Meals in 15 Minutes or Less

LAST UPDATED: April 20, 2023
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Time-saving breakfast ideas

  • Whole grain cereal and low-fat milk or lactose-free milk. Look for cereal that contains ≥ 3g fiber and ≤ 10g sugar. Top with fresh fruit.
  • Greek yogurt. Top it with fresh fruit , ¼ cup low-fat granola, and/or a small handful of roasted almonds (1 oz. = 24).
  • 100% Whole wheat bread with 1-2 Tbsp. of nut butter. Choose all-natural, chunky or creamy nut butter (read label and look for no added sugar; nuts should be the only ingredient).
  • Protein packed fruit smoothie. (use frozen fruit). In a blender, combine 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 1 banana, 1 orange (peeled, all seeds removed, and cut into segments), and ¾ cup Vanilla-flavored Greek Yogurt.
  • Egg breakfast sandwich. 1-2 scrambled eggs (stove-top or microwave) on a 100% whole wheat English muffin. Add-ins: fresh spinach, tomato, Canadian ham, onion, salsa, or hot-sauce.
  • Green Smoothie made with fresh spinach, frozen mango, and cranberry juice.
  • Fresh fruit-topped pancakes or waffles.
  • Oatmeal with dried fruits (raisins, cherries, or cranberries).

Keep energized throughout the morning with any combination of the following:

Complex Carbohydrate + Protein + Fiber and/or Healthy Fat
Examples of breakfast foods to mix and match 
*Count as a protein and a fat.
**Practice portion control (1-2 tsp.)
Complex Carbohydrate Protein Fiber Healthy Fat**
100% Whole wheat bread, bagel, English muffin, tortilla Egg or egg substitute Fresh fruit Avocado (⅛)
100% Whole wheat cereal Greek yogurt Fresh veggies Canola oil
Brown rice Low-fat milk Frozen fruit Low-fat margarine
Oatmeal Nuts or nut butter* Frozen veggies Olive oil


Skip the fast-food restaurant and save money, calories, and fat! Pack or prepare one of these quick and easy lunch ideas.

Time-saving lunch ideas

  • Low-sodium veggie or bean soup (≤ 800mg of sodium per serving). Serve with: 1 whole-grain roll, 12 baby carrots, and a fresh apple.
  • Lean roast beef and Swiss cheese sandwich. Use 100% whole wheat bread. Add flavor with mustard, wasabi paste, or low-fat mayonnaise. Add veggies like 2 slices of fresh avocado, a slice of tomato, and/or fresh spinach leaves. Serve with: Fresh fruit and a side-salad topped with 1-2 Tbsp. of low-fat vinaigrette dressing.
  • 2 tbsp. hummus and fresh cut-up veggies. Use peeled and sliced carrots, celery, bell-peppers, sugar-snap peas, and/or baby tomatoes. Use store-bought hummus. Serve with: fresh fruit and 1 oz. (a small handful) of pita chips, and 1 oz. of raw nuts (small handful).
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich. Use 100% whole wheat bread and 1-2 Tbsp. of peanut butter. Choose all-natural, chunky or creamy peanut butter (read label and look for no added sugar; peanuts should be the only ingredient). Serve with: 1-2 cups raw veggies and 1 cup low-fat milk.
  • Cheese quesadillas. Spread 1 tsp. each of low-fat margarine on two 100% whole-wheat tortillas. Sprinkle ¼ cup shredded low-fat cheese in-between the two tortillas. Microwave for ~ 30-60 seconds (until cheese is melted). Top with ¼ cup salsa, and/or 1 Tbsp. low-fat sour-cream. Serve with: 1-2 cups raw veggies and 1 cup of sliced fresh fruit.


Make sure you have healthy food on-hand to prepare a delicious meal after work!

Time-saving dinner ideas

  • Baked potato with low-fat cheese and steamed veggies. Microwave 1-2 cups of frozen veggies according to package directions. Place cooked veggies and 1-2 Tbsp. low-fat, shredded cheese on top of baked potato. Serve with: Fresh fruit.
  • Healthy frozen meal. Serve with: Fresh fruit and a side-salad topped with low-fat vinaigrette dressing.
  • Chicken salad on top of fresh greens. Use 1 can of canned, drained chicken breast. Mix together chicken breast and 2 Tbsp. low-fat Italian salad dressing. Place chicken on top of 2 cups of mixed salad greens. Top with 1 small tomato cut into wedges, ¼ red onion cut into thinly sliced rings, 1 hard-cooked egg, sliced, and 1/8 cup pitted ripe black olives (optional). Serve with: Fresh fruit (i.e. apple) and a few whole-grain crackers (pre-portioned).
  • Thai beef rolls. Directions: Combine 1 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice, 1 Tbsp. dark sesame oil, 1 Tbsp. bottled ground fresh ginger, 1 Tbsp. of bottled minced garlic, 2 tsp. of fish sauce, and ¾ tsp. sugar. Stir well with a spoon. Place a whole grain tortilla on a plate and brush lightly with 2 tsp. of juice mixture. Cover with a few pieces of torn lettuce or spinach leaves. Place a small handful of match-stick cut carrots on top of lettuce leaves. Place 3 oz. lean roast beef on top of mixture and wrap-up. Save remaining juice in refrigerator for up to 7 days. Serve with: Fresh fruit and low-fat milk.


Salad is a quick and easy way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet at lunch and/or dinner. Salads are packed with good-for-you vitamins and minerals. When topped with lean protein and a small amount of dressing, a salad is a complete meal that will satisfy your hunger.

Mix and match salad starters
Step 1: Choose a base Choose between a pre-packaged leafy greens like spinach, romaine or mixed greens OR a starch like baked potato, pasta, rice, quinoa, or sweet potato
Step 2: Add veggies Add ½-1 cup of veggies like carrots, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, celery, radishes, zucchini, onions, broccoli, broccoli slaw, corn, peas
Step 3: Pick a protein Add 2-3 oz. of protein like hard boiled eggs (1-2), grilled chicken, lean beef, cooked shrimp, water-packed tuna, grilled fish, beans, lentils
Step 4: Top it off Top it off with 1-2 Tbsp. of low fat dressing like lite balsamic vinaigrette, crushed black pepper or salt-free lemon pepper OR other options like hot sauce, sriracha sauce, red pepper flakes, wasabi


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