Must-Have Convenience Foods

Though we love to cook, there’s also tons of other things that fill our days. For this reason, not every meal is fancy or complicated. Most meals are thrown together in minutes because we’re either eating leftovers, enjoying something that was prepared ahead of time OR we’re using one or more of the convenience foods listed below.


Frozen Veggies

Good news about frozen produce – its just as nutritious as fresh! Since it’s harvested at peak ripeness and then frozen shortly after, it retains all the good stuff. Many times fresh produce will be picked before it’s ripe and then it ripens en route to your plate – which can take days to weeks. For this reason, frozen can even be MORE nutritious since it ripened on the vine while getting a steady supply of nutrients! Frozen veggies are great for making soups and stir-frys. Or simply heat and serve over a cooked whole grain. The steamable packs that can go from the freezer to the microwave are the easiest way to add more veggies to your day.


Steamable Vegetables


Cooked Brown Rice

There are both shelf-stable and frozen options. Simply heat and top with cooked veggies and/or beans and your favorite sauce. Check the ingredient list to make sure there’s not added oil. Roasted veggies over a bed of cooked grains is a favorite weekday meal at our house.


Convenient Brown Rice


Frozen Fruit

Just like veggies, frozen fruit is just as nutritious as fresh! We keep this on-hand at all times for topping oatmeal, making smoothies and simply thawing out for snacking.


Convenient Quinoa




Boil-in-Bag Quinoa

Another easy way to have your whole grains ready within minutes. These are shelf-stable and are simply prepared by putting the bag (unopened) in a boiling pot of water. When I’m in a pinch, this quinoa topped with frozen veggies (cooked, of course) and Thai peanut Sauce always saves the day!





Canned Beans

Preparing dry beans can be time consuming. Canned beans are convenient and just as healthy. Simply drain and rinse well and you’ll remove over half of the salt. You can also buy no-salt-added options. Beans can be used to top a salad or whip up hummus.


Canned Beans


Chickpea Pasta




Bean-based pasta

Bean-based pastas are becoming mainstream and you can find a variety of shapes and sizes. Compared to grain-based pasta, it has an impressive amount of fiber and protein making it incredibly filling. If you want to sneak beans into your (or someone else’s) diet, these may be the ticket! Check the ingredient list and make sure it is made of purely beans. For a quick meal, top cooked pasta with a fat-fat, low-sugar sauce, like our white pasta sauce.



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