Strategy #4
Jazzing Up Convenience Foods
With the market's array of convenience items, it is very doable to make dinners that truly taste like homemade meals in a "beat the clock" 15
minutes.  From embellishing pre-made foods to short-cutting more time consuming recipes, convenience foods are
must-haves in a
15 Minute recipe collection.

We use convenience foods heavily in our
15 Minute Recipes.

Essentially, there are three ways we use convenience foods to put together 15 Minute Dinners that truly don't taste
like you opened a can or a box.  We'll provide a couple of recipes for each example.  

1) Embellish Convenience Items: This essentially means we creatively add ingredients to pre-prepared items.  Examples would be
Philly Cheesesteak using frozen seasoned beef strips.  Or adding a tomato and basil to Velveeta Shells and Cheese.

Philly Cheesesteaks
Shells with Tomato and Basil (use Velveeta Shells and Cheese Light)

2) Using Shortcut Products:  These are sauces, thin meat cuts, and pre-cooked meats that cut down -- big-time -- on preparation time for
what would normally be a 30 minute meal.  Examples would be
Sweet and Sour Shrimp made easy with shortcuts using chili sauce and
pre-cooked rice. Or a
Waffle BLT that uses frozen waffles and pre-cooked bacon.  

Sweet and Sour Shrimp
Waffle BLT

3) Assembly Recipes: This is basically putting various convenience products and ingredients together to make tasty and more
interesting dishes.  An example of this would be topping Naan bread with mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar for a Margherita
Flatbread pizza that tastes as good as any restaurant.  Or a
Black and Blue Quesadilla made with deli roast beef and blue cheese.

Black and Blue Quesadilla
Margherita Flatbread Pizza

Mrs. Dash seasoning blends
Montreal Steak Seasoning
lemon pepper seasoning

bagged salad
pre-chopped peppers and onions
pre-shredded carrots

Boboli Pizza crust
french bread
ciabatta bread

Dry Goods:
pre-cooked rice
no-boil lasagne sheets

sliced almonds
spicy black bean burgers
pre-cooked chicken
frozen chopped spinach
stir-fry blend
peas and carrots
green beans
pot sticker
turkey meatballs
frozen shrimp
snow peas
frozen fish
frozen seasoned beef strips (like Steak Ums)
chopped onions

non-fat plain greek yogurt
reduced-fat shredded cheese
blue cheese
Laughing Cow wedges
Egg Beaters
parmesan cheese
Canned/Jarred Aisle:
Marinara Sauce
Reduced-fat cream of mushroom or cream of
chicken soup
bottled marinara sauce
bottled or canned enchilada sauce
bottled salsa.
black beans
canned petite diced tomatoes
boxed soup
canned fruit
re-fried beans
reduced-sugar jellies/jams
albacore tuna - seasoned and unseasoned

Chili Sauce
taco seasoning
ranch dressing mix
good seasons italian dressing
low sodium teriyaki sauce
reduced-fat peanut butter or almond butter

Refrigerated Aisle:
Below are just some of our most used convenience items