Ask a Nurse: Easy Skillet Meals

Pamela is an RN, MSN/Ed.

Pamela is a mother of 6 amazing children ages 11 to 24. She is a nurse educator and loves to travel overseas to work in medical clinics and teach health-related topics to schools and communities. She has been married to her best friend, Steve, for 29 years. She has many different interests including reading, writing (NOT arithmetic!), baking, teaching, and spending time with her family. She lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband and two youngest daughters. To see all Ask a Nurse articles click here.

Easy Skillet Meals

Do you ever get caught up in the busyness of life and realize that you have eaten out of a box or drive-through several times in a week? Easy and healthy meals do not have to be a chore to make! You can quickly whip up a healthy meal in less than 20 minutes with a few healthy ingredients that you keep on hand.

Begin with deciding what type of protein you want. You can use any meat, fish, tofu, or beans. Keep canned beans on hand to save time. Let’s say you chose fish. Take frozen fish out of the freezer and thaw slightly in the microwave. Cut into bite sized pieces and brown in a skillet with a little olive oil. The fish will start to get crumbly if you keep it in the pan, so after it is browned, put it on a plate to the side. Next, you will put in whatever vegetables you have on hand. The author keeps frozen chopped onions and peppers on hand for busy days. Add frozen vegetables first, cooking over medium high heat. Now you are ready for any fresh vegetables you have on hand. Bagged spinach is great, sliced portabella mushrooms are wonderful! Other good choices are green beans, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower.

Now you can decide what filler you want. Rice and pasta are easy to do. If you just want the fish and vegetables, season to taste and you are done! Quick cooking rice (or leftover) works well in this meal, pasta works well, also. You need extra liquid when adding the rice or pasta directly to the skillet.  If you want a tomato base, add one or two large cans of crushed, diced, or pureed tomatoes. You can also use any kind of broth, or mix some up with powder or cubes. Add ½ to 1 cup of uncooked rice for a large skillet, or ½ box of pasta. You may need to add a little water to provide enough liquid for the rice or pasta. Cook until rice or pasta is tender, add fish (or meat or beans) and enjoy!

If you have time, you can make the rice separately, and serve the skillet meal on top. Experiment with different combinations; see what your family likes best. Enjoy this quick and healthy meal on busy days!

This is the chicken stir fry that I made

To finish your healthy meal, have some fresh fruit! We added sugar free cool whip on top-yum!
I will be away next week on a medical mission trip to Peru, have a great week!

Be Well,
Nurse Pam

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