An Easy Dinner for Busy Nights


 

So I’m thinking about giving up my driver’s license and becoming a lifelong pedestrian.  And really, I’m only half-kidding.

First, there was the fiasco that occurred a few days before Halloween.

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My poor Guinevere! That’s the result of Sean’s rear-ending the car in front of us.  The other car was fine (and so were we, thank goodness), but my car was totaled!

After a glorious week with this:

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I ended up getting a 2001 Ford Escort, the same as Guinevere, only white and a year older.  Heck, I was pretty happy with it – it has automatic start!  Automatic start = warming up the car without having to go outside!

And then there was the pothole a few weeks ago.  Two tires, two wheels.  $400.

And then there was the tragedy last week when the car died on my way to Starbucks for a crazy-stressed essay-writing-athon. Died.  In the middle of a busy road.  There were people honking at me (although the hazards were on), a tow truck, the whole shebang.  And it was terrible timing, considering I was on a very tight deadline for my papers and the tow truck would arrive “within the hour.”  Imagine how odd it must have looked when all of a sudden I get out of this broken-down car with a huge bag of books, abandon my car, and hoof it over to Starbucks.

After a few days reliving my early teen years when I was completely dependent on my parents for transportation, I got the car back, and everything seemed fine.

Until it happened again. Sigh. It turns out that the previous owners messed with the wiring and put in some kind of security device.  It’s a mess.  I’d go into more detail, but I really don’t understand that car stuff. Thank goodness Sean does!

Clearly, life is a little complicated right now. Al I can do is smile and keep chugging along, right?  Besides, finals are next week and then no more school!! So I’m going to keep things simple today and share an easy recipe with you.  In fact, it’s so easy that I don’t even know if I’d call it a recipe!

When life gets hectic, healthy food can easily fall to the wayside.  It’s so easy to succumb to the drive-thru window or pop open a bag of chips.  This mean was full of nutrients and took less than 10 minutes to prepare.

Layer 1:

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You guessed it: Kale!

Start by lightly steaming a bed of greens (spinach or collards would work well, too). 30-40 seconds in the microwave will do.

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That right there is well over 100% RDA of Vitamins A, C and K, plus iron and tons of antioxidants.  Research even shows that kale helps you kick cancer’s butt, and can battle cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s, and macular degeneration!  Whoa!

Anyway…

Layer 2:

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Butternut Squash!  I bake or roast a huge pan (sometimes several pans) of squash every week so I can heat up leftovers, but you can also steam the squash for 7-9 minutes.  I like to season mine with basil.

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B-nut squash is full of fiber and eye-protecting beta-carotene while being low in calories.

Layer 3:

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Mushrooms! Cooked on the stovetop with some minced garlic, no oil required.

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Not everyone likes mushrooms (Sean hates them!), but any veggie will do: bell peppers, tomatoes…

Surprisingly, though, mushrooms are a good source of protein as well as vitamin D, potassium, magnesium, and yet more antioxidants.

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Ta-da!  I threw some kimchi (fermented Korean cabbage) on the side.  It was my first time trying it, but I’m not sure what I think of it yet.  Kimchi is often called a “superfood” and contains a ton of healthy bacteria (probiotics) that aid in digestive health.  I’ll give it another chance!

There you go: fast, delicious, and extremely good for you.  I’d also recommend adding 1/4 c. kidney beans or some quinoa or millet to balance the meal with some heavier carbs and protein.

Okay, I’m off to do homework over a cuppa tea!

Goodnight.

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