Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to extend a boxed meal and make it a little healthier

I try to feed my family healthy meals as much as possible, but sometimes, I just get too tired to put in much effort.

Here are a few simple meals I have established as "go to" packaged meals, and some changes I make to make them a little healthier. You can do one, or all of the options for each and it tastes great.

Macaroni and Cheese (any brand)-
  • 1 cup of whole wheat macaroni noodles, added before the water starts to boil.
  • 1/2 cup of pureed squash. The color doesn't change much because the yellow squash resembles the cheese sauce when it is pureed.
  • 1 package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained. Add this after you drain the cooked pasta.

Hamburger helper
  • 1 cup any variety of whole wheat pasta. I think hamburger helper is too salty, so I always add pasta to extend the meal.
  • 1 bag frozen veggies. Cook veggies and add once hamburger helper is done.

Boxed Pasta Salad
  • I always add enough pasta to double the recipe, because this is very salty, and has a lot of flavor. Even after adding more pasta, it tastes great. You can freeze the leftovers in muffin tins, then place in a freezer bag. It will thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
What are your established "go to" meals when you run out of time?

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