Frozen Dinners Are Not Always Disgusting, I Promise!

Yikes, that doesn’t look appetizing.
Let’s be honest: when I get home at the end of a long day of work and classes and studying, the last thing I want to do is whip up a fancy meal for myself. Sometimes, I just need something fast and simple. But after a few months of take-out and pizza and dining-hall food, I realized that I was sacrificing my waistline for the sake of convenience.
What’s a calorie-counting busy girl to do?
Embrace the frozen entrée. I know, I know. Frozen entrees make me think of my Mom and Weight Watchers and scary-looking meat products in soupy liquids. No thanks.
However, there are some delicious frozen meals out there if you know where to look. The best part? Every last calorie and carb and gram of fat and milligram of sodium is right on the box, so you know exactly what you’re getting. To top it all off, they provide us with something this entire country is severely lacking—portion control. You shouldn’t need a hamburger the size of your head just to feel satisfied—frozen meals are a great way to teach yourself what is considered normal (the measurement for a normal serving of protein is the size of your fist…not your head).
Since I’ve become somewhat of a connoisseur of the frozen meal, I thought I’d round up a few of my favorites, for your thawing pleasure:
1. Go classic. Frozen versions of comfort food are always a safe bet. I like Lean Cuisine, where a decent serving of mac and cheese will only set you back 290 calories, and the cheese ravioli, my personal fav, is 240 calories.
2. Go east. Frozen entrees that mimic Asian or Indian dishes are often full of spices, which do a good job of masking the fact that you’re eating just-thawed noodles. Smart Ones makes a Thai Chicken and Noodles that, if you are tired enough, tastes just like Pad Thai. One full serving is only 260 calories—did someone say dessert?
3. Go healthy. Just about everyone is cashing in on frozen meals, even the health nuts at Kashi (makers of all things bran and dried fruit). They have a decent selection and, unlike their highly caloric granola, you get both nutrition AND low calories. Try the Pesto Pasta, 290 calories.
It’s best to avoid frozen entrees that also include a side and a dessert. Why? Well, for starters, if you’ve ever had your apple crumble bubble over into your honey mustard chicken, you know what I’m talking about. Plus, they add a lot of extra calories. You’re better off getting yourself some Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches and sticking to a one-dish entrée.
Happy microwaving, ladies!

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