Small Meals Made In Minutes

When you are in a real hurry, mini-meals are a great idea.

These quick-fix meals are on the smaller side, made with a few simple ingredients, and can be put together in just a few minutes.

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The variety of meal ideas is endless and they can include just simple foods that you have in your fridge or cupboard.

I like to use mini-meals all the time and find they can take the edge off if you get really hungry but don’t have time for a full meal. Some people also tend to be grazers and eat several smaller meals throughout the day instead of the standard three bigger meals and that’s when having a variety of mini-meal ideas ready to go comes in handy.

Here are some of my ideas for quick and easy mini-meals.


Cottage Cheese: low-fat cottage cheese is a good base and can be combined with any of the following fruits or veggies and a small handful of nuts like almonds.

Here are is a suggested list of fruits and vegetables to add to your cottage cheese mini-meals.

* Fruit:

blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples or applesauce, banana, mandarin oranges, diced mango, peaches or pineapple

spices and sweeteners for fruit: agave syrup, cinnamon, honey, maple syryp, nutmeg

* Veggies:

carrots, celery, chayote squash, cucumber,green beans, jicama, leeks, mushrooms,onions or scallions, frozen, thawed and drained peas, radishes or tomatoes

herbs for veggies: basil, cilantro, dill, oregano, thyme, rosemary


Soup: Soup is a great way to get more vegetables in your diet and if you take a good vegetable soup (either homemade or a store bought variety with natural ingredients) and add a little something extra to it you can have a variety of mini-meals quickly and easily.

Here are some easy additions to try.

cooked and cubed white or sweet potatoes
cooked brown or basmati rice
canned beans (rinsed and drained)
grilled chicken, grilled salmon or
canned and drained salmon or tuna
baked tofu (cut into cubes and add to soup)

Fresh spinach is a nice addition, just stir it into the hot soup and the leaves will wilt into it.

Fresh chopped herbs like cilantro or basil make a nice topping. You could also add a small handful of grated fresh cheese.


Pita Sandwich: Here’s a simple mini-meal idea that is so quick and can be made with practically anything you have on hand. I usually mix a few ingredients together, stuff the pita and then add a flavorful topping. Here are some of my favorite stuffings.

* mix together: tuna, a little mayonnaise, celery, tomatoes
topping: chopped fresh basil

* mix together: cooked chicken, Greek yogurt, cucumbers, sweet red peppers
topping: sprinkling of chopped green olives

* mix together: Oriental style baked tofu, mustard, sliced scallions, water chestnuts
topping: alfalfa or radish sprouts

* mix together: spread some almond butter in the pita on one or both sides and add some diced strawberries or bananas
topping: a sprinkling of cinnamon or drizzle of honey

* mix together: cottage cheese, sliced leeks, capers, tomatoes
topping: walnut pieces

* mix together: cooked ham (diced), mustard, low-fat Swiss cheese cubes, shredded lettuce
topping: a sprinkling of diced apple

* mix together: spread a layer of whipped low-fat cream cheese inside one or both sides of the pita and add a mixture of diced apple and diced celery
topping: a sprinkling of cinnamon

* mix together: canned salmon (drained), thinly sliced red onion, low-fat Greek style yogurt, diced sun-dried tomatoes (no oil – softened in warm water)
topping: sprinkling of dried dill or chopped fresh dill

* mix together: diced hard-cooked egg, mayonnaise and spicy mustard, diced celery
topping: radish sprouts and grated parmesan cheese

* mix together: basil pesto, sun-dried tomatoes (in oil,drained and chopped), diced black olives, shredded cabbage
topping: crumbled goat cheese


Simple Fruit Combos: Here are a few I use to make mini-meals and simply place in a bowl and enjoy or place in a container to take with me for a light lunch.

* cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon cubes combined with crumbled blue or feta cheese

* apples chunks with grapes and gouda cheese

* red and green grapes, celery chunks and goat cheese crumbles

* mango, papaya and sliced almonds

* nectarine and peach slices or chunks tossed in a little low-fat plain or vanilla yogurt topped with crumbled cinnamon graham crackers

* strawberries and blueberries tossed in lemon yogurt with whole grain crackers on the side


Mini-Meal Mini Sandwiches (Open-Faced): whole grain English muffins topped with:

* marinara sauce, thin sliced mushrooms, low-fat cheese slice

* thin layer of tomato paste, basil leaves, cooked chopped shrimp, grated parmesan cheese

* mashed black beans topped with salsa and grated soy cheese

* hummus topped with baby spinach leaves, thin slices of zucchini squash or yellow summer squash, thin slice of beefsteak tomato and salt and pepper to taste

* vegetarian refried beans, thinly sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced cucumbers, vegetarian pepper jack cheese slice

* mashed banana, chopped dates and chopped walnuts

* low-fat mayonnaise, deli turkey slices, romaine lettuce and sweet red pepper slices


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Other Quick Mini-Meals Options:

* String Cheese: another simple and quick idea and can be eaten with either sliced or cubed fruit of choice or vegetable sticks using carrots, celery, jicama, sweet peppers, cucumbers or chayote squash

* Fruit or Veggie Skewers: a simple idea and easy to make.

For fruit skewers: try apple and pear cubes with green or red grapes skewered on small wooden skewers alternating with cubes of sharp cheddar cheese or choose your favorite fruit and cheese combos

For veggie skewers: try chunks of sweet peppers, cherry or grape tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini or even summer squash and your favorite cheese

Give these mini-meal ideas a try when you need a quick little meal in a hurry.


Quick Links:

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