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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Convenience foods have a place

Not everyone has time to cook from scratch every night. Newsflash, right? The key is what you do instead. Certainly, it's important to find ways to have fresh foods more often than not. (See my numerous blogs about fish recipes. I think there will be another tomorrow!) However, when things get really crazy, it's nice to have an arsenal of go-to convenience foods.

What you must do is read the labels. Food labels can be confusing; make sure you know what the serving size is & how many are in the package before going any further. I look first at the calories. For me, finding low to moderate fat is the next priority. I also try to find meals that include vegetables, or I pair the meal with a packaged salad or an easy veggie (frozen or precut for example!). If you spend a little time in the grocery store when you have the time, it can save you on a rough night. You can very easily find convenience items in the grocery store that are head & shoulders about fast food!

I'll admit: sometimes bath-night counts as really crazy! Tonight, I had a more generally accepted "really crazy night." My husband & I have been visiting his parents all weekend. We actually did much better than usual with our eating while there. Still, I did not want to drive-thru for dinner. I did want to give my baby a bath & get her to bed on time. It's a 5 hour drive, and we got home about 2 hours before her bedtime, so that was a bit of a challenge.

Here's a dirty little secret. I typically have a few Stauffer meals in the freezer. I wait till they go on sale & stock up. They cook in around 25 minutes in the microwave. I'm especially fond of the stuffed peppers. While they're in there, you can do other things. In this case, I pseudo-unpacked, in between keeping Daphne out of the dog bowl. I also "baked" French rolls, also stocked in my freezer! All said & done, my meal was under 500 calories & quite filling. A good bit better than a burger & fries!

My clean baby was in bed on time too. :)


  1. Ooh! My favorite is "Soup Kitchen Surprise." Brown rice with canned lentil soup on top. A lot of sodium, I know, but it's so filling and savory and good. And you basically just ignore it for the 40 minutes it takes the rice to cook.

  2. That sounds tasty! My co-workers & I were just discussing the sodium issue today. Lucky for me, Barry & I have low blood pressure, so I'll take the one less thing to worry about. It's in the long-term plan to cut back on sodium though! :)