We've all had to rely on frozen meals at times. Although we can't discredit all frozen foods as unhealthy, many are loaded with sodium, artificial preservatives and trans fats. (See How to Make Flavorful Meals Without Excess Fat, Sugar and Sodium.) Plus, due too their extremely small portion size, they often leave us licking the container, hungry for more.
Next time you're starving and need a meal in a flash, ditch the artificial meal and use your microwave. It's not just for warming leftovers. The following recipes will show you how it's possible to create something tasty and healthy in less than 10 minutes. (Got a little more time: 10-Minute Dinners: 8 Healthy Recipes for Athletes.)
Sweet Potatos and Scrambled Eggs
Sweet potatoes are easy to cook and are a no-brainer nutritionally. I'll bet you didn't know you can scramble eggs in the microwave also. To make a sweet potato in the microwave:
- Poke a few holes in it with a fork before rinsing the outside and wrapping it in a paper towel
- Microwave for five to six minutes or until soft
- Slice open and serve
For scramble eggs in the microwave, follow this video:
Bonus: Mix some spinach in with the egg or simply top your steaming sweet potato with a handful of fresh spinach.
Frozen Veggie Burgers
Some vegetable burgers are more processed than wholesome, but I love the fact that you can cook them in the microwave for a quick source of vegetarian protein. Make sure to check the list of ingredients so you feel comfortable with what you will be eating. Remember, the fewer ingredients the better. One of my favorites are all-natural Dr. Praegar's vegetable burgers.
Gorton's Fish Filets
Although fresh is always better, seafood can be expensive. This is one of my favorite frozen seafood items. Easy and delicious, Gorton's fish filets are microwaveable but without artificial preservatives. For a frozen meal, they are pretty healthy, as they are gluten-free, all natural, and filled with Omega 3's.
Pair them with some steamed vegetables or a side salad and a baked potato or sweet potato (use the above cooking method for either variety.)
Steamed Vegetables and Black Beans
Steam-in-a-bag vegetables are the answer to quick and healthy meals. They're much better for you than high sodium canned vegetables. For a festive, easy meal, pop a bag in the microwave and pair your veggies with rinsed black beans and a scoop of plain yogurt or salsa.
English Muffin Pizzas
Although frozen pizza bites and pizza rolls are not my first choice for a healthy meal, a "home-made" microwave pizza is a great alternative.
- Top a whole wheat English muffin with tomato sauce
- Sprinkle cheese and any vegetables you have on hand (some of my favorites are spinach, broccoli and mushrooms)
- Microwave until warm
Open-Faced Tuna Melt
Tuna is an easy form of protein, but when you eat it in salads or sandwiches all the time, it can get boring. Take it up a notch by microwaving an open-faced tuna sandwich with a slice of Swiss cheese for a homemade tuna melt.