Delicious Frozen Dinners to Save Your Time
If you’re bored with cereal and PB&J for these nights where you simply can’t convey your self to cook, would possibly we recommend frozen dinners as another feasible alternative—especially if you’ve already maxed out your takeout budget?
Yes, frozen entrées don’t have the satisfactory reputation—mushy textures, now not a good deal flavor, masses of sodium, etc.—but it’s far from absolutely deserved. Now extra than ever, there are masses of legit tasty selections made from healthy ingredients that will without a doubt depart you satisfied. And registered dietitians agree that it’s well worth preserving a few in your freezer for when matters get hectic (or, to be honest, you simply don’t sense like cooking).
“High-quality frozen dinners can be great,” Phoenix-based vitamin specialist Rhyan Geiger, R.D.N., tells SELF. “They come in reachable on a busy night when domestic cooking isn’t an choice or used as a backup sketch if a meal falls through.”
All frozen dinners are honestly now not created equal, though. That’s why there are some factors you would possibly prefer to reflect onconsideration on earlier than stocking up to make certain you’re making the most of your meal—and that your meal will keep you full for the lengthy haul.
How to pick a gratifying frozen meal
1. Make positive it consists of enough calories.
Frozen meal serving sizes can every now and then be a little puny, making them sense extra like a snack than a meal. Look for selections that provide the caloric equivalent of the ingredients you’d make for yourself, Kelly Jones, M.S, R.D, C.S.S.D, a sports activities nutritionist primarily based in Philadelphia, tells SELF. If a meal has less, reflect onconsideration on how you’ll beautify it to make it more filling. For instance, add sliced avocado on pinnacle of a frozen burrito or sprinkle chopped nuts on pinnacle of a grain bowl.
2. Look for masses of protein and fiber.
Protein and fiber work collectively to assist you feel fuller longer, so make positive your meal has both, all of our professionals said. Try to pick out alternatives that provide at least 15 to 20 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving.
3. Watch the sodium.
A lot of frozen meals have a tendency to go heavy on the salt, which can make it difficult to hold your basic sodium consumption in check. (The American Heart Association recommends most adults take in no more than 2,300 milligrams per day for a heart-healthy diet.) Try to stick with foods with much less than 600 mg sodium per serving, Jones says. (Although the genuine quantity to intention for will depend on your character health.)
4. Add effortless sides.
Rounding out your meal with any other serving of veggies provides an greater shot of fiber and nutrients (and additionally boosts the fullness factor). “I usually advise pairing a frozen meal with a heaping serving of greens,” Maya Feller, M.S., R.D., an adjunct professor of vitamin at New York University, tells SELF. Sauté some frozen spinach with olive oil and garlic whilst your entrée is baking, microwave some frozen peas or broccoli, add a side salad, or have a handful of kale chips.
5. Make it appear nice.
When your meals appears appetizing, you’re extra probable to come away from the table feeling satisfied, Rachel Naar, M.S., R.D., a New York City–based dietitian who specializes in intuitive eating, notes. Put that meal on a actual plate or in a bowl as a substitute of ingesting from the package. Add a sprinkle of chopped sparkling herbs, if you have any around. These little strikes can make a pinch hitter meal feel a little greater special.