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Too Busy To Cook a Healthy Meal? Join the Club.

Posted by Joan Salge Blake  July 1, 2013 02:26 PM

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Photo Source:  Cooking Light
Between working out of the house and shuttling two sons around town to two different sports teams, Sharon, a music teacher, mom, and wife often finds it challenging to get a healthy dinner on the table.  “I know the entire family needs to eat healthy in order to keep up with our hectic schedules, but it’s so hard.  Take-out is on my speed dial, and the crockpot is my best friend.   But some days, even the crockpot doesn’t have a prayer of being plugged in,” claims Sharon.

Unfortunately, Sharon isn't the only time-impaired person in the kitchen.  A recent study in Nutrition Journal analyzed the food preparation habits of over 55,000 adults and uncovered that women are spending over 40 percent less time in the kitchen preparing meals than they did in the 1960's.  Obviously, Sharon is among friends with this issue and help may be on the way. 

Cooking Light just launched its first-ever refrigerated, prepared-foods product line.  The meals are made from fresh ingredients and are designed for individuals like Sharon who want healthy, fresh, good-tasting foods but don't always have the time to prepare them from scratch.

“Consumers turn to Cooking Light for healthy recipes above all," said Scott Mowbray, Cooking Light Editor. "But the fact is they’re sometimes too busy to cook. It was logical to move into a prepared-foods line. However, we were very careful about our partners. We insisted that the food taste homemade, delicious, and in the style of our best recipes.  Our editors and Test Kitchen experts taste the food at every step and advise on formulations. Our dietitian scrutinizes the numbers. The result is healthy, ready-made food we’re absolutely proud of.”

According to Sidney Fry, MS, RD, Assistant Nutrition Editor at the magazine, the nutrition and recipe guidelines for the products are all maintained in accordance with the USDA's most current Dietary Guidelines and do not contain preservatives. The prepared foods are based on their top recipes from the magazine.

The 14 new ready-made, refrigerated items include:

Entrees:
Beef Provençal Stew
Chipotle Pork Roast
Seared Sliced Beef Sirloin
Sliced Chicken Breast
Sliced Turkey Breast

Stuffed Pastas
Chicken and Spinach Ravioli
Heirloom Tomato and Spinach Ravioli

Take and Bake
Chicken Enchilada Bake
Chicken Parmesan
Chicken Penne Alfredo
Chicken Pasta Primavera
Vegetable Lasagna

Soups and Sides
Lemon Orzo Chicken
Garden Minestrone
Potatoes Gratin

I sampled the Turkey Chili with Black Beans and the Vegetable Lasagna and both tasted as though I made them myself using a Cooking Light recipe.  These foods are currently only available exclusively at BJ’s Wholesale Clubs located on the east coast.  For additional information on the product line, click here.  You can also visit BJ’s Wholesale Clubs' website for a FREE 60-day membership.

“Since I know that a Cooking Light recipe is balanced, these products would appeal to me,” claims Sharon.  Who knows?  Maybe she won't be using the speed dial for dinner this week.

Be well, Joan

                                             Follow Joan on Twitter at: joansalgeblake 
Originally published on the blog Nutrition and You!.
This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical associate professor and registered dietitian at Boston University in the Nutrition Program. Joan is the author of Nutrition &You, 2nd Edition, More »

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