Oftentimes, the biggest barrier to healthy eating is time and lack of planning ahead. Microwaves are great cooking tools that make dinner QUICK! However, many of the traditional “microwave meals” aren’t so healthy.
Most commercially sold microwave meals are loaded with sodium, chemicals as preservatives and fat. And rarely do they include fresh and colorful vegetables!
As an alternative, there are many things that you might not realize can function as healthy and convenient microwave meals. Here is one that I used the other day:
- one can of low-sodium vegetable soup
- one can of Eden brand rice and beans (Eden is a low sodium brand)
- one sweet potato.
I actually microwaved the soup, and ate it while microwaving the rice and beans. Then I added roasted peanuts and a little cheese to the rice and beans and ate that while microwaving a fresh sweet potato.
If it’s a good, fresh sweet potato then you don’t need to top it with anything. To give a bland one a little flavor, sprinkle it with olive oil and brown sugar. That’s it!!
Ideas for healthy microwave meals include:
- minestrone soup, a 100 calorie bag of popcorn and an apple
- a steamfresh bag of veggies (get ones with no added flavorings!) with a can of Eden rice and beans
- Vegetarian chili over a potato
I would be interested to hear what other readers eat for quick and healthy meals cooked in the microwave!
I’ll put a plug in here for one of my very favorite cookbooks: Zonya’s “Lickety Split Meals for Health Conscious People on the Go!”. She has an entire section for “5 Minute Meals” that will give you even more healthy and fresh quick meal ideas!
Stay tuned for the next post: Exercise in 3 Minutes! I can’t wait to hear about your microwave ideas!
Jack Galloway says
I know typical microwaveable dinners aren’t healthy, but I’ve found Lean Cuisine’s to be fantastic (especially when choosing the right ones). I believe they have no preservatives and have a bunch of good flavors. Among my fav’s (folks, short for favorites) are:
-Grilled Chicken Caesar
-Chicken in Peanut Sauce
-Grilled Chicken Primavera
-Lemon Garlic Shrimp
-Some Spicy Szechuan (sp?) Shrimp
-Becky loves this Basil and Salmon dish
There’s some more, but those are what I can recall offhand. They often use whole wheat pasta and serve as good sources for veggies.
Maybe you can shoot them down too, but they’ve made for great quick lunches or dinners (take to the lab etc…).
I think Lean Cuisine’s are good backup plans for when you really don’t have anything around. Definitely better than vending machine or fast food! We usually keep a few in the freezer just in case we don’t have time to make a lunch or haven’t grocery shopped for dinner.