Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Convenient Meals for Single Dads

This week I've been blogging about Brian, a single dad who values convenience food and low cost when he grocery shops.

He makes every effort to feed his two boys nutritious meals so he might heat them a packaged meal, like the cheese pizza he had his eye on (pic below), and serve it with some cooked, frozen broccoli or beans which his boys love, or fresh corn, which they also enjoy.

Corn is in season and so it's a great price right now. I mentioned to Brian that one way to conveniently cook corn is this:

Microwaved Fresh Corn
1) Simply peel the outer layers, leaving the inner husks in place.
2) Run the corn under the tap to moisten the husks and
3) Put corn in the microwave for 5 minutes; it will steam cook in the husks.
5) Remove from microwave and let cool a moment, then remove remaining husks and serve topped with butter.

I did mention to Brian the cost-saving and nutritional benefits of picking fresh produce and whole foods over packaged items, but he doesn't cook and he's a self-professed creature of habit, and as I said a number of weeks ago, our habits and patterns around food are hard to change.

With that in mind, it's always best to make small, incremental changes particularly when it comes to scared cows, like the way we shop for food and eat.

So though I have concerns about regularly feeding children frozen meals, I've written a number of posts about keeping Amy's Organic frozen meals on hand and WFs often has Amy's on sale.

Served with veggies on the side, like a green and some fresh corn, periodically, Amy's Cheese Pizza is a yummy meal for children.

A few months ago, I posted a recipe for mini pizza using corn tortillas, a great alternative to the boxed and frozen kind.

Brian eyed the tortillas, and the price, saying he uses them for wraps with sliced turkey breast for the boy's lunches.

Given that he already buys these two items, one way to build on that habit and his ease with grilling on the barbeque is this:

Grilled Tortillas Pizza
1) Toss several tortillas on the grill.
2) Slice deli turkey breast into pieces, scatter over tortillas.
3) Overlay turkey with sliced tomato, grated cheese and dot with unfrozen broccoli florets.
4) Close lid on grill till cheese melts and bottom of tortillas has crisped.

I have to say, despite his preference for packaged and frozen, Brian was pretty adamant that his boys not have lots of sweets and candy. In fact he said they made their Halloween candy stretch the year! Now that's impressive.

He does buy ginger cookies, and he also bought a packaged WFs coffee cake (top pic) both of which would make a delicious dessert served with a bowl of microwaved, frozen blueberries (which Brian buys in bulk for his smoothies) topped with a dollop of yogurt and perhaps sprinkled with some chopped nuts.

Making quick and easy meals and healthy desserts from packaged foods is possible.

By adding veggies to main dishes--whether fresh or frozen--and fruits and yogurt to cookies or cakes means single dads, like Brian, can feed themselves, and their children healthily, and on budget, and without having their habits and patterns too challenged.

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