not meant to take the place of individual medical nutrition therapy (MNT). For serious medical conditions, ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian. 

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Q: I don't have a lot of time for cooking. How can I eat more vegetables?

A: A fast meal does not have to come from a drive-thru. I recently came across a tasty stir fry kit that took minutes to prepare.


Sometimes I make things harder than it should be. In my efforts at affordable, clean eating using mostly fresh ingredients, I sometimes turn my nose up at convenience items like bagged vegetables. I either believe I'm saving money by buying the individual vegetables whole, or I feel like I'm cheating if I didn't spend the extra 10 minutes chopping the vegetables myself.


Thank goodness my husband shares the shopping responsibilities. If it were not for his more open-minded, practical approach to meal prep, I would not have learned to appreciate the packaged foods in the produce section.



For only $2.99, we were able to enjoy a crunchy blend of fresh kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots and snow peas in a stir-fry kit. If I had purchased each vegetable separately, I easily could have spent much more, and risked not using all the vegetables. And on a cold winter night after a long day at work, a short cut to a hot, healthy meal is just what I need to get to me-time sooner.


The following dish took minutes to make, and with the leftovers, my husband and I both got a couple of meals out of it. Between the stir fry kit and a pound of chicken breasts, the total recipe cost about $7 or $8, or about $2 per serving. A small price to pay for a quick meal packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein.





Quick and Easy Chicken and Stir Fry

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Servings: 4


Ingredients

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper to taste

1 package Kroger Stir Fry Kit


Directions

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat.

2. Slice chicken into thin strips, then add to the pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes, then remove from pan.

3. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the stir fry vegetables. Per package directions, sauté for about 6-8 minutes.

4. Add the chicken to the vegetables, toss with the stir fry sauce, and serve immediately


Serving suggestion: To round out this meal, serve with whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat angel hair pasta.


For more vegetable recipes, check out these other FAQs:

How can I eat healthy through the holidays?

What's the recipe for your apple and cucumber matchstick salad?

I'm tired of salads. How else can I eat more vegetables?


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