Purchase premade fajita mix including seasoned and marinated peppers, onions, and chicken or beef strips from your local grocer.
Stock your pantry
A well-stocked pantry with basic and specialty items helps you get cooking fast.
Keep on hand packaged or homemade stocks, jarred pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, stir-fry sauces, frozen pie crusts, pizza dough, canned beans, pasta, ravioli, tortellini, tortillas, and hard cheeses.
Your weekly shopping list may include eggs, fresh greens, fruits and vegetables, tofu, soft cheeses, meats and poultry, and other perishables.
Put it all together
You prepped, planned, and shopped. Let the cooking begin.
Ravioli salad: Cook ravioli or tortellini and toss with steamed vegetables, greens, and salad dressing of your choice. Top with Parmesan cheese.
Soup: Saute olive oil with onions and garlic. Add leftover steamed vegetables (choose one or use mixed vegetables) and packaged broth. Bring to a boil and then turn off heat. Let soup cool before blending. Add spices, light cream, or milk if desired, and you've got homemade soup. Serve with bread and a tossed salad.
Pasta primavera: Cook fresh or dried bow tie pasta. Coat with olive oil and set aside. Steam or roast asparagus. Saute onions and shiitake mushrooms in olive oil until tender. Combine pasta, asparagus, mushrooms, and onion and add a drizzle of olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese.
Pizza: What's a week without pizza? Use your purchased dough and roll out a thick or thin crust. Spread with tomato sauce, grated cheese, and fresh vegetables. Liven it up with sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, or pesto sauce. Or try a white pizza with olive oil and a combination of cheeses, such as goat and Parmesan. Top with caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms.
Kathleen Finn is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in the natural health industry. She longs for a well-stocked pantry.
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