Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fixing Up Your Quick-Fix Meals

During the month of October, I will be participating in the Write 31 Days hosted by Crystal Stine. My category is Food, Health & Wellness and my theme is "Into The Kitchen". 

We all do it, right? We are busy running around and all of a sudden it's time to make dinner. You have hungry mouths to feed, not the least of which is your own, so you grab whatever is the easiest or worse, take-out. 

When hunger strikes, I look to my pantry and freezer to see what I can pull together in a hurry. It is important to be able to make a meal without having to run to the store (which is another post), but how do you turn your quick-fix convenience foods into something interesting rather than serving up the same old boxed mac and cheese, or frozen pizza...again?

Here are a few examples:

Buy frozen cheese pizza and add your own toppings. This way you can make one or two pizzas and everyone can customize their own portion. Maybe you add extra cheese to one half and peppers and onions to the other, and make the second one half mushrooms and ham and the other half pepperoni. Everyone wins!

Take boxed or frozen hash browns and add chopped onions and green peppers and top with cheese or bacon bits. Serve with eggs and toast for breakfast or dinner.

Boxed mac and cheese can be dressed up with add-ins such as ham, bacon, onions, or prepared as directed and then topped with buttered bread crumbs and baked like homemade.

Packaged pasta salad is another side dish you can embellish upon. Prepare as directed and add in things like olives, pepperoncini, pepperoni, tomatoes, feta, red peppers, onions...whatever suits your family's tastes.

Another tip is to check the bag or box for alternate preparation ideas.

Not every meal has to be slaved over or planned to the nth degree to be delicious and satisfying. So next time you're puzzling over dinner to the tune of grumbling stomachs, try some of these ideas or come up with your own creations.

Discussion questions:
What is your favorite pantry staple?
What are some of the ways you jazz up convenience foods?

If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Hi Linda - fresh cheese, fresh salads, veg and fruits and tin tuna ... but mostly fresh and fresh milk ... then some things in the freezer - I never buy ready meals, pizza or otherwise ... no kids - so I guess I work re the kitchen slightly differently ... cheers Hilary

    1. Fresh is always good, but there are times when folks just don't have it and it is good be able to feed your family without an extra trip. Tomorrow's post addresses how to stock your pantry. I some convenience foods like my example of pasta salad, but make my own mac & cheese and pizza. A little of this and a little of that...


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