I Cheated

I have something to admit – I cheated tonight and succumbed to the microwave. I know I am contradicting my advice about how easy it is to make homemade meals, but even the best chef in the world, myself included, doesn’t have enough time to create a savory concoction every night.

Today I filled my schedule to the brim with classes, homework, tutoring, talking to my mom and brother, going to a group fitness class and consoling my best friend over the phone. It is no wonder that I didn’t feel like cooking by the time I retreated to my room for the day and slipped into my pajamas.

Therefore, I resorted to the lone frozen meal I stocked in the fridge for emergencies. It was Healthy Choice’s Tortellini Primavera Parmesan, which included pasta, zucchini and carrots in a red sauce for about 230 calories. It sounded delicious, and I popped it in the microwave for six minutes. However, when I removed the plastic tray and opened the plastic seal, I was very disappointed. The portion was very small and would never satiate my appetite. I did just get home from iBurn, and I rode my bike to and from the gym!

So, I did what any hungry girl would do in this situation – I added food to the meal. Actually, I do this with about every frozen meal. Tonight I added broccoli, carrots, peas, garbanzo beans and part-skim ricotta cheese to the frozen meal, and voilà! A complete meal was born.

The goal of this rant is not to criticize myself for not cooking. It is not a cardinal sin. However, I do want to teach you how to make frozen or pre-packaged meals healthier and more satisfying. Just remember to add vegetables and protein, and any microwave meal instantly becomes more satisfying.

Don’t worry. I will share recipes in later posts, but I am awaiting the arrival of my University Press of Florida cookbooks. Hopefully, I can pick them up tomorrow during my internship hours. Until then, keep these tips in mind!




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