Take a break from cooking tonight! Pick up three healthy pre-made items at the grocery store, heat them up at home, and in 25 minutes your family will enjoy a delicious meal!
It’s December… one of the busiest months of the year for lots of people! On top of your already busy schedule, now you get to add a whole bunch more to your “to-do list”. Sure, it’s mostly fun stuff, like shopping for gifts, decorating, wrapping presents, hosting get-togethers, going to parties and school functions, etc, etc.! Fun… but time-consuming!
With all of these extra activities there’s not a whole lot of time for cooking. Therefore, this month, more than any other month, I typically do the least amount of cooking. I rely heavily on our super simple “Family Favorites” and healthy finds at my local grocery stores. We also eat out a bit more too. Planning our meals this way for December really takes a lot of stress away and allows me to enjoy all the wonderful things happening this time of year. Of course, I do my fair share of cooking for Christmas, but the rest of the month I try to keep things extra easy, extra quick and mostly healthy!
Healthy Grocery Store Meal: Seared Beef Sirloin, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli
I put together this meal rather spontaneously! I had plans to make a home cooked meal the night before… expecting to have leftovers. Unfortunately, that meal never happened (we ended up eating tuna melts) so the leftovers didn’t exist! I had a really busy day of running errands and ended up at Super Target. I knew that once I got home there was no way I was going to make dinner (not enough time or energy).
So, I decided I would make it easy on myself and find a meal at Super Target that I could quickly prepare at home. I was psyched to find this Seared Sliced Beef Sirloin From the Kitchen of Cooking Light Magazine. (I actually have a subscription to Cooking Light Magazine and I had no idea they sold food!) Right next to the beef, in the refrigerated section, was O That’s Good! Garlic Mashed Potatoes. I had heard about this new product and was curious to try it. Grabbed a bag of microwaveable frozen Organic Broccoli Florets and I was good to go!
Seared Beef Sirloin
This beef sirloin was so easy to prepare! You have the option to heat it in a skillet for 1-2 minutes or heat it in the oven for about 20 mins. (I opted for the oven so I could have some time to accomplish a few other things while the beef was heating up.) All you have to do is remove the beef from the pouch, place it in the provided tray, cover with foil and bake. Since it was already pre-sliced it was easy to serve.
My whole family loved it! It was very tender and full of flavor. We loved that it was not fatty too. I especially loved that the beef was low in sodium (only 290 mg sodium per serving) and simply seasoned. Compared to most other pre-packaged products… that is pretty good. But, the best thing that set this product apart from others, is that it was actually Grass-Fed Beef! I always opt for grass-fed beef when I can find it. It is a bit more expensive (this product cost $14.99), but well worth it. After all, we are what we eat, so I prefer to have my beef come from a cow who grazed on grass and not grain.
I will definitely purchase this product again in the future. I’m also excited to try some of their other products, such as Chipotle Pork Roast and Roasted Sliced Turkey Breast. Apparently these handy entrees From The Kitchen of Cooking Light Magazine are only available at Super Target and select Target stores. They can be found in the refrigerated section.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
I was aware that Oprah had a new line of side dishes and thought this would the perfect time to try one. Her Garlic Mashed Potatoes are made a little healthier by adding cauliflower. No artificial flavors are used and the calories per serving are reasonable.
- Very easy to prepare… just pop it in the microwave for 4 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes.
- Definitely Good… very creamy, very garlicy, and you’ll never know the cauliflower is in there.
- My family enjoyed it.
- Reasonably priced… $4.49.
- Too high in Sodium.
- Very heavy with the dairy (milk, cream and skim milk are all used).
Although my family did enjoy these potatoes (especially since I hardly ever make mashed potatoes), I do not think I would serve this product again. In general, I do tend to stay away from pre-made side dishes because they are usually too high in sodium. Also, because I am lactose intolerant with certain foods, my stomach was a bit upset after eating this. Next time I would skip the mashed potatoes and serve a sweet potato with a little bit of butter and cinnamon instead. But, if you are looking for garlic mashed potatoes which are on the healthier side, definitely give these a try… they are good!
Broccoli is one of our favorite vegetable side dishes. Go for Organic and simply season with a little bit of butter and pepper. Target’s Simply Balanced brand of frozen steamed broccoli was only $1.97. It steams in the microwave in less than 5 minutes.
Since this variety pack of bakery muffins was on sale for only $2.99, I decided to complete our meal with a bonus “treat”. Let’s be real… most store-bought bakery muffins are basically cupcakes minus the frosting! So, I like to treat muffins as a dessert. Amazingly, we didn’t end up fighting over who gets which one. Everyone was happy! I was especially happy because for less than $25 I was able to provide my family with a healthy meal at home, after a long and busy day, and with minimal effort!!