Saturday, August 24

Reinventing the TV Dinner

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Not every person has the time or the money to make healthy ­meals from scratch each day. Too often for these people, highly processed, sodium- and saturated fat-heavy foods are the answer. Consider the elderly, the young busy parent, the student and all your loved ones who need a healthy, premade, economical and easy option. Try these homemade “TV dinners.” Devote one day to preparing these recipes that can be mixed and matched for two weeks of prepackaged and frozen TLC!


Dinner No. 1

Microwave instructions for thawed Dinner No. 1: Remove the corn muffin from the container and microwave the dish, loosely covered, on high power for 45 seconds. Stir the carrots and flip the pork. Add the muffin and microwave on high power for 30 seconds longer.


Dinner No. 2

Microwave instructions for thawed Dinner No. 2: Loosely cover the container and microwave on high power for 1 minute. Stir the vegetables and microwave an additional 30 seconds on high power. If more heat is needed, do so in 15-second intervals.


Small Dinner No. 1

Microwave instructions for thawed scones and sauce: Loosely cover the container and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Stir the sauce and microwave an additional 20 seconds.


Small Dinner No. 2

Microwave instructions for thawed quiche and veggies: Loosely cover the container and microwave on high power 30 seconds. Stir the veggies and microwave an additional 20 seconds.


Anytime Snack

Microwave instructions for thawed squares and soup: Remove the feta squares and loosely cover the container. Microwave on high power 30 seconds and stir the soup/stew. Add the feta squares and microwave an additional 20 seconds.


Other Suggestions:

  • Cooked Pot Roast with Vegetables: Separate potatoes and carrots from the roast. Cover meat with pan drippings/gravy.
  • Sliced Grilled Flank Steak with cooked Lima beans and roasted, sliced potatoes.
  • Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and steamed carrots.
  • Baked Sliced Ham with mashed sweet potatoes and cooked English peas.
  • Grilled Chicken Strips with roasted, sliced root vegetables and mini corn muffins.
  • Roasted Chicken with baked beans and sweet potato biscuits.
  • Pork Cutlets with baked macaroni and cooked asparagus.
  • Hamburger Steak with wild rice and roasted Brussels sprouts.

Time-Saving Tip: Bags of frozen mixed vegetables are excellent for adding to homemade TV dinners. Just avoid those that should be steamed in the bag. Divide among the containers in the frozen state, label and return to the freezer.

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About Author

Tammy Algood

Tammy Algood develops for The Tennessee Magazine recipes that feature farm-fresh Tennessee food. Those fresh, local ingredients will always add cleaner, more flavorful foods to your table. We recommend visiting local farms and farmers markets to find the freshest seasonal produce. For more information about our recipes, contact Algood at talgood@tnelectric.org.

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