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Quick-Fix Recipes for Busy Nurses

By Leigh Morgan, Contributor

quick recipes for busy nurses

After a 12-hour nursing shift, it's hard to find the energy to cook an elaborate meal. Packing a nutritious lunch every day can also be difficult, especially if you're running out of ideas for foods that can be eaten during a busy shift when you may not get more than a few minutes to grab something from the fridge. NurseChoice has you covered with these easy recipes for nurses.

Burrito bowls

Burrito bowls are delicious and filling, and they're packed with nutrients, making them one of the best nurse meal prep ideas. Depending on the ingredients you use, you can easily turn an ordinary lunch into a protein-packed meal. Beth Moncel of Budget Bytes recommends starting off with the following ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 1 pound ground turkey or ground beef
  • One packet of taco seasoning
  • One can (15 ounces) of black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 4 ounces shredded cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups salsa
  • Two scallions

Cook the turkey or beef in a skillet over medium heat until it's cooked through. Add 1/2 cup water and the packet of taco seasoning to the cooked meat, and simmer for approximately five minutes. Once the water and taco seasoning have developed a sauce-like consistency, turn off the heat and remove the skillet from the burner. Finish off the recipe by performing the following steps:

  • Rinse the corn kernels under warm water until they're thawed.
  • Rinse and drain the black beans.
  • Slice the scallions.
  • Shred the cheese, if necessary. You can save time on this step by buying cheese that has already been shredded.
  • Divide all ingredients equally among four glass or plastic storage containers.

When you're ready to eat, heat one burrito bowl in the microwave for one to two minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese and warm up the meat and rice.

Stuffed mini peppers 

stuffed mini peppers recipe for busy nurses

Stuffed mini peppers contain no meat, and they're easy to eat with one hand. You'll need the following ingredients:

  • One bag of mini bell peppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • One bunch scallions

To get started, cut the mini peppers in half, wash them thoroughly and remove the seeds. Place the peppers skin-side down on a foil-covered baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees F for eight to 10 minutes, as recommended by Julia Mueller of The Roasted Root. While the peppers roast, chop the scallions and mix them with the softened cream cheese.

After removing the peppers from the oven, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Fill the peppers with the cream-cheese mixture and bake them for eight more minutes. When you're ready to eat, pop the peppers into the microwave for about 90 seconds or until the cream cheese is soft and warm.

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Broccoli and pasta with a creamy garlic sauce

This pasta dish takes just 20 minutes from start to finish, making it one of the easiest dinner recipes for nurses. Best of all, it doesn't require any complicated utensils or equipment, so you can still make it if you're on the road as a travel nurse and had to leave most of your kitchen items at home. The original recipe, published by Delicious, includes chicken, but this version omits the meat to reduce the amount of prep time required.

  • 12 ounces bowtie pasta
  • One head of broccoli chopped into small florets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 6 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. With two minutes left on the timer, add the broccoli florets to the pot of pasta. While the pasta is cooking, add the milk, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and minced garlic to a skillet, along with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce comes together. Toss the pasta and broccoli with the sauce to serve.

All three of these dishes are great recipes for nurses because they're easy to prepare and don't require a lot of fancy kitchen tools. Next time you start a new travel nursing position, keep these ideas in mind to ensure you have tasty meals to eat even when you're working long shifts.

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