Not All Convenience Foods are Created Equal
There is a lot of talk about "clean eating" and not eating anything that comes out of a package. Generally, I would agree with this suggestion. But there are some great pre-packaged and convenience options available if you look for them - usually in your produce section! I often hear from people that making salads is so much work because there is a lot to cut up (and I can't disagree, especially when there's not a lot of time for making dinner). Instead of buying lots of veggies that you have to cut up, fill up a container of fresh already-chopped vegetables from the salad bar at your grocery store, and grab a container of pre-washed organic salad greens of your choice. This is a pure convenience and pre-packaged dinner, but still really good for you!
I was recently introduced to this amazing Trader Joe's pre-washed, pre-packaged salad kit by my friend, Beth (thanks Beth!). It is a broccoli and kale slaw that comes with a package of dried cherries, a mixture of almonds and sunflower seeds, and the dressing. I've been mixing it in with some organic spinach leaves and topping it off with grilled chicken for a super easy and healthy dinner.
Trader Joe's has a couple of other mixes with different types of lettuce and toppings that look really good as well! You can check them out in the produce section by the bagged pre-washed lettuce.
Another convenience option I recently learned about is that our grocery store (Mariano's) will grill any raw meat, poultry or fish for you - free of charge! So you could go in and grab some wild salmon or organic chicken breasts, and they will grill them for you while you finish shopping. What a great way to get most of your dinner cooked without having to do a thing (except the grocery shopping that you had to do anyway!). Why not have the store grill a package of chicken breasts while you go grab some hummus and a couple bags of pre-peeled, washed and cut organic carrots and sugar snap peas to go with it? Another purely convenience and pre-packaged dinner that is completely healthy and delicious!
The time and inconvenience of food preparation can be a major hurtle standing in the way of providing healthy meals for yourself and your family. It's a hurtle for me, too! It's time consuming to plan meals for the week, shop for all the ingredients and then prepare/cook them. But luckily, there are some healthy and convenient options available that taste good and will leave you feeling less stressed and more satisfied that you provided a healthy meal for your family :)