|Need to dine and dash? Join the club. Most households struggle with their own rush-hour traffic each morning, while dinner gets squeezed between school activities, overtime, and errands.
Eating well doesn't have to take a backseat just because life's in high gear. Convenience foods - especially those in the freezer aisle - are among the fastest-growing segments of the organic food market, according to the Organic Trade Association. These "fast foods" offer an organic option without the preparation time and mess. In most cases, all you need is a microwave. Here are some organic convenience foods you're likely to find at your neighborhood Publix.
Need to add zip to the breakfast routine? Warm up Van's frozen organic blueberry waffles and serve them with Organic Valley's organic pork breakfast links. For an even quicker meal, try Amy's Kitchen toaster pops with organic flour and apples. Amy's Kitchen products use certified organic ingredients, including vegetables, grains, and fruits grown without pesticides. Fats are used sparingly, and the foods contain no hydrogenated fats or oils or genetically modified ingredients.
For savory lunches, try one of Muir Glen's organic canned soups. Choose from hearty tomato, garden vegetable, lentil, minestrone, and split pea. Muir Glen's foods are all organic and grown without synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers. You'll also find Amy's Kitchen macaroni and cheese in the freezer aisle.
In the mood for grazing or whipping up a few all-natural appetizers? Health is Wealth sells several quick snacks that could double as light meals. Look for twice-baked potatoes, jalapeño munchies, and quesadilla rolls, which wrap black beans, peppers, and corn in a crispy wheat wrap. No preservatives are used.
Dine Around the World
When a company is based in the nation's salad bowl (Amy's Kitchen is in Santa Rosa, California), you know the vegetables will be good. You can go Italian and plan dinner around Amy's Kitchen hearty vegetable or cheese-free tofu vegetable lasagna. Amy's also offers a variety of gluten- and dairy-free entrees such as baked ziti bowls made with rice pasta, organic peas, and soy-based mozzarella and ricotta. Pizza fans can even find a cheese pizza on a rice crust.
As always, check nutrition labels on the packages to be sure sodium, calories, and other nutrients fall within your daily guidelines.
Then the next time you're on a tight schedule, steer the car away from the drive-through and head home to a freezer stocked with organic fast foods.