Top 10 Healthy, Easy Meals for a Busy Season

The holiday season is in full swing! Everywhere you turn, there’s a concert, party or gift exchange. Families, friends and neighbors are all bustling about baking treats, wrapping gifts, crossing off lists and making one more trip to the store.

Knowing time is a precious commodity, we’ve compiled a list of healthy, easy meal ideas to help you and your family stay nourished this busy season. Many of these recipes use ingredients you already have in your kitchen or are easy to grab and go from your local Lakewinds. May your holidays be merry and bright — and tasty!

  1. Taco Night | Lakewinds Rotisserie Chicken (shred it) + ingredients from the salad bar (lettuce, chopped tomato, chopped bell peppers, olives, etc.) + tortillas + salsa or guacamole.
    Taco bars are always a hit—very little prep and a lot of choice. Even the pickiest person will walk away happy and full. Have a vegetarian in the group? Replace the meat with black beans or rice.
  2. Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Fruit & Veggies | Breadsmith bun + Deli cranberry chicken salad (to make chicken salad sandwiches) + chopped fruit from produce + pre-cut veggie medley.
    Buy the ready-made chicken salad in our deli! Don’t like chicken or cranberries? We have a wide selection of fresh-made salads available every day that would taste great between two slices of crusty bread.
  3. Tomato-Mozzarella Sandwich | Ciabatta buns. Cut in half, spread pesto on both sides. Top one side with a slice of fresh mozzarella and the other side with a slice of tomato. Bake until warm and melted.
    This is another great vegetarian choice. It’s also easy to convert to gluten-free by using gluten-free bread.
  4. Crockpot Vegetable Barley soup | Fresh veggies (carrots, onions, garlic, celery, green beans) + 1 cup of barley + 4 -5 cups vegetable stock. Put everything in the slow cooker in the morning, set it at low and let it go.The hardest part is remembering to turn on the slow cooker! Some recommend adding a can of diced tomatoes about an hour before serving. Salt & pepper to taste and serve with crusty bread, a cheese plate or fruit.
  5. Pasta Bar | Cook any kind of pasta. Cut up vegetables (carrots, celery, mushrooms, etc). Cut up meat (optional). Grate cheese to finish. Kids pick their pasta toppings. Heat pan with olive oil, add pasta toppings to heat. Then toss in pasta. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes. Put on plate, top with cheese.
    Have a jar of spaghetti or alfredo sauce? Heat some in a small pan and ladle a scoop of sauce when you plate the pasta.
  6. Seasonal Roasted Vegetables | Roasted squash or veggies + rice. Roasting winter veggies transforms their flavor by bringing out the natural sugars. Cut up squash, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or potatoes + lay on a cookie sheet + drizzle with olive oil (or other cooking oil) + Season to taste (salt, herbs, pepper) and roast at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes.
    Veggies are done when they are slightly brown and soft. As they roast, cook a pot of rice. Add extra flavor to the rice by throwing in a handful of fresh or dried herbs and cooking the rice in chicken or vegetable stock.
  7. Easy Pad Thai Soup | Broth + rice noodles + lightly beaten eggs + shredded carrots + bean sprouts + cilantro + lime juice. Bring broth to a boil and add the rice noodles, carrots and sprouts. Let simmer for 5 – 7 minutes. Add the beaten eggs and stir them into the broth until eggs are opaque, about 2 minutes. Add chopped cilantro to taste and a dash of lime juice and serve.
  8. Breakfast for Supper | Pancakes, fruit, meat side and kids can help!
    Pancakes can be as easy as opening a box mix and adding water. We also carry a multigrain pancake mix in our bulk bins. You can substitute fruit preserves for syrup for a change. Add a side of meat, like sausage or ham, for protein.
  9. Leftover Night | After a long week, Friday night is a good night to just clean the fridge. That vegetable barley soup will taste even better the second night and leftover roasted veggies are great in sandwiches or wrapped in a tortilla.
  10. Lakewinds to Go! | The easiest meal is the one you don’t cook! Let us do the cooking for you with our Lakewinds to Go meals, from single serving to family sizes. We offer a wide range of fresh entrees, salads, dips, soups, smoothies/juices and desserts, all made in-house every day – just for you! Choose from grab-n-go items, or visit the daily hot barand salad bar. We only use natural, local and organic ingredients without any fillers or artificial preservatives. We also offer a wide variety of gluten-free and vegan foods as well

Lakewinds has everything you need to make your meals during the busy holidays healthy and delicious. Check out our Grab-n-Go deli selections for those days when you have to be three places at once!