Three Easy Ways to Balance Your Plate

A DiGiorno pizza on a wooden tray near cherry tomatoes, a red pepper and basil on a granite counter.

I absolutely love to cook! I really do—but the reality is I don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen to prepare my family wholesome meals every night of the week. On those busy nights I rely on some help.

Frozen entrees are delicious, convenient and budget-friendly options that can easily be paired with fresh sides – such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and even nuts – for a nourishing, balanced and affordable meal.

To help balance your plate, I’m sharing three easy frozen meal pairings.


Add a Side Salad

Adding a serving of veggies or a side salad will help balance your entrée and provide you with a few essential nutrients. Preparing a side salad doesn’t have to be hard. All you have to do is toss together a handful of spinach leaves, cucumbers, onions and a few tomatoes and you’ve got yourself a delicious and nutritious side salad. And of course, you can customize it by including any combination of veggies that you choose.

One of my favorite frozen meals that pairs perfectly with a side salad is Stouffer’s Lasagna. It’s made with herb seasoned tomato sauce and real mozzarella cheese which gives it that delicious homemade taste.


Top with Ready-to-Eat Protein

Pair your frozen meals with ready-to-eat protein, such as shrimp, tuna, chicken, or even beans. Look for these cooked proteins in the fridge or freezer sections of the grocery store and stick with canned beans and canned tuna for convenience and affordability.

One of my favorite hacks is adding tuna to Stouffer's Mac & Cheese. My family loves this pasta because it’s so creamy and made with real cheddar cheese. Once the mac and cheese has been prepared per the package instructions, stir in a can of drained tuna, and enjoy! And in case you haven’t heard, Stouffer’s now has a Gluten Free Mac & Cheese that’s just as delicious as the original!


Add Nuts

Sprinkle a few crushed pecans or walnuts on top of your favorite frozen meal – I like to add to Stouffer’s Veggie Lovers Lasagna – for a salty crunch. Nuts are a great addition to almost any meals, they can be a great source of protein and "good" fats.

So, the next time you pull one of those frozen entrees for dinner, remember these three easy tips to balance your plate!