Practical food tips for parents from a RD and mom of three

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A dinner for two, oops I mean five!

I needed a quick meal this week and turned to my freezer. Thanks to Buitoni, I had a ravioli “dinner for two” ready to go, but there are five of us! Luckily I had plenty of frozen veggies on hand, and this dinner for two quickly turned into a delicious healthy dinner for five, plus leftovers!

I started with a box of Buitoni's Braised Beef & Sausage Ravioli with Creamy Marinara Sauce. This dinner for two contains a generous 16 large ravioli and plenty of sauce. While the sauce was heating and the ravioli were cooking, I sauteed the contents of one bag of frozen peppers/onions, plus about a half a cup each of white beans, edamame, and peas in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. The veggies were hot by the time the ravioli and sauce were ready. I threw them all together in the pan and we had a LARGE dinner of pasta and veggies ready in about 5 minutes! We couldn't even finish it all, there was plenty left over for my lunch the next day.

Not only did I stretch the dinner to serve more people – I added nutrition! On it's own and served to just two people, this dinner would have been higher in fat, sodium, and calories than I'd like. Piles of vegetables added nutrients, and lowered the overall calorie count for each person.

I know I've given this tip before, but it's a big one so I'll say it again: Keep frozen veggies on hand for quick dinners like this one! I add defrosted frozen vegetables to pastas, casseroles, rice dishes, frozen prepared meals, omelettes, and more.

Today's tip: When cooking a frozen prepared meal, add vegetables to make it healthier and serve more people.

Please note: I received this Buitoni Dinner as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program.

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