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Dining In: 10 DIY Convenience Foods

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Dining In: 10 DIY Convenience Foods

Convenience foods are what they say they are: convenient. The trouble with convenience foods is that they’re highly processed and often come with a hefty dose of excessive packaging. For busy folks, moving entirely away from convenience foods might not be doable, but even replacing a few of the processed foods you normally buy with homemade alternatives can improve your health and help the planet! Here’s how you can make your own convenience foods at home.

This month is October Unprocessed, and what better time to talk about ditching chemical-filled packaged foods in favor of whole foods you can cook at home, right? It might feel like there’s no way you can find the time to cook from scratch, and the trick to making this easy on yourself if cooking in batches.

Batch Cooking

Why make a dozen muffins when it takes just as long to make two dozen? Keep some in the fridge to eat this week and freeze the rest for next week.

The same thing goes for pre-made meals. You don’t have to cook every night to ditch the TV dinners! Spend some time on a weekend and make a few large dishes that you can eat for the week. If possible, make some dishes that you can portion out and freeze for those times when you aren’t able to cook.

The idea here is to take advantage of any free time you do have to bank food in the fridge and freezer for the rest of the time.

Try a Swap!

Are you worried that you’ll get sick of eating that same pasta casserole for a few weeks in a row? This is where a food swap can come in handy. Get a few friends involved, and have each person contribute one or two large dishes. At the swap, everyone can bring containers and serve up their share of everything. You get lots of variety, some quality time with friends, and you save time and money!

Need some DIY convenience food inspiration? Check out these simple ideas on the next page!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by bark

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


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8:11AM PST on Dec 18, 2012

Love Care2 ideas , recipies, & tips .

9:53AM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

awesome ideas. now im hungry!

9:02PM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

great! i love the food-sharing idea. i get tired of eating the same thing all week...

4:45PM PDT on Oct 15, 2012

Yeah, um, I bake double batches of muffins, but there are never any left to freeze. My family eats them, then they take them to school for friends and other teachers. The rest of the ideas work at my house. We make up a big pot of chili then can it in pint jars to take for lunch. Same thing with quinoa and vegetables, vegetable/barley soup, and chickpea curry. I too make up a big pot of plain brown rice then prepare it differently all week. Various kinds of beans too.

6:16AM PDT on Oct 12, 2012

looking GOOD!! thanks for sharing this....

4:31PM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

It's best to dine in since it's healthier, safersince you know where your food has been and no doubt cheaper and for those of us on tight budgets (like myself) it really makes a difference.
Thanks Becky.

7:03AM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

good to have healthier, home-made convenience food rather than store-bought.

6:30AM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

thanks for sharing! I will definitely be trying out the granola bars and kale chips! ;D

5:33AM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

thanks for sharing

2:27PM PDT on Oct 10, 2012

I love to cook but don't always have the time - I plan ahead and make enough dinner on Tuesdays (for example) to last Wednesdays as well since I have ball 3 hockey games and will be really hungry but won't have a ton of time. I also love to bake, and kale chips are one of my favourite snacks! So all in all - great advice and I guess I'm already on it! As for "convenience foods" - I don't find having a stomach ache convenient in any way, so I stay away from pre-packaged unhealthy garbage. My body was never treated very well before I went vegan last February but now I find that I don't even want to put bad things in my mouth because my body is not grateful for it. When my body is well fuelled I am happier.

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