Friday, October 23, 2009

Fast food

After spending entirely too much time the last few months shouting into speakers at fast food drive-throughs, I'm working to break that habit and eat at home before going to teach my class on Thursday night. Trust me, I still spend plenty of time shouting into speakers on trial weekends and am in no danger of losing that skill.

Like so many things in life, the decision to eat at home is easier said than done but my jeans have recently pointed out that I am value-sizing more than just my supper. At the newspaper office, we're also struggling to watch calories and portion sizes (believe me, stress eating has never been more popular) so I'm always looking for new ideas of things to take for lunch. Yes, the local bowling alley has awesome lunch specials but that brings us right back to the oh-my-god-why-are-my-pants-so-tight-they-must-have-shrunk issue.

Let me say up front, these are not five star gourmet meals but they are hot, fresh, tasty, relatively nutritious and not loaded with calories and saturated fat. They take less than 10 minutes to fix, can be easily zapped in the microwave and create very few dirty dishes. All this is a bonus when you're eating standing over the sink with one eye on the clock and one foot out the door and a dog bouncing off your head.

Recipe 1: Birds Eye Steamfresh Brown Rice (they make white rice, too, if you prefer that) and Birds Eye Steamfresh Singles veggies (peas work well, I haven't tried any of the other ones). Nuke the rice. Nuke two packs of veggies. Mix it all in a bowl. Add a couple splashes of soy sauce or plain ol' butter and salt. Add chicken (see Recipe 2) or any other meat if you want, although I think it's fine without. Divide into two servings, one for now, one for tomorrow. This makes a lot and it's very filling.

Recipe 2: Green Giant Steamers Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower and Cheese blend and Tyson Oven Roasted Diced Chicken Breast. To be honest, a friend introduced me to the chicken — which is a little pricey but totally a convenience item and so worth it — as dog treats. I decided it made excellent people treats as well.

Nuke the veggies and cheese (they cook in the bag), then nuke however much chicken you want. The chicken is precooked so all you have to do is heat it up. Mix the chicken with the veggies, divide into two servings, one for now, one for tomorrow. Green Giant also makes a veggie and pasta frozen combo that would be good with the chicken, too.

This doesn't make quite as much as Recipe #1 so you might need a piece of fruit or some whole grain bread to fill out the meal. Or some chocolate chip cookies and a bowl of ice cream.

Or I suppose you could just eat chocolate chip cookies for supper and forget about cooking anything. I'm pretty sure some of you already do. You know who you are. Not that there's anything wrong with that.


  1. I feel your pain!!!! I remember just a few years ago when I could eat anything I wanted and never gain an ounce. Then I turned 40 and things changed. Guess I will go nuke one of those delicious weight watchers TV dinners tonight. Although the dinners are not bad, it is not the same as a Big Mac, Fries, soda and & a M&M McFlurry.

  2. I'll stick with the cookies/brownies. Your stuff has veggies in it!!!!!

  3. This CAN'T be a farmer approved meal!!! Tell Jeff if it gets to "veggie" for him, he and I can go out for a pizza (no FM!!) :-)

  4. I knew MEME would "NIX NAY" this!!! LOL I figured if you were "really" Martha, you'd have ready made homemade meals in your Freezer for those nights you needed a quick supper! Hum....maybe you need a new 'nickname"??? G

  5. your post is prefect!
    after dropping 25 in 2008 and holding it for most of this year I got on the scale this morning and realized I'm out of my "flex" zone for weight! time to get back on the plan back to my 25...... then go after the next 25#
    plus eating at home saves MONEY.