health

It's true: Michelle Bridges is making frozen meals now.

Woolworths
Thanks to our brand partner, Woolworths

Don’t hate me but I grew up with a mum who was and still is an incredible cook.

My earliest childhood memories all include my mum in the kitchen pressing down biscuit bases for baked cheesecakes and ‘topping and tailing’ fresh green beans for salads. I didn’t even know a frozen meal existed until my early twenties when I realised I’d forgotten to learn any of my mum’s recipes. My boyfriend at the time had no idea how to cook and regularly made macaroni and cheese from a box. It was orange. It was bright orange.

Let it be known, I’ve been a long-time corner cutter. Or as I prefer to think of myself, a time-saver. I colour my hair while on my cross trainer, I sleep in whatever top I’ve been wearing that day, I pre-pack snack foods and hang complete outfits on hangers. I brush my teeth in the shower and I answer emails on the toilet. Yes, that was TMI but I know I’m not alone on that one — I know you do it too.

But even I knew I could do better than bright orange macaroni and cheese from a box. So I went to the supermarket and headed straight to the frozen food aisle. While I loved my mum’s cooking, I’d always been curious to try the frozen meals I’d seen advertised on TV. We grew up on Italian food and I’d never even tried chicken cooked in mustard sauce or beef slices in gravy. There were so many to choose from.

My love affair with frozen meals had begun.

healthy frozen meals
Learning to cook can be hard okay. Image via iStock.

I didn’t give up on learning to cook all of my mum’s delicious food but it took me years of trial and error and total disasters. I’d always baked desserts but I couldn’t do pasta sauce or casseroles or even bake a chicken. If it weren’t for frozen meals I would have starved, or eaten out every night, or subsisted on orange macaroni and cheese.

Frozen meals have come a long way since my first trip down the frozen food aisle. Woolworths Delicious Nutritious Range redefines what you can expect from a frozen meal. They are not just convenient but delicious and healthy as well.

There are eight frozen meals that are nutritionally balanced, calorie controlled (each has less than 450 calories) and include three serves of vegetables in every meal. What’s even better, the vegetables are snap frozen to lock in the goodness. It’s worth mentioning that Michelle Bridges has teamed up with Woolies to launch the Delicious Nutritious range which is such a relief because when I did my first round of 12WBT, I often ran out of time to cook the dinner recipes and used some frozen meals instead. I also do her workout videos every week – Project Ripped and Project Extreme. Working out at home is another way that I cut corners. There is no way I have time to go to the gym.

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healthy frozen meals
“Frozen meals have come a long way since my first trip down the frozen food aisle.” Image: iStock.

My favourite Delicious Nutritious meals have to be the Salmon Fishcakes and the Asian Style Chicken because they are two dishes I would never cook myself. First up, the Salmon Fishcakes with their mix of red pesto, cannellini mash, vegetables, red quinoa and fetta give any Brunswick cafe a run for its money.

Next, the Asian Style Chicken in a soy, honey and lime sauce that comes with plenty of steamed vegetables and thick soba noodles making it the perfect meal for all those nights when you feel as if you need a little something-something in the form of well, carbs.

healthy frozen food
“There are eight frozen ready meals that are nutritionally balanced, calorie controlled (each has less than 450 calories) and include three serves of vegetables in every meal.” Image: Supplied
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Some weeks I end up eating a frozen meal every night and others I have them once or twice a week when my family has already eaten or if they are having something I don’t like or it’s too unhealthy. This is going to make you hungry but here are all the meals you can choose from:

Asian Style Chicken

Beef and Tomato Casserole

Chicken Pesto Pasta

Italian Style Chicken

Mild Massaman Beef

Moroccan Style Chickpea Tagine

Spicy Chimichurri Beef and Vegetables

Salmon Fishcakes

Yep, they tick all the boxes – taste, convenience and health.

How do you try to stay healthy?

They even look good too…

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