The fragrance of burning leaves has replaced the summertime scent of tanning lotion and lazy days have become a hectic mishmash of work, school and sports schedules. Yes, we’ve officially entered a new season and, if you’re like me, it can be a shock to the system. Don’t get me wrong, I love autumn, but I find I need a few weeks to adjust from my summer schedule and get back to reality.
For me, one of the most difficult things is getting used to having a LOT less time to spend on things like planning and preparing healthy meals. Now that the kids are back to school I’m tied to their schedules, which can make an easy solution like take-out more appealing. However, since it’s really difficult to make half your plate fruits and vegetables via most take-out (don’t even get me started on the hidden calories, sodium and fat that many contain), I’m determined to use this option as a last resort.
Luckily, fall is a great time to break out my crock pot! It’s so easy to add some chicken or lean pork, cut up vegetables, seasonings and a low fat cream soup (I like cream of mushroom) to the crock pot in the morning and then have it ready by dinnertime. Cook up another veggie like broccoli and add a salad–Voila! You’ve got a home cooked meal that’s nutritious and delicious.
Even if I don’t use my crock pot, a healthy meal doesn’t have to take forever to prepare. Fruits & Veggies–More Matters has a wide variety of 30 Minutes or Less recipe options specifically for the season. Tasty entress like Fig, Apple and Chicken Stir-Fry or Oven Baked Salmon with Snow Peas meet the Fruits & Veggies–More Matters healthy recipe criteria and all are ready within 30 minutes or less. Plus, don’t forget to use produce that’s in season to save money and add flavor to your dishes. Just like strawberries were at their peak a few months ago, you’ll find an abundance of apples right now at great prices in supermarkets around the country.
Just like every September, I’ll settle in to my daily routine and it will be second nature by the time December rolls around. But having a little help to get me started is always a nice thing!