By Angela Davis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The return to class also means parents may have to put some extra thought into grocery shopping.

Kowalski’s chef and culinary director Rachael Perron shares a few ways to make a quick, healthy dinner.

At the meat counter of most grocery stores, you can find a wide variety of marinated chicken breasts and pork chops.

“Everything here has already been marinated for you, so you get home you can throw it on a pan, the
grill or in the oven,” she said. “You don’t have to worry about this piece of it, whether it takes 30 minutes or three hours to marinate, it’s already been done for you.”

In the freezer, a fast and nutritious side dish — rice that’s already cooked and just needs to be heated in the microwave.

“I think one of my favorite items in the freezer is this frozen rice,” she said. “There is a whole line of fully-cooked whole grains. Cooks in three minutes instead of 20.”

And for vegetables, green beans are almost always a hit, and there are fresh ones you can also throw in the microwave — in the bag they come in.

“These particular ones are very fast and convenient, they are a staple in my house,” she said.

Perron even showed how to cook a dinner in less than 10 minutes.

She sauteed some marinated chicken breasts, then microwaved some green beans and brown rice, and
then made a caprese salad.

“These are some locally grown heirloom tomatoes,” she said. “They’re in season, a great value. Just delicious.”

And for those after-school snacks.

Try grape tomatoes, cheese sticks, hummus, or pita chips.

“I always think it’s a great time of day to get kids to eat fruits and vegetables,” she said. “They are supposed to eat five to seven a day. If they are hungry, they will eat them. So if there are carrot chips and hummus, bananas and cherries at home, they’re likely going to eat those things because they are ready for something to eat no matter what it is.”

An inexpensive option is pasta and there’s an even wider variety of whole grain pastas that taste quite good.


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