Skip links

life hacks

When You Don’t Have Time to Cook

Hey, we get it, you’re super busy. We are, too! But that doesn’t mean nutritious eating goals should be tossed out with last week’s rotten produce.

Want to know what a week of stress-free, healthy, ridiculously tasty lunches and dinners could look like? Read on. Prep takes 30 minutes or less on each and every option shown here.

Day 1:
• Lunch – Turkey Apple Cheddar Sandwich with carrot sticks or bell pepper slices
• Dinner – Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto, Corn & Basil

Day 2:
• Lunch – EatingWell Chicken & Fingerling Potatoes frozen entrée
• Dinner – Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl (pictured above)

Day 3:
• Lunch – Leftover Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl from Day 2
• Dinner – Skillet Chicken with Cranberries & Apples with a side of quick-cooking wild rice

Day 4:
• Lunch – EatingWell Gnocchi with Garden Vegetables frozen entrée
• Dinner – Green Goddess Salad with Chicken (Tip: make the dressing ahead and sub in pre-cooked chicken from the store)

Day 5:
• Lunch – Leftover Green Goddess Salad with Chicken from Day 4
• Dinner – Ravioli & Vegetable Soup

Day 6:
• Lunch – Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl (Tip: make extra quinoa on Day 2 so you can use it for this recipe, too)
• Dinner – EatingWell Chicken & Wild Rice Stroganoff frozen entrée

Day 7:
• Lunch – Leftover Ravioli & Vegetable Soup from Day 5
• Dinner – Turkey & Balsamic Onion Quesadillas with a side of steamed vegetables (Tip: frozen veggies are A-OK!)

And there you have it. You can totally do this.

For more meal plans and awesome recipes, check out the EatingWell magazine site. For the latest on our frozen entrées, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Going Gluten-Free? We’ve Got You Covered

Whether you have a gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or just a curiosity about the gluten-free lifestyle, here’s what you need to know.

What is gluten?
Found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale (a cross between rye and wheat), gluten is a protein created when two sub-proteins combine with water. Gluten contributes to several characteristics in food, including structure, texture, and kneadability.

What am I missing if I go gluten-free?
Gluten contains nutrients that are key to a balanced diet, but you can find them in plenty of other foods:
• Calcium: Broccoli, milk, yogurt, cheese, collard greens, almonds, amaranth, teff
• Iron: Fish, meat, chicken, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, amaranth, quinoa, teff
• Vitamin B: Eggs, milk, meat, fish, orange juice, beans, nuts, seeds, gluten-free whole grains
• Vitamin D: Fortified milk and yogurt, egg yolks, salmon, sardines, tuna
• Fiber: Fruits, vegetables, beans, amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, sorghum, teff, flax

Tips for shopping, cooking & eating
First, bookmark this Gluten-Free Foods List prepared by a registered dietician at EatingWell magazine. Navigating stores and restaurants can be challenging, but trust us, this list covers just about everything!

A few highlights:
1) Look for gluten-free pastas like bean, corn, rice and quinoa noodles.
2) Hummus is an easy-to-make or easy-to-find, naturally gluten-free dip.
3) Enjoy fresh, whole foods or…
4) Blend fruits and veggies for gluten-free smoothies brimming with healthy nutrients and protein.

When you need something super quick and tasty, try one of our seven gluten-free EatingWell frozen entrées! Choose from Chicken & Wild Rice Stroganoff, Cherry Port Pork, Chicken & Fingerling Potatoes, Butter Chicken Masala, Steak Carne Asada, French Inspired Chicken or Korean Inspired Beef.

For more tips and ideas, follow EatingWell® frozen entrées on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Frozen Food Hack: Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese Pizza

OK, you love mac & cheese and you love pizza. Who doesn’t?! This combo is going to make your day…and make you wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself.

A cheesy match made in heaven
Take the fresh snap of broccoli and sharp, deliciousness of Vermont white cheddar and layer it over Alfredo sauce and mozzarella. This. Is. Amazing.

INGREDIENTS
• 1 EatingWell Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese frozen entrée
• Pre-made full size pizza crust
• ¼ cup alfredo sauce
• ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
• Fresh oregano

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook frozen entrée according to package directions.
3. While entrée is cooking, spread Alfredo sauce on pre-made pizza crust.
4. Spoon cooked Vermont Cheddar Mac & cheese contents onto pre-made pizza crust, sprinkle with cheese and top with fresh oregano.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.

Slice it up, plate it, and devour the gooey, cheesy goodness.

Looking for more frozen food hacks? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see more, or post your own yummy inventions and tag us @EatingWellFrzn!

Stick to the Plan, Man! Try Weekend Meal Prep

No matter how good your intentions may be, sticking to a nutritious meal plan can be tough. Shortcuts and temptations are EVERYWHERE! The solution? Weekend meal prep.

Don’t be intimidated by planning and prepping meals for a full week. Start with one or two new recipes to keep things interesting, and make sure your kitchen is stocked with ingredients for familiar dishes you already know how to cook. Tuck a few EatingWell frozen entrées in the freezer to fill gaps during the week, or take them to work so you can resist those greasy street tacos at lunchtime.

Break it down
On meal prep day, tackle the basics for both your new and old recipes so on weeknights you can just throw things into a skillet, pot, or oven.

  • Cook a protein. Prepare enough for two recipes, or one recipe plus leftovers. Extra roasted chicken makes a perfect salad topping, or can be tossed into a pasta bake.
  • Cook a whole grain. Prepare a big batch of quinoa or brown rice to use as a base for simple stir-fry or grain bowls.
  • Chop vegetables. Slice and dice so raw veggies are ready to cook, or roast or grill them so they can be easily reheated as a side dish or stirred into an omelet.

Try to knock out one full make-ahead meal, too, so you can just heat and eat during the week. Casseroles and soups work especially well. If you’re really feeling ambitious, double the recipe and freeze half for later!

Get ultra-organized (if that’s your thing)
For a little extra help and inspiration, check out the Menu Planner created by the experts at EatingWell magazine. You can use this tool to create daily or weekly menus, print shopping lists, calculate your calorie intake, and follow your progress toward reaching your personal health goals.

For more tips and ideas, follow EatingWell™ frozen entrées on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Frozen Food Hack: Korean Inspired Beef Lettuce Wraps

Our Korean Inspired Beef entrée is delicious on its own…but is it really fair to keep it all to yourself? Turn it into a fresh appetizer to share!

3 ingredients + 3 steps = yum

A simple conversion of this frozen entrée into lettuce wraps not only amps up the veggie factor, it also makes it shareable. Super easy, super tasty. Grab a friend and enjoy.
INGREDIENTS

  • 1 EatingWell Korean Inspired Beef frozen entrée
  • 1 head of butter lettuce
  • ½ cup scallions, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook Korean Inspired Beef frozen entrée according to package directions.
  2. While the entrée is cooking, break off lettuce leaves and rinse.
  3. Spoon Korean Inspired Beef mixture into lettuce cups and top with scallions.

Makes 3-4 wraps.

For more frozen food hacks—like delicious Cherry Port Pork sliders—follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Got your own ideas? Post your yummy inventions and tag us @EatingWellFrzn!

Holy Moly, Whole Grains!

Whole grains are packed with nutrients, including fiber, protein, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). A diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer. Research also suggests that consuming fiber-rich foods might boost weight loss by helping you feel fuller after you eat.

But most of us eat only about half as much fiber as we should. Nutrition guidelines recommend 25 to 38 grams per day; the average American consumes only about 14 grams. It’s not hard to boost your fiber intake.

Where to get the good stuff
In addition to fruits and veggies, you’ll find whole grains in bread, smart snacks like popcorn—and even in some packaged foods like our EatingWell frozen entrées. If you’re reading this, chances are you also read food labels…but if you don’t, start now!

In our meals you’ll find goodies like whole grain cavatappi (Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese), 9 grain orzo (Creamy Pesto Chicken), brown rice (Korean Inspired Beef), and whole grain wild rice (Chicken & Wild Rice Stroganoff). Starting this summer, look for our new entrées with whole wheat gnocchi (Gnocchi with Garden Vegetables) and multigrain pasta (Thai Style Peanut Chicken).

And when you have time to whip up something from scratch, check out these delicious high-fiber whole grain recipes from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell magazine. We’re big fans of the Overnight Oatmeal and Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. Yum!

Follow EatingWell™ frozen entrées on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for tips, ideas, news and more.

Frozen Food Hack: Cherry Port Pork Sliders

Introducing EatingWell frozen food hacks: start with one of our frozen entrées and add just a little extra something. So easy, so tasty. We’re gonna make you look good.

The easiest Cherry Port Pork sliders you’ll ever make

These delicious little sliders can serve as a main dish (we suggest Muffaletta Olive Salad on the side), or as appetizers to share.

INGREDIENTS
• 1 EatingWell Cherry Port Pork frozen entrée
• 4 multigrain slider buns
• 1 jalapeño pepper (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the Cherry Port Pork frozen entrée according to package directions and stir to mix ingredients.
2. While the entrée is cooking, slice the slider buns in half and slice jalapeño pepper.
3. Spoon the Cherry Port Pork mixture onto slider buns and top with peppers for a kick!

Makes 4 sliders. Multiply as needed (because you-know-who will be coming back for seconds).

For more frozen food hacks, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Got your own ideas? Post your yummy inventions and tag us @EatingWellFrzn!

Go Get That Green Goodness

You hear it all the time: eat your greens. Usually this refers to dark leafy greens, but that doesn’t mean all the other green veggies in the garden should be ignored.

While those dark leafies do deserve accolades for helping to lower cholesterol, boost bone health and preserve your vision, don’t miss out on the benefits of good stuff like edamame (which can help maintain proper blood pressure) and zucchini (which helps keep your immune system healthy).

Most people don’t eat enough veggies in a day, so we load each and every one of our EatingWell frozen entrées with at least one full cup of them. Whether you prefer familiar flavors or adventurous cuisine, we’re making this easy for you! Here’s what you’ll find in our meals:

Broccoli: – in our Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese
Brussels sprouts: – in our Chicken & Wild Rice Stroganoff
Edamame: – in our Spicy Asian Inspired Chicken
Green beans: – in our Cherry Port Pork
Kale: – in our Creamy Pesto Chicken
Mustard greens: – in our Spicy Asian Inspired Chicken
Peas: – in our Indian Inspired Chicken
Spinach: – in our Korean Inspired Beef
Zucchini: – in our Creamy Pesto Chicken & Moroccan Inspired Chicken

Don’t hesitate to add a side salad to your frozen entrée for even more green goodness. And when you want to make a salad your full meal, follow this basic building principle: Pile most of your plate with leafy greens or other veggies, topped with a serving of healthy protein (about the size of a deck of cards) and a touch of a healthy fat, like olive oil or avocado. Voila!

Looking for some variety? You can find oodles of healthy greens recipes from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell magazine. And we’re not just talking salads—they’ve cooked up yummy soups, wraps, lasagnas and pasta bakes.

Follow EatingWell™ frozen entrées on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for tips, ideas, news and more.

Why Getting Plenty of Protein Matters

You probably know that protein fills you up and keeps you satisfied longer. But beyond staving off hunger pangs, why is protein important?

What is protein & why do you need it?

Protein—which is composed of amino acids—plays a major role in your body. It’s a powerful nutrient that gives you energy and helps build, maintain and repair body tissues. The body does not store amino acids like it does carbohydrates and fats, so it needs a daily supply. The protein in the foods you eat is digested into amino acids that can be used to replace the proteins in your body.

How much do you need?

Current guidelines from the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine suggest a range between 10% and 35% of your daily calories. That translates to a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of about 46g for women and 56g for men. Many people try to eat more than that, often to help feel full or repair muscle tissue, but if you eat a balanced diet with a mix of food sources, you are likely getting enough protein.

Where can you get it?

Complete proteins, which provide all the essential amino acids, come from animal sources (think eggs, milk, meat, poultry and fish) and soy (like tofu and tempeh). Most plant proteins, such as legumes and nuts, are incomplete proteins but can be combined—rice and beans, anyone?—to hit the mark.

Many of our EatingWell frozen entrées contain lean animal proteins: chicken, beef and pork raised without antibiotics and dairy from cows never given growth hormones.* You’ll also find plant proteins like garbanzo beans, wild rice, spinach and broccoli in our meals. Even our vegetarian Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese entrée packs 17g of protein!

We may be biased, but we think you should also try these delicious low-calorie, high-protein recipes and snack ideas from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell magazine. (Our fave: Breakfast Tacos!)

Follow EatingWell™ frozen entrées on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for tips, ideas, news and more.

* No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST treated and non rBST treated cows.

Use Your Freezer for Simple and Healthy Meals

The only tool you need to start eating healthier today is already in your kitchen. It’s your freezer! Often ignored and mistreated, the freezer is a box packed full of opportunity (and probably a bunch of stuff you forgot about). To help you get started here are a few simple tips.

Stock up on ingredients to make quick meals

Save time during meal prep by stocking up on frozen ingredients. With a little bit of planning, your freezer can become a versatile extension of your pantry, filled with items perfect for last-minute meal inspiration. Here are some of the freezer must-haves we love:

Vegetables: Stock up on frozen vegetables, like peas, spinach and corn. You’ll have options when your produce drawer is empty, and since many bags of frozen veggies come pre-chopped, you’ll cut down on prep time.

Fruits: Keep plenty of frozen fruits on hand, especially blueberries and strawberries. You never know when you’ll need to satisfy a smoothie craving.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: Be ready for pizza nights by freezing extra dough. Whole wheat pizza dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Simply thaw for 24 hours, then you’re ready to bake your next masterpiece.

Nuts: Chop and freeze your favorite bulk nuts for a quick, healthy addition to salads and pasta dishes.

Fish: Frozen fish fillets which come in individually vacuum-sealed packages can be the basis of your entire meal. Simply let fillets thaw overnight and you’ll be ready to cook an amazing, nutritious meal.

Make and freeze big batches of soup

Pull a delicious homemade soup out of the freezer and dinner’s ready in minutes. Try it the next time you make your favorite soup. Prepare more than you need and store extra in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Then simply re-heat on the stovetop when you’re in need of a quick meal.

Check out this helpful USDA Freezer Storage Chart and start planning for more healthy meals on your next shopping trip.

Upgrade your fast and easy options

Look, we get it. Some days you just don’t want to cook, or you simply don’t have the time. So what do you do?

If you’re like most people, your backup plan is a lackluster option with uninspiring flavor and/or little nutritional value. That’s what inspired us to create EatingWell™ frozen entrées. The same attention to deliciousness you’ve come to expect from EatingWell® magazine is now available in your freezer aisle!

In minutes you can be devouring a plate of Korean Inspired Beef exploding with vibrant colors and flavors, or savoring our spectacularly creamy Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese. Every single EatingWell™ frozen entrée starts with 1 full cup of vegetables and at least 13 grams of protein. Best of all, each entrée is plated by hand with real, wholesome ingredients so your meal tastes fresh and flavorful.

Make the upgrade, and find us at a grocery store near you. Visit our News & Offers page for the latest coupons and promotions.

Follow EatingWell™ frozen entrées on Facebook and Twitter for tips, ideas, news and more.