Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Bucks and Montgomery Counties PA

Busy Family with No Time to Cook? Look No Further

by Audrey Chen

Local health coach, fitness trainer and busy mother, Sheila Royce Garcia, has written a cookbook created for the busy family, called Healthy Cooking in a Pinch: the Family Cookbook on How to Create Delicious Meals on Busy Days. Not having time to cook doesn't have to mean empty calories, as she presents nutrient-rich foods, many with time-saving tips.

Garcia grew up with her mother preparing meals for the week every Sunday. Today, she uses those skills to menu plan for her family. She explores and explains what has worked for her in a voice that is reminiscent of so many other busy families. Those who are not menu planners need not worry, as the book offers tips and flexibility with many options for all lifestyles.

The book begins in the kitchen: de-cluttering, clearing space, cleaning the pantry and creating an ambiance in which to dine. Garcia then tackles her first secret ingredient for eating healthy: planning.

She offers five tips on how to accomplish meal planning as a busy family. This comprehensive resource also offers a list of foods to buy and how to buy them, cooking and prepping techniques, how to plan when you are away from home and on the road, as well as many easy and healthy snacks to make and choose from. Not to worry; not every recipe is a salad. The book includes recipes for desserts, not to mention breakfast, lunch, dinner, smoothies and healthy drinks.

Garcia offers health coaching services worldwide via phone or online. As a fitness coach, she offers local group classes and online individual and group sessions.


Scallops Marinara with Whole Grain Penne Pasta Yields 4 servings Dairy-free, Nut-free

2 Tbsp olive oil A pinch of red pepper flakes 2 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 12-24 oz bay scallops 15 oz diced tomatoes 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped 3 Tbsp fresh basil, shredded ¼ cup capers, drained ¼ tsp black pepper and sea salt 1 lb whole grain penne pasta

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil on medium. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes, onion and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes or until opaque. Add scallops to pan and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until they are a pale-golden color. Remove scallops and set aside. Add tomatoes, parsley, basil and capers to pan. Keep stirring until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the scallops and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. In a medium stockpot, boil water and cook penne pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta in strainer. Next, add to the pan with the scallop marinara. Toss everything together.

Reprinted with permission from Healthy Cooking in a Pinch.


Healthy Cooking in a Pinch is available at For more information, visit

Audrey Chen is the publisher of Natural Awakenings of Bucks and Montgomery counties. Connect with her at 646-361-7031 or [email protected]. February 2015.

Find more Book Review