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Dinner Shortcuts with the World's Healthiest Foods

Wondering how to stick with the World's Healthiest Foods when you arrive home hungry and tired, and don't want to spend much time cooking?

Here are some creative shortcuts that will get your healthy dinner on the table quickly:

The Parchment Paper Trick

You'll usually find this time-saving device in the napkin section of your grocery. It's a special kind of paper that can go straight in your oven, and many World's Healthiest Food combinations will work scrumptiously inside.

Diced potatoes, chopped onions, and some sprigs of rosemary are one tasty blend. Fresh fish also cooks extremely well in parchment. You can also add some of the World's Healthiest vegetables right in next to the fish - for example, already peeled organic baby carrots.

Just crunch the parchment paper together to seal the top and bake as you normally would. The parchment seals in the flavor better than most baking dishes. When your dinner is ready, just be careful when opening the parchment paper back up (due to the steam that can be released).

The Bigger Batch Approach

Cooking for two? Cook for four instead. Cooking for four? Cook for six or even eight. As long as you're getting out the pots and pans, cutting, chopping, and cleaning up, why not prepare some additional servings at the same time? You'll be rewarded with a healthy dinner ready and waiting for you the following night.

Some recipes, such as soups and stews, taste even better after marinating in your refrigerator overnight.

Extra servings of rice will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator and complement many protein foods.

Prefer not to eat the same dinner two nights in a row? Freeze extra servings. Casseroles, Mexican-style wraps and burritos are easily frozen. So are home-cooked beans. Next time you go through the process of soaking and pressure-cooking beans, cook more than you will eat in the next day or two. Put the extra beans into quart-size freezer bags and freeze for a busy day.

Hard boil a dozen eggs, return them to the egg carton and refrigerate, so they're ready to eat during the week. Add eggs to tossed salads made from "ready to eat" mixed greens along with a handful of nuts and a little cheese. Peel a couple of eggs and make an egg salad sandwich on whole grain bread in minutes.

It's minimal extra work in exchange for an almost ready-made World's Healthiest Food meal.

Breakfast for Dinner

Why not? French toast made with whole grain bread or an omelet filled with whatever vegetables you have on hand or some thinly sliced apples and a little grated cheese can be very satisfying meal.

So can a bowl of yogurt topped with organic cereal or granola, nuts and dried fruit.

Start with Healthy Prepared Foods

Top whole wheat frozen pizza with extra tomato sauce, olives, artichoke hearts and goat cheese. Bake and drizzle with olive oil.

No pizza in the freezer? Place whole grain bread on a cookie sheet. Top with your favorite tomato sauce, herbs and grated cheese. Bake till cheese melts.

Top canned organic black or pinto beans with salsa and grated low fat cheese. Serve with some of the cooked rice you have on hand.

For quick, healthy beans and franks, cut tofu "hot dogs" into 1-2" pieces, mix with canned baked beans, and heat.

Stock up on organic boxed soups that can sit on your pantry shelf until needed. Mix in some of the cooked rice you have on hand or serve with whole grain bread and a salad made from "ready-to-eat" mixed greens and cherry tomatoes dressed with olive oil and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.

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