If you want a plate of lasagna for lunch, make it yourself. The same goes for chicken enchiladas or turkey and cheese sandwiches. These frozen meals, and their competitors, appear to make it easy to get a “healthy” lunch in minutes, but it’s not anything you couldn’t do yourself. The tomato puree is likely one of the two vegetable servings they claim on the package, but then again, Congress things tomato puree is a vegetable, too. The only other mention of vegetables are diced tomatoes further down the list and onion, and of course five different cheeses, which attribute to the seven grams of fat. The sodium is quite high at 620 milligrams for one meal, something we like to see at 500 milligrams or less. While, ingredient-wise, this is one of the better packaged foods, we’d still like to see less processed foods being depended upon and consumed.
Better Choice: Prepare a large lasagna with whole grain noodles, ground turkey, bell peppers, spinach, fresh basil, and low-fat mozzarella cheese. Cut leftovers in to single-serving squares and store in baggies or sealable containers. Grab one for lunch, with a side salad, and you’ve got a ready-in-minutes meal that truly is a healthy lunch, loaded with vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Apply this approach to enchiladas, stir fry, and even homemade pizza. Control the ingredients, control the calories.
January 3rd, 2012