5 Min Spinach & Goat Cheese Quesadilla Recipe

5 Min Spinach & Goat Cheese Quesadilla Recipe

Thank you all for bearing with me while I work on a few other projects I have going on! I apologize for the lack of posts, but I will try to share and blog recipes as much as I can! Since my life has been extremely hectic lately, I’ve really been leaning on 5 Min Meals to stay healthy! I know time is usually a very big obstacle for most people when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and I want to show you that a healthy, meal can be made in just minutes!!

5 Min Spinach & Goat Cheese Quesadilla Recipe 1

These 5 Min Spinach & Goat Cheese Quesadillas  are easy to make and really delicious! Both kids and adults will love this easy recipe! These quesadillas keep well in the fridge for a few days so feel free to make them ahead of time to take to work or school for lunch.

5 Min Spinach & Goat Cheese Quesadilla Recipe 4

5 Min Spinach & Goat Cheese Quesadilla Recipe

You’ll need:

  • 2 tortillas – I like using uncooked tortillas, I found Two Tias brand at Costco
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 2 Tbs chevre style goat cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 an avocado
  • salsa

Place one tortilla in a large cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Layer it first with 1 Tbs goat cheese crumbles, then add avocado, fresh spinach leaves, another Tbs of goat cheese, and then finally, top with the second tortilla. Let sit for about 2-3 mins, continuously checking the bottom of the tortilla. Once the tortilla has started to brown. Press down with a spatula and then flip the entire quesadilla over. Let sit for another 2-3 minutes.

Once your tortilla is browned on both sides, remove from skillet and cut into 4 sections with a very sharp knife.

Serve with your favorite salsa and enjoy!

5 Min Spinach & Goat Cheese Quesadilla Recipe 2

This recipe is really delicious and makes a great meal, snack, or appetizer that everyone will love!

As always, feel free to make substitutions according to your personal taste preferences.

You can see more of my fast easy 5 min meals here, enjoy!!

5 Min Spinach & Goat Cheese Quesadilla Recipe 3
5 Min Spinach & Goat Cheese Quesadilla Recipe 6

5 Min Spinach & Goat Cheese Quesadilla Recipe
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • You'll need:
  • 2 tortillas - I like using uncooked tortillas, I found this brand at Costco
  • 1 hadful baby spinach
  • 2 Tbs chevre style goat cheese crumbles
  • ¼ an avocado
  • salsa
Instructions
  1. Place one tortilla in a large cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Layer it first with 1 Tbs goat cheese crumbles, then add avocado, fresh spinach leaves, another Tbs of goat cheese, and then finally, top with the second tortilla. Let sit for about 2-3 mins, continuously checking the bottom of the tortilla. Once the tortilla has started to brown. Press down with a spatula and then flip the entire quesadilla over. Let sit for another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Once your tortilla is browned on both sides, remove from skillet and cut into 4 sections with a very sharp knife.
  3. Serve with your favorite salsa and enjoy!

Detox EBooks by Linda Wagner

 Looking for a fast easy detox plan? I’ve got everything you need to get started! Check out my step by step programs here.

 Interested in one-on-one Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching with Linda? Click here and here for details on how to get started.

 For more healthy living tips and recipes please subscribe to this blog, follow me on twitterLOVE me on facebook, subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow me on Pinterest, OR if you are interested in getting started on your own weight loss journey with a one-on-one consultation, shoot me an email!

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Gluten Free Asian Noodle Salad

Gluten Free Asian Noodle Salad via Linda Wagner

This Gluten-Free Asian Noodle Salad instantly became a favorite of mine! It’s an even lighter take on my traditional Chinese Chicken Salad. I’ve added gluten free “rice stick” noodles which give it really nice texture. I found these rice stick noodles at Porno my local health food store (Central Market if you are in Texas) but you can also find them at Asian groceries or online. Here are the ones I used, also known as vermicelli.

The great thing about these noodles is that they are super clean and made of simply rice and water. That’s it! They are very versatile and can be eaten hot or cold and added to soups, salads, and spring rolls.

Gluten Free Asian Noodle Salad via Linda Wagner

This awesome recipe takes just minutes to throw together and will fit with almost any dietary needs or restrictions. It’s great for weight loss as well as being:

  • gluten free
  • dairy free
  • low sugar
  • low cal
  • low fat
  • vegan

My mom said that she always used these rice noodles as her secret weapon to lose weight when she was young! These noodle salads taste absolutely amazing while still being filling and satisfying.

Gluten Free Asian Noodle Salad via Linda Wagner

Gluten Free Asian Noodle Salad

(printable recipe at the bottom of this post)

For the salad you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces rice stick noodles (also known as vermicelli)
  • 4 cups shredded green and purple cabbage (you can also find pre-shredded slaw mixes in the produce section at your local Whole Foods, Central Market or health food store)
  • 1 zucchini, shredded in the food processor
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (I always just buy a bag of julienne carrots at the grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbs black sesame seeds as garnish (optional)
  • 1 hot pepper, sliced as garnish (optional) – I used a Fresno chili for the pretty red color but jalapeno would work as well

For the dressing you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup Tamari (tamari is a gluten free soy sauce), you could also use regular soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbs finely minced ginger (I peeled fresh ginger and used this hand held food processor to mince – You can also do it by hand but I find this process much faster and easier!)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs Hoisin sauce (I like this brand best, you can usually find it in the Asian section at your grocery store)
  • 1 Tbs Toasted Sesame Oil 
  • 1 tsp Spicy Chili Oil (optional but I had it on hand and knew it would make a great addition!)
  • 1 tsp Sriracha or more if you like it spicy!
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 5 chopped green onions, green and white parts

Gluten Free Asian Noodle Salad via Linda Wagner

*pictured here with Goji Detox Tea

In a small mason jar with lid add tamari, vinegar, minced ginger, olive oil, hoisin sauce, toasted sesame oil, chili oil, sriracha, sea salt and chopped green onions. Secure the lid and shake vigorously. Set aside.

Next, fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add rice stick noodles and cook for 3 minutes then drain.

Gluten Free Asian Noodle Salad via Linda Wagner

Finally, in a large mixing bowl add cabbage, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, cilantro, cooked noodles and enough dressing to coat and mix until well incorporated (kitchen tongs work well for this). Taste and adjust amount of dressing as needed.

Garnish with sesame seeds and hot peppers. You can also top with more cilantro and green onion if you like!

Divide into bowls or onto plates and enjoy!! Serves 4.

Gluten Free Asian Noodle Salad via Linda Wagner

If you’re getting bored of the same old salads over and over, this one is sure to spice things up! It’s so easy to throw together on a busy weeknight and you can feel great about eating it since it’s dairy free, gluten free, well combined, and vegetarian friendly. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Enjoy!!

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Detox EBooks by Linda Wagner

 Looking for a fast easy detox plan? I’ve got everything you need to get started! Check out my step by step programs here.

 Interested in one-on-one Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching with Linda? Click here and here for details on how to get started.

 For more healthy living tips and recipes please subscribe to this blog, follow me on twitterLOVE me on facebook, subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow me on Pinterest, OR if you are interested in getting started on your own weight loss journey with a one-on-one consultation, shoot me an email!

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Gluten Free Asian Noodle Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Gluten Free Asian Noodle Salad takes just minutes to make and is gluten free, dairy free, low sugar, low cal, low fat, vegetarian, and vegan friendly!
Author:
Recipe type: Asian, Gluten free, salad, appetizer, lunch, vegan
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces rice stick noodles (also known as vermicelli)
  • 4 cups shredded green and purple cabbage (you can also find pre-shredded slaw mixes in the produce section at your local Whole Foods, Central Market or health food store)
  • 1 zucchini, shredded in the food processor
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (I always just buy a bag of julienne carrots at the grocery store)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbs black sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 hot pepper - I used a Fresno chili for the pretty red color but jalapeno would work as well (optional)
  • ¼ cup Tamari (tamari is a gluten free soy sauce), you could also use regular soy sauce
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbs finely minced ginger (I peeled fresh ginger and used this hand held food processorto mince – You can also do it by hand but I find this process much faster and easier!)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs Hoisin sauce (I like this brand best, you can usually find it in the Asian section at your grocery store)
  • 1 Tbs Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Spicy Chili Oil (optional but I had it on hand and knew it would make a great addition!)
  • 1 tsp Sriracha or more if you like it spicy!
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 5 chopped green onions, green and white parts
Instructions
  1. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add rice stick noodles and cook for about 3 minutes then drain.
  2. In a small mason jar with lid add tamari, vinegar, minced ginger, olive oil, hoisin sauce, toasted sesame oil, chili oil, sriracha, sea salt and chopped green onions. Secure the lid and shake vigorously. Set aside.
  3. Gluten Free Asian Noodle Salad via Linda Wagner
  4. Next, in a large mixing bowl add cabbage, shredded carrots, cilantro, cooked noodles and enough dressing to coat and mix until well incorporated (kitchen tongs work well for this). Taste and adjust amount of dressing as needed.
  5. Garnish with sesame seeds and hot peppers. You can also add more cilantro and green onion if you like!
  6. Divide into bowls or onto plates and enjoy!!

Skinny Chicken Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole

Skinny Chicken Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole

I grew up in the Midwest and cold weather always makes me think of casserole. I probably consumed over 2,000 casseroles during my childhood years (haha, kidding…kind of) and I loved them! It wasn’t until I was older that I realized how fattening most casseroles are and how devoid in nutrition, especially when using canned cream soups. You can read more about the toxins in cream of chicken soup here and cream of mushroom soup here

I was craving a casserole type of dish and decided to put my own healthy spin on it. I’m really happy with the result and I know it’s good healthy food that the whole family (even kids and picky eaters) will love!!

Skinny Chicken Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole

Skinny Chicken Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole

You’ll need:

  • 4 organic chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups cooked white quinoa (mine was left over from the quinoa bowls I made earlier in the week)
  •  1lb raw cheese, grated – I used Alta Dena Pepper Jack Cheese but feel free to use any of your favorites!
  • 4 cups raw broccoli florets
  • 2 cups raw baby spinach
  • 2 cups organic chicken broth – I used homemade bone broth, so much more nutritious and tastes SO much better!
  • 2 Tbs Adobo seasoning
  • garlic salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional but I like a little kick!)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

In a saucepan over med high heat, bring chicken stock to a boil and add diced chicken breasts. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 7-10 mins.

While chicken is boiling, get a large 9 x 13 baking dish and layer with about 1 cup cooked quinoa, 2 handfuls of raw spinach, and about two cups raw broccoli florets. Once chicken is cooked, add it to your baking dish and layer again with the rest of your qunioa, spinach, and broccoli. Add the remaining chicken broth and top the entire dish with spices and grated cheese. You might feel like your dish is overflowing but that’s ok as it will reduce significantly during cooking.

Place your dish on the center rack of the oven and cook uncovered for about 30-45 mins or until the cheese is golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool for about 10mins. Serve on it’s own or, if you’re like me, you can serve it on a bed of baby spinach with extra steamed broccoli on the side!

Skinny Chicken Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole

This is a really warm and comforting dish that’s also very healthy! Quinoa is a superfood that is bursting with protein and fiber, the addition of spinach and broccoli adds iron, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin A, calcium, antioxidants, vitamin B2 and K! This dish is also gluten free and sugar free.

This dish will serve 6-7 people and will also freeze well to have later.

If you love casseroles, you may also like these healthy dishes:

Beet and Carrot Detox Bake

Beet and Carrot Detox Bake

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I hope you enjoy these healthy casserole dishes on a cold day or anytime!!

Detox EBooks by Linda Wagner

 Looking for a fast easy detox plan? I’ve got everything you need to get started! Check out my step by step programs here.

 Interested in one-on-one Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching with Linda? Click here and here for details on how to get started.

 For more healthy living tips and recipes please subscribe to this blog, follow me on twitterLOVE me on facebook, subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow me on Pinterest, OR if you are interested in getting started on your own weight loss journey with a one-on-one consultation, shoot me an email!

 Don’t forget to sign up for my FREE Newsletter by entering your name and email address in the upper left hand corner of this page. I’ve got lots of fun stuff, exclusive content, and an exciting offer available to subscribers only!!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Skinny Chicken Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 organic chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups cooked white quinoa
  • 1lb raw cheese, grated - I used Alta Dena Pepper Jack Cheese but feel free to use any of your favorites!
  • 4 cups raw broccoli florets
  • 2 cups raw baby spinach
  • 2 cups organic chicken broth
  • 2 Tbs Adobo seasoning
  • garlic salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional but I like a little kick!)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan over med high heat, bring chicken stock to a boil and add diced chicken breasts. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 7-10 mins.
  3. While chicken is boiling, get a large 9 x 13 baking dish and layer with about 1 cup cooked quinoa, 2 handfuls of raw spinach, and about two cups raw broccoli florets. Once chicken is cooked, add it to your baking dish and layer again with the rest of your qunioa, spinach, and broccoli. Add the remaining chicken broth and top the entire dish with spices and grated cheese. You might feel like your dish is overflowing but that's ok as it will reduce significantly during cooking.
  4. Place your dish on the center rack of the oven and cook uncovered for about 30-45 mins or until the cheese is golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10mins. Serve on it's own or, if you're like me, you can serve it on a bed of baby spinach with extra steamed broccoli on the side!

Easy 5 Min Quinoa Breakfast Bowl + Taking the Pressure Off A “Perfect Diet”

Easy 5 Min  Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

There seems to be one common theme with my clients right now and it’s that they currently don’t have the time or energy to prepare healthy foods during the week. Let’s face it, fall is a busy time of year; kids are back in school, the holidays are coming up, and our calendars seem to be full all the way to next year! I totally get it and am in the exact same boat!

One of my go-to sources of fast and easy protein is eggs. You can whip them up in less than 5 mins and they will go with just about anything! This week I made a huge pot of plain quinoa just to have on hand. So this morning for a late breakfast/early lunch, I decided to make a quick quinoa bowl with 2 eggs over easy and 1/2 of a small avocado. I added whole, golden flax seeds to the quinoa since they are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, B1, fiber, manganese, and selenium.

The avocado provides monounsaturated fat, in the form of oleic acid. Monounsaturated fat is considered to be a “good fat” which reduces levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease. Avocados are also an excellent source of potassium (containing more per weight than bananas). In addition, avocados are rich in vitamin K, Vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B5 vitamin C, and vitamin E.(source)

I’ve talked extensively about the health benefits of free range eggs and the taste simply can’t be beat. I like my eggs to be a little runny and just look at how bright orange that yoke is!! Typically the darker and more orange the yoke, the more nutritious it is!

Top it all off with a little (or a lot!!) of Cholula hot sauce, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and you’ve got yourself a FAST, DELICIOUS, and SUPER NUTRITIOUS meal in minutes!!

Easy 5 Min  Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Try not to put too much pressure on yourselves to cook elaborate meals. Simple meals like this pack in serious nutrition, are filling, and easy to make! Plus, they are great anytime and will work as a satisfying breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal. Bonus points if you add baby spinach, arugula or kale to the mix too!

You can see more fast easy 5 min meals here and more egg recipes here. Enjoy!!

Detox EBooks by Linda Wagner

 Looking for a fast easy detox plan? I’ve got everything you need to get started! Check out my step by step programs here.

 Interested in one-on-one Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching with Linda? Click here and here for details on how to get started.

 For more healthy living tips and recipes please subscribe to this blog, follow me on twitterLOVE me on facebook, subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow me on Pinterest, OR if you are interested in getting started on your own weight loss journey with a one-on-one consultation, shoot me an email!

 Don’t forget to sign up for my FREE Newsletter by entering your name and email address in the upper left hand corner of this page. I’ve got lots of fun stuff, exclusive content, and an exciting offer available to subscribers only!!

Paleo Chicken & Sweet Potato Bake

Paleo Chicken & Sweet Potato Bake

It’s interesting how restrictive most people assume it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There is this conception out there that healthy eating means you are confined to a life of kale salads and green juice. While those things are on the menu and extremely healthy, so are comforting home cooked meals!

This Paleo Chicken & Sweet Potato Bake is super basic. There are no fancy techniques or ingredients; it’s just good, clean food. Remember that first and foremost, a healthy lifestyle is one that is free of chemicals and waste products which the body can not assimilate or utilize. I’ve talked about this before but it’s worth mentioning again, especially if you are one of those that is feeling overwhelmed with where to begin!

Good old fashioned home cooked meals using raw ingredients are always a good idea and will always trump processed foods, artificial foods, diet foods, restaurant, and takeout food when it comes to health and weight loss. You don’t have to get fancy or complicated, you can simply switch to eating natural foods and reap tremendous benefit!

Paleo Chicken & Sweet Potato Bake

Paleo Chicken & Sweet Potato Bake

You’ll need:

  • 2 chicken breasts (free-range organic is preferred)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, washed and cut into wedges (I left the skin on)
  • 1 pint assorted grape tomatoes
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced (you can use more or less according to taste)
  • 2 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp red cracked pepper
  • sea salt
  • olive oil

Preheat your oven to 425 deg.

In a large ziplock bag, add potato wedges, a drizzle of olive oil, and half of your spices – 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsps Italian seasoning, and 1/4 tsp of cracked pepper. Seal and shake ingredients until fully coated. Empty onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 mins or until edges begin to turn slightly brown.

In the same large ziplock bag, add chicken breasts, a drizzle of olive oil, and the other half of your spices – 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsps Italian seasoning, and 1/4 tsp of cracked pepper. Seal and shake ingredients until fully coated.

Then in a large skillet over med high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and brown chicken on both sides (a splatter screen is very helpful for this step!). Once the chicken is browned on both sides, your sweet potatoes should be ready. Remove them from the oven and add them to the outer edges of the pan, along with your tomatoes. Cook uncovered (shaking the pan every so often often to prevent sticking) for another 7-10 mins or until chicken is cooked through. This  dish will serve 2 and can easily be doubled or tripled to suit your needs.

This is such a comforting dish. There’s something about it that feels like autumn is in the air and makes you feel all warm and cozy inside!

Paleo Chicken & Sweet Potato Bake

The first thing that I thought when I had this dish was “this is a good home cooked meal”. There’s just something about food that’s done simply and at home that you can’t beat! It’s not complicated, it’s not fancy. It’s just GOOD. I hope you like it as much as we did. You could easily sub pork or beef for the chicken and any assortment of veggies would work! The seasonings are simple yet delicious and extremely versatile so have fun trying this basic recipe with whatever protein and veggies you may have on hand. Simple, healthy food. That’s where it’s at 🙂

Paleo Chicken & Sweet Potato Bake

You can see more of my chicken recipes here and all of my paleo recipes here.

 Detox EBooks by Linda Wagner

 Looking for a fast easy detox plan? I’ve got everything you need to get started! Check out my step by step programs here.

 Interested in one-on-one Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching with Linda? Click here and here for details on how to get started.

 For more healthy living tips and recipes please subscribe to this blog, follow me on twitterLOVE me on facebook, subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow me on Pinterest, OR if you are interested in getting started on your own weight loss journey with a one-on-one consultation, shoot me an email!

 Don’t forget to sign up for my FREE Newsletter by entering your name and email address in the upper left hand corner of this page. I’ve got lots of fun stuff, exclusive content, and an exciting offer available to subscribers only!!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Paleo Chicken & Sweet Potato Bake
 
The first thing that I thought when I had this dish was "this is a good home cooked meal". There's just something about food that's done simply and at home that you can't beat! It's not complicated, it's not fancy. It's just GOOD. I hope you like it as much as we did. You could easily sub pork or beef for the chicken and any assortment of veggies would work! The seasonings are simple yet delicious and extremely versatile so have fun trying this basic recipe with whatever protein and veggies you may have on hand. Simple, healthy food. That's where it's at 🙂
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts (free-range organic is preferred)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, washed and cut into wedges (I left the skin on)
  • 1 pint assorted grape tomatoes
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced (you can use more or less according to taste)
  • 2 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp red cracked pepper
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 deg.
  2. In a large ziplock bag, add potato wedges, a drizzle of olive oil, and half of your spices - 2 cloves of minced garlic, ½ tsp salt, 2 tsps Italian seasoning, and ¼ tsp of cracked pepper. Seal and shake ingredients until fully coated. Empty onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 mins or until edges begin to turn slightly brown.
  3. In the same large ziplock bag, add chicken breasts, a drizzle of olive oil, and the other half of your spices - 2 cloves of minced garlic, ½ tsp salt, 2 tsps Italian seasoning, and ¼ tsp of cracked pepper. Seal and shake ingredients until fully coated.
  4. Then in a large skillet over med high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and brown chicken on both sides (a splatter screen is very helpful for this step!). Once the chicken is browned on both sides, your sweet potatoes should be ready. Remove them from the oven and add to the outer edges of the pan, along with your tomatoes. Cook uncovered, shaking the pan every so often often to prevent sticking, for another 7-10 mins or until chicken is cooked through. This dish will serve 2 and can easily be doubled or tripled to suit your needs.

 

Fast & Healthy Convenience Foods for Weight Loss

Fall is such a busy time of year and I know a lot of people struggle with healthy eating as their schedules fill up with work, kids’ after school activities, holidays, travel, etc. It just seems there is never enough time in the day to prepare a healthy meal!

I want to share some of my personal tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle with pre-made and pre-packaged foods! Here are my favorite fast & healthy convenience foods for weight loss:

Dr. Preager's

One of my absolute favorites is Dr. Preager’s sensible foods. They have sweet potato and broccoli pancakes which I keep as a staple in my freezer. They are great just broiled plain with a little organic ketchup or my favorite BBQ sauce to dip, in a veggie sandwich, or topped with greens and a fried egg! Dr. Preager’s also makes fish sticks and a variety of veggie burgers, all of which are all natural, GMO free, and cholesterol free! They’ve been around for 20 years and are a brand you can always trust! Find them in the freezer section or your local grocery store, health food store, and even Trader Joe’s!

Vita Spelt Pasta

Another pantry staple for me is Vita Spelt Pasta and a good quality marinara sauce like Mezetta. Spelt pasta has the same flavor and texture as regular white pasta but is much easier to digest, higher in nutrients, and less inflammatory. It is an excellent source of vitamin B2, manganese, niacin, thiamin, and copper!! Although spelt is not gluten free, the gluten in spelt is water soluble making it much easier to digest.

Simply cook your pasta, add a good quality marinara sauce (you could also add some extra veggies to your sauce if you like or have time: spinach, mushrooms, shredded carrots, etc.), and maybe a little goat cheese on top! And voila! A simple meal you can feel good about. I know most people steer away from pasta and carbs in general but a simple meal like this is waaaaaay better than ordering take-out or grabbing something through the drive thru!

steamed cauliflower with marinara and goat cheese, a great gluten-free, carb-free substitute for pasta!!

If you are strict paleo or low carb, you can actually skip the pasta all together and just heat up a bag of frozen veggies. Frozen spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower all taste amazing steamed then topped with fresh marinara and goat cheese! I know it might sound strange at first but don’t knock it till you try it, most people end up loving it!

THE GREAT SPINACH SWAP - steamed spinach with marinara and goat cheese, a great gluten-free, carb-free substitute for pasta!!  Don't knock it till you try it!!

And then there’s pizza toast…

One of my absolute faves and such a great meal/snack for all ages when you are in a pinch! No need for fattening, toxic delivery pizza when you can make a much healthier version at home in less than half the time!

Another great freezer staple is Ezekiel bread, which you all know I use all the time! You can combine it with the marinara in your pantry to make delicious PIZZA TOASTS!! One of my absolute faves and such a great meal/snack for all ages when you are in a pinch! No need for fattening, toxic delivery pizza when you can make a much healthier version at home in less than five minutes! You can see the super easy recipe here!

Trader Joe's soups

In my pantry I ALWAYS have soup. It’s a no-brainer when you are feeling lazy or simply don’t have anything else on hand to eat! I get them at Trader Joe’s or my local health food store. Pacific and Imagine brand have good clean products that you can find in most stores. Just remember to always check the labels to make sure you know and understand what all the ingredients are! Serve your soup piping hot with diced avo, toasted Ezekiel bread, or a little feta cheese sprinkled on top!

Easy Artichoke, Spinach, & Herb Frittata via Linda Wagner

Another staple of mine are eggs! Frittatas like these take 15 mins to make and leftovers will last several days in the fridge:

In the end, just remember to do the best you can. Sometimes when life gets crazy we feel like it’s “all or nothing” and if we can’t follow our diet properly, then we just forget it and go the opposite direction. That will cause us to gain weight and feel tired and sluggish extremely quickly! Do the best you can, try to stock healthy foods in your pantry, freezer, car, and at work. It might not be perfect but at least it will keep you on the right track and not cause you to gain weight or go backwards with your goals. It’s all about balance and making it work for you and your lifestyle!

Here are some additional ready made foods to keep on hand:

  • Lara bars and KIND bars to keep in your gym bag, work desk, purse, or car as an on-the-go snack.
  • Evol brand frozen foods – ready made meals you can feel good about! “No Antibiotics – Our chicken, beef, pork, eggs and cheese come from animals raised on US Family Farms WITHOUT the use of Antibiotics & Hormones. No Artificial flavors, colors or additives. No GMOs in our grains, vegetables & oils.”
  • Amy’s brand frozen foods (most are good, just check the labels!)
  • Pacific brand foods – Frozen pizza and soups.
  • Artisan Bistro frozen foods – “Our mission is to make it easy for everyone to eat delicious, nutrition-rich meals.  We make single-serving frozen meals and bowls balanced with the best sources of lean protein, fiber-rich whole grains, plentiful vegetables and healthy fats.  Our wholesome organic ingredients keep their flavors because they’re unprocessed.  So our recipes taste great without artificial flavorings.  Complete, wholesome and satisfying meals are now always an option and ready in minutes.”

I hope this article gives you some perspective and helps to inspire you to eat healthy, even during your busiest and most hectic times!!

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