Making menus

spinachberrysalad-turkeysausage

This was my breakfast yesterday: spinach and berry walnut salad with light feta cheese and a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette next to a baked turkey sausage patty.

I posted this to Facebook and people raved about how good it looked. Then I shared a secret: I didn’t make the  salad myself, nor the sausage. They were pre-made at the stores. The salad was from Metro. I just added the feta and dressing (which I did make myself with some olive oil and raspberry balsamic vinegar). The turkey sausage patty was bought at (of all places) Walmart and baked for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven (flipping over once halfway through). I could have made these from scratch, yes.

But sometimes, you just want something quick and easy. With buying the pre-made (but fresh versions of these) foods, it makes meal-making pretty quick and easy. This post isn’t about short-cuts — though I encourage you to make whatever short-cuts you wish or to make everything from scratch if you so wish. No, this post is more about menu-making, to help my friend out. 🙂

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COMPARISON: quesadillas/quesadilla-like sandwiches

A grilled deli turkey & veggie quesadillaDespite buying a lot  of frozen meals as of late to try, I have been making fresh food, too. I promise. I’ve been trying to reintroduce some sandwich options into my meal plan. I’ve been having some success in doing so by using the Weight Watchers and PC Blue Menu bread products. In this particular case, I had bought a package of the Weight Watchers whole wheat tortillas and decided I wanted a wrap of some sort.

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REVIEW: Smart Ones Chicken Parmesan

A box of Weight Watchers' Smart Ones Chicken Parmesan frozen meal.I’m still trying some pre-prepared frozen meals out, in hopes of having a ‘quick and easy option’ other than take-out for those times when I don’t have time or energy to cook. It does happen, from time to time!

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COMPARISON: Smart Ones breakfast sandwich vs homemade

A box of Smart Ones English muffin breakfast sandwiches.Recently, I’ve reviewed a couple of frozen meals, but I thought I’d switch it up a bit today and compare two products today instead of just giving you my random, meandering thoughts on what I thought of the frozen meal in question.

Today, I’m going to compare a frozen meal with the nearly identical product made from scratch, specifically made with ‘lighter’ ingredients. The frozen meal in question is Weight Watchers “Smart Ones” English Muffin Sandwich. I like these because they’re easy enough to throw in the freezer at work and to toss into the microwave on morning break (I’m one of those freaks who can’t eat immediately after getting up in the morning).

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REVIEW: Smart Ones Broccoli & Cheddar w/Roasted Potatoes

Broccoli Cheddar Smart OnesIn my quest to eat better, I’ve also been looking for some pre-made meals for ease and to give me a break from cooking. As much as I enjoy cooking, I do have weeks where I don’t feel like doing a lot of cooking, after all.

I’ve tried one of the Irresistibles dinners from Metro, but I’ve also bought a couple of Weight Watchers Smart Ones meals. The first one I tried is the Broccoli & Cheddar with Roasted Potatoes.

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REVIEW: Irresistibles Chicken Carbonara

A box of frozen food, specifically Chicken Carbonara in the Life Smart line from IrresistiblesI decided recently to buy a few of the “lighter choice” frozen meals to try, as I understand they’ve come a long way since I last tried them.

The first one I bought was Irresistibles Chicken Carbonara in their Life Smart line. They were on sale for $1.88 each if you bought three at a time, so I thought, “Why not?” Normally, I’m leery about these pre-made meals that have chicken in them. The reason: most of these pre-made meals seem to have pre-fab chicken-like meat substances in them. The texture is usually rather disagreeable to me, so I usually avoid these like the plague. But I thought that if the chicken was nasty, I could pick them out and just eat the rest and chalk it up as experience.

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Too hot to bake? Try microwaving! Apple-raisin-cinnamon nuked muffin.

A white rectangular plate holds an apple-cinnamon muffin which has been baked in a cup in the microwave.It’s been too hot to cook, too hot to bake, but I’ve had a craving for muffins. So of course, I went scouring through search after search, just making myself more and more hungry, until I stumbled across a recipe called “Blueberry Muffin for One”, which gave baking instructions for both the conventional oven, as well as the microwave!

I didn’t have all of the same ingredients, so I played around with it a bit and substituted some things out with what I actually had. Here are the results… Continue reading