How to make convenience foods healthy & satisfying

 

The other day, I did a post on cooking for myself when my husband is not home, and I received some great feedback from all of my wonderful readers.

But before you start thinking that I’m Martha Stewart’s long lost daughter or some alien life form, I’d like to point out that there are days when I do turn to convenience foods.

There are definitely those rare times when I am in a hurry, don’t feel like cooking, or when I am just plain lazy.

This morning, for example, I really wanted waffles for breakfast.  However, I was anxious to start tackling my long to do list and didn’t feel like whipping up a batch from scratch.

Van’s waffles to the rescue!

We don’t have a ton of packaged foods in my house because in a hurry, we usually turn to frozen leftovers.

But there are a few go-to items in the freezer, such as Amy’s frozen entrees, Trader Joe’s lobster ravioli, and Gardein crispy tenders.

There is a secret for making sure that these meals are convenient, nutritious, and enjoyable all at the same time though…

Always dress them up.

(Anyone else have “Dress You Up” by Madonna in their head now?)

For instance, Amy’s brown rice bowls are delicious, but they are lacking in fresh vegetables.  My solution is to always add some mushrooms or broccoli to the bowls or eat a small side salad with them.  If I am eating the bowls for dinner, I’ll pour the food out of the bowl it was packaged in and into a nicer bowl of my own.  I’ll beautify the table (maybe even lighting some candles), and if I’m feeling crazy, I might even have a glass of wine.

And it goes without saying that Lionel Richie music is playing in the background.

You’ll notice that when I had my waffles this morning, I added Earth Balance butter, real maple syrup, chia seeds, a dash of cinnamon, and some fresh fruit.

Not nearly as good as homemade from scratch, but it was still satisfying and enjoyable…and it didn’t require any blood, sweat, or tears!

So there you have it, the simple key to making the consumption of prepackaged foods a pleasurable experience is to add a little of your own pizazz to them- whether in the form of fruit, vegetables, a special homemade dressing or sauce, a slice of warm bakery bread, or a dash or two of your own spices.

Do you ever turn to convenience foods?  If so, do you eat them as they come, or do you add your own touch to them?

Have a wonderful Monday!

12 Comments

  1. I’ve definitely been known to rely on convenience foods once in awhile, and I love your tip about making them your own with personal touches! If I don’t feel like making dinner, I tend to walk down to a place near our apartment called Beautifull — they serve pretty healthy and convenient fast food. Sometimes it’s nice to pay for a little [healthy] convenience!

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    That place sounds awesome! I wish that I had something like that here. And the fact that it is walkable is even better!

  2. I would love to just have my own convenience foods made (ie: frozen soups, etc), but it doesn’t always work like that. Even having cut fruits and veggies when you’re in a hurry helps or nuts and seeds…speaking of which, I really need to hit up that grocery store haha

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    I love keeping fresh fruit and cut veggies in the fridge, so I can grab them quickly. I need to go grocery shopping too. ;)

  3. Thanks for sharing! I love the Amy’s products for something quick.

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    Amy’s are my favorite. They are pretty much the only frozen meal I’ll buy. The frozen cheeseless pizzas are a Godsend for me since I’m lactose intolerant.

  4. I do the same thing. Just yesterday I defaulted to a Lean Cuisine at work (butternut squash ravioli) and added about a cup of frozen peas to bulk up the veggie content. Not my ideal lunch, but not too terrible.

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    Great minds think alike, dear. :)

  5. Can I say that I love your blog! You are so cute with your Lionel Ritchie! :) My fave LR song is Easy Like Sunday Morning. :)

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    Can I just say that your comment made me love YOU! Haha. Easy is an awesome song. I’m not sure that I could choose a favorite! :)

  6. I was just listening to Endless Love.

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    It’s so cheesy but so good. :)

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