Getting Back to Healthy Eating After Gluttony on Vacation

Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs

There’s something about being on vacation that makes me eat the worst junk food in the world. The traveling part of getting to and from the destination always consists of too much fast food since there’s little choice for quick options along the way and I never think to pack sandwiches. We also splurge on desserts, heavy foods, and completely ignore the fruit and vegetable food group. It’s vacation! Let’s eat whatever we want!

With menus like bacon and eggs for breakfast, Toasted Ravioli for lunch, nachos at the ballgame for dinner, followed by cookies-n-cream ice cream, my body began to rebel. By the last night of our trip, I literally dreamed of crunchy vegetables.

My kids even seemed to be craving healthy food by the end of the week. They didn’t even ask for snacks or dessert the last two days of the trip.

The last thing I usually want to do when I get back from a trip is go grocery shopping, but with some tips I learned from a friend who is an avid traveler, I was able to buy a few healthy, easy-to-prepare items that would last much of the week.

At the grocery store, I found several packs of pre-made kebabs with chicken and peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes. You could also buy your own chicken breasts and vegetables, but the kebabs were so fast and easy to season and throw on the grill. These kebabs and chicken can be used for meals all week long.

I also bought some flour tortillas, naan, shredded cheddar cheese, feta cheese, spaghetti sauce, and whole wheat spaghetti noodles. At home, I marinated the kebabs and some chicken breasts that I had thawed from my stash in the freezer.  For the marinade, I used balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and greek seasoning. After just 30 minutes of marinating, I put the kebabs and extra chicken on the grill to cook.

For dinner that night, we ate just the chicken and vegetables, along with a side dish of rice that I already had in my pantry. The leftover kebabs and chicken went into the refrigerator to be saved for dinners the next several nights.

The rest of the week, we used the chicken and vegetables as a topping for homemade pizza using the naan as pizza crust. I sliced the chicken and vegetables and spread them over the naan, then sprinkled with feta cheese and Parmesan cheese and baked in the oven at 375 degrees until the cheese melted. Another night, we made quesadillas with the chicken, tortillas, and shredded cheddar cheese.

To use up the last of the kebabs and chicken, I sneaked the leftover vegetables into the spaghetti sauce and served it with the whole wheat pasta, and topped it off with the chicken that had been heated and chopped.

These kebabs were perfect for quick and healthy meals after vacations, but they’d also be great for busy families any time.

Tell me in the comments below, your tips and recipes for quick and healthy meals.

(photo credit: Flickr)

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