So many times at the supermarket I dream that perhaps today I could make my life a little easier. That perhaps today I could steal some time on the couch with a book, a rose and one of those heart-attack-inducing chocolates I know my daughter is hiding at the back of the bar fridge behind the dry sherry that no one ever touches. Perhaps today chef can open a packet for dinner. I often idly browse the prepackaged foods at the supermarket. Sometimes I pick one up, look at the ingredients realise I could do a cheaper and healthier version, put the packet down and head to the fresh ingredients section.
In reality, we have access to so many ideas for super quick, healthy meals that really take a minimum of effort. Why would I need the prepackaged version that includes unwanted, unhealthy extras?
The time on the couch never comes but not because I spend too much time in the kitchen. More because I spend all my spare time being a mother, partner and business owner.
Good shop bought mayonnaise is expensive. Yet it is ridiculously easy to make yourself, especially if you have a blender. See my recipe here
Another super simple way to dress your salad is just with a good slosh of olive oil a decent squeeze of lemon and salt an pepper.
Done. In less time than it would have taken you to walk to the door of the supermarket.
They look tempting, don’t they? That photo on the front of the packet is just what you feel like for tea. It is sooooo easy just to prick the top and heat.
While there are some reasonable healthy versions available they tend to be the most expensive.
For the price of one meal I can easily have a piece of chicken and enough salad for dinner tonight and lunch the next day.
Take a closer look at those ingredients. Many of these meals are high in sodium, sugar and can contain hidden trans-fats. Be wary of the fat content also. While fat is okay too much-saturated fat in your diet can increase your LDL cholesterol to dangerous levels.
As with the frozen dinners bottled and packaged sauces are a minefield of ingredients that have the ability to blow our health to smithereens.
Tomato sauce has to be one of the worst offenders with obscene amounts of sugar and sodium. A healthy homemade burger when smothered in T Sauce suddenly becomes the reason you put on a little weight each year.
If you must buy these ready-made products check the ingredients carefully and opt for low sodium, no sugar, low fat and no trans fat.
Step away from that bag of salad! You can buy a lettuce and some ingredients for the price of that bag and with minimal effort have salad all week.
Buy the ingredients, go home and spend 10 minutes preparing them and store them in a container to take for lunch each day. Make one of the dressings I mentioned earlier to put in small containers ready to take also.
How about these great ideas for salads in a jar.
When researching this link I was completely distracted and aside from losing another chunk of my life to the internet new ideas for how we do lunch in this house were making my brain hurt.
5. Bottled Water
I know this is not a food but why waste your money buying water when the stuff comes out of the tap for free. If you are worried about impurities get a filter installed.
If you can’t drink it because it’s not FIZZY get a soda stream and gas it up. If you want flavour, add a squeeze of lemon or lime. Put the money you save towards something worthwhile like a holiday. Bottled water versus holiday. I know which I would rather have.
Do you use any packet foods at home? Perhaps you have a super quick, healthy recipe you can share. I would love to know about it.