My husband and I like to cook, and most often our cooking involves the barbecue. But sometimes we just want something quick and easy (such as on lazy rainy days like today). Here are some of our favorite instant/premade meals.
Chinese Chicken Salad
Okami Chinese Style Chicken Salad Kit (available at Costco) comes in a plastic bowl container and features two packages of each: grilled chicken; wonton strips; sliced almonds; crispy noodles; and sesame dressing. You just add lettuce and mix it up. You can get two meals out of it (the package says 14 servings total, broken into two servings of 7, but realistically, if you’re going to make a meal of it, it’s more like 8 total servings, or two servings of 4, which is still great especially considering that this kit costs under $15).
Okami Fully Cooked Sushi Delights (also at Costco) is a quick and easy way to satisfy your sushi cravings. The package/tray contains 40 pieces of non-raw sushi (shrimp and various takes on the California roll), with Wasabi, soy sauce packets and some other sauce. You might want to serve this with Okami Edamame (steamed and seasoned soybeans in the shell), which you can eat cold or heated up in the microwave.
Bertolli frozen pasta meals (available in grocery stores’ freezer sections) are really good and authentic, just as their commercials claim. They come in many varieties, although Bob and I especially like the shrimp scampi and linguini (served with roasted peppers and garlic sauce). These are really easy to prepare: just toss the package contents in a pan on the stove, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Sometimes we’ll embellish it with some steamed broccoli and/or additional shrimp.
Thin Crust Pizza
California Pizza Kitchen Crispy Thin Crust frozen pizzas (available at most groceries) are light and delicious. The thin crust and the sauce/seasonings are outstanding. Our favorites are the Garlic Chicken (featuring grilled chicken, roasted garlic, onion, Italian parsley, white wine and garlic-shallot butter sauce, mozzarella cheese), and the BBQ Chicken (white chicken, spicy-sweet barbecue sauce, red onions, smoked gouda, and mozzarella). It also comes in Sicilian, with Italian sausage, ham, salami; Margherita, with ripe tomatoes, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil; and White, with four cheeses, spinach, and garlic.
Shrimp Stir Fry
For a very light meal, try Eating Right Shrimp and Vegetables (again, in grocery stores’ frozen section). The package contains shrimp, broccoli, sugar snap peas, carrots, water chestnuts, red bell peppers and mushrooms and a packet of sweet soy sauce. You just stir fry the shrimp and vegetables for 7-8 minutes, then add the sauce and cook for another minute. This meal is fat free with 4 grams of fiber and 130 calories per serving. The flavor is delightful.
We also really like Eating Right Chicken Fajitas (also frozen), which feature white meat chicken, onions, bell peppers, and spicy seasonings. You prepare this much the same as the stir fry above. You can eat this on its own (which has only 130 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 14 grams of carbs per serving), or with tortillas (we really like Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size tortillas), and sauce (such as La Victoria Green Taco Sauce, medium).