Here are some meal ideas based on cuisines around the world to help you plan your weekly menu:
Italian: Spaghetti night. Keep it simple. Even go vegetarian one night a week. Cook pasta for two meals. Sauté cooked pasta with garlic, fresh spinach, feta cheese and tomatoes. Also cook more rice, quinoa, or mashed potatoes to make enough for two meals. Use leftover mashed potatoes to top a cottage pie of leftover ground beef.
Asian: Noodles and stir-fry. Chop and slice all veggies the night before. Stir fry chicken or tofu. Also, fish only takes a few minutes to cook and it is easy to make in a small toaster oven. Add some lemon, garlic, herbs and salt and a splash of oil on the bottom of the pan.
African, Indian and American: Even foods that take a long time to cook can be made faster in a crockpot or pressure cooker with a little preparation. Use the crockpot on low heat for one-pot meals, casseroles dishes, meat stew, beans, African peanut stew and curries. Cook meat cuts like brisket in a crockpot.
Mexican: Taco night with warm corn tortillas, use canned beans and buy a rotisserie chicken. Rotisserie Chicken is key to short cut a meal. Use leftover meats to make tacos, salads, prepare a chicken tortilla soup with shredded chicken and frozen corn.
Mediterranean: This is more about how you are eating your meals. Use meats as a condiment than the center of the plate. Serve a vegetable with every meal. Use seasonal vegetables such as chard, acorn squash, pumpkin, beets, and cauliflower. Take your time to eat with your family and slow down.
Malena Perdomo is a dietitian-nutritionist who teaches nutrition classes in the community and at Metropolitan State University of Denver and writes about nutrition. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook as Malena Nutricion.