It’s summer, and I cannot figure out why I am so busy! Today, as has been the case for the last few weeks, I am short on time and decided to hit my favorite area specialty grocery store this morning for some “back-up” type meals to avoid being tied to the kitchen later in the day. I like to keep a few “convenience” type meal alternatives that do not require either thinking, or labor, when I am either very tired or too busy to spend time in the kitchen. My criteria when purchasing such foods is typically limited to evaluating: total fat, calories, and sodium. For many convenience foods, it is easy enough to find limited fat and calories, or limited sodium, but rather a difficult task to find convenience foods already prepared that are acceptable in all three categories. Here are my favorite “go-to” foods from Trader Joe’s:
- Breaded Tenderloin Chicken Breasts (per 66 gram piece, has 110 calories, 3.5 gm total fat, 180 mg sodium); toss on a bed of lettuce greens for a quick meal.
- Roasted Vegetable Multi-Grain Lasagna (per 1/4 package, has 240 calories, 7 gm total fat, 480 mg sodium)
- Wild Salmon in Yogurt and Mint Sauce with Orzo Pasta, Spinach and Zucchini (one container has 350 calories, 10 gm fat, 310 mg sodium)
- Chile Lime Chicken Burger (one burger has 150 calories, 6 gm fat, 310 mg sodium)
- Organic No Salt Added Marinara Sauce (has 60 calories, no fat, and only 35 mg of sodium per 1/2 cup). Just put on pasta, add a dash of favorite cheese and serve with a salad.
- Reduced Fat Fish Sticks (6 fish sticks have 220 calories, 9 gm fat, and 240 mg sodium)
- Grilled Chicken Strips (3 oz. serving has 130 calories, 2.5 gm fat, and 210 mg sodium). Toss on top of a bed of greens, with a lower sodium roll, and you are good for dinner.
Here’s to a night out of the hot kitchen! And, for dessert, there is always a bite of TJ 56% cacao dark chocolate (1/2 bar has 80 calories, 5 gm of fat, 0 sodium, and a lot of antioxidants). Do you have any healthy meals to recommend from Trader Joe’s or other specialty grocery stores?