Create a S.I.M.P.L.E Meal Plan

Cooked chicken breast on a bed of greens

By: Karen Ilhardt, Home Economist Kroger Customer Connect

Simple meals do not have to be boring, bland or bad for you. Simple is good – even great. This is especially true when we’re short on time yet desire good nutrition and flavor. Cutting back on meal prep time helps because it leaves time in our busy schedules to enjoy the meal, but also the company of the people eating the meal.

Keeping the meals S.I.M.P.L.E. allows us to have sensational, satisfying foods with little fuss when we’re short on time. Here’s how to have a S.I.M.P.L.E. meal.

S — Start with the basics. A hearty salad can be filling and nutritious. Simple Truth Organic™ Baby Spring Mix is a great base. Then, add toppings like low-fat shredded cheese, cauliflower, sliced mushrooms and honey almond flax cereal. The Pre-shredded Simple Truth Organic™ Broccoli Slaw is a convenient option as a topper for salads provides eye-catching color and crunchy texture. Dried cranberries and sliced almonds are also easy, tasty toppers.

I — Invent new ways of serving foods so it’s transportable. One idea is to use a whole grain tortilla with salad basics, roll it up and then wrap it like a burrito. Now the salad is ready to eat on the go. Be creative! “Logs” of celery filled with Simple Truth Organic™ Creamy Peanut Butter are a good source for protein and minerals, and they’re easy to eat in the car (or minivan).

M — Make meals tasty. Just because the recipe might be simple, doesn’t mean it’s short on flavor. Add a dash of Simple Truth Organic™ Ground Cayenne Red Pepper to chicken breasts before baking or sprinkle some Simple Truth Organic™ Ground Saigon Cinnamon on fresh apple slices. Simple — yet sensational.

P — Plan ahead. If chicken is the main course for a meal, bake a few extra pieces to use later. Simple Truth® offers many forms of natural and organic chicken. Tenders will bake or grill faster since they are thinner than boneless chicken breasts. The pre-cooked chicken can be refrigerated, then used as a salad topper. Another great use of the already-cooked chicken is to chop it up, add some pre-made tartar sauce and, almost instantly, we have chicken salad! It’s easy and delicious.

L — Lessen the prep time for busy nights by peeling, seeding and chopping vegetables in advance, when possible. This works great for many foods including peppers, onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Be sure to drain them and place in airtight, refrigerated containers. This tip can also be slightly altered for snack items such as the Simple Truth™ Popped Chips, which come packaged three servings per bag. Simply divide out the portions into sealable bags for a snack on the go.

E — Employ the help of others. Children who have helped create the meal are more likely to eat it. They can be in charge of gathering the beverages, condiments, eating utensils and napkins. As a bonus, I want to add ENJOY!