I recently had the opportunity to try Lean Cuisine's latest varieties of Spa Cuisine. Spa Cuisine entrees were inspired by spa chefs around the county and offer five to six grams of dietary fiber from natural sources, such as whole grains, fruits, and veggies.
The latest varieties in this line up are: Apple Cranberry Chicken, Roasted Honey Chicken and Thai-Style Noodles with Chicken.
However, I will say that cooking a family dinner isn't always an option for some families. Or, sometimes there aren't any leftovers to pack for lunch. I experienced this just last week. I cooked a delicious dinner of roasted sweet potatoes, grilled chicken, and sugar snap peas. I had to go to work the next day so I packed my husband a plate of the leftovers and Judah got all the leftover sweet potatoes for his lunch. That left nothing for poor ol' mom! So, I was happy to know that their was a Lean Cuisine in the freezer that I could grab and take with me the next morning. So, while I would have much rather had my homemade cooking, this frozen dinner was a great go to when that wasn't an option.
I had the opportunity to speak with Lean Cuisine's nutrition expert, Mitzi Dulan, for helpful tips on eating healthy on a budget and this is what she had to say:
- Buy in bulk Sam’s and Costco (Greek yogurt, oatmeal in big tubs, or whole wheat pasta) especially staples.
- Have a meatless meal once a week (black bean chili or lentil soup) We're doing this at my house!
- Look for store coupons
- Never shop when you’re hungry
- Find a lower cost grocery store in your area
- Shop from a list/meal plan to make better choices and make your budget go further
- Make less food and eat less food (quality over quantity)
- Cook at home more often
- Save time by doing things ahead
- Eating out – share meals or appetizers (splitting)
- Buy store brands
- Replace high calorie/high costs drinks (juice/soda) with water
- Take your lunch to work and pack your own snacks (this works great for portion control as well as works great for your budget)
To help you get started on the right track, Mitzi has offered a meatless recipe for Black Bean Soup!
Black Bean Soup
Makes 6 servings
2 teaspoons macadamia nut oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cups vegetable broth
4 15-ounce cans black beans
1 cup frozen corn
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1. Heat the oil in large stock pot. Sauté the onion and garlic for about 4 minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin, and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, 2 cans of black beans, and frozen corn. Bring to a boil.
2. In a blender, add the remaining 2 cans of beans and the tomatoes. Blend until smooth. Add to the soup, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Variation: Add baby carrots to the onion and garlic mixture for an extra boost of beta-carotene,
Reprinted from: The All-Pro Diet by Tony Gonzalez with Mitzi Dulan © 2009 by Tony Gonzalez. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098.
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