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I decided to try my hand at my own homemade “lean cuisine” style lunches because I tend to reach for something easy, and often microwavable, for lunch. I figured homemade lean cuisine would probably be healthier than anything I could purchase at the store and I could also adjust the recipe exactly to my tastes.
I also saved a bit more by reusing containers from microwavable meals that I bought in the freezer section, though these are pretty similar. They’re the containers that come with the little $1 microwavable Banquet meals.
These aren’t Lean Cuisines, exactly. I just call them that because they’re under 300 for each meal. They’re reasonably filling and are super cheap to make.
Here’s what you need. These are measurements for the whole recipe, which makes three servings.
3/4 to 1 Cup Pasta Sauce
1 Cup Frozen Mixed Vegetables
3 servings Cooked Pasta of your choice (I used penne)
Handful of Cherry Tomatoes, halved (optional, or replace with veggie of your choice)
You’ll Also Need:
1.Bring the pasta to a boil in salted water. Drain. Let cool completely. Then portion 1/3 of the pasta into each container.
2.Scoot the pasta to the side in the container if you only have a one-compartment container like I did here. Then pour in 1/3 of your pasta sauce beside the pasta. The sides of the pasta and sauce can touch a little, but it’s best that they remain separate for the most part.
3.Add 1/3 of your veggie mixture on top of the pasta. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half (or veggie or your choice) and place them to the side of the pasta.
4.Cover each container with two layers of aluminum foil and stick them in a freezer bag for good measure to avoid freezer burn. If you’re reusing the same containers as I did, they should all fit into one freezer bag.
When reheating, remove foil and place the container in the microwave for three minutes. Stir everything together, then microwave for another 60 to 90 seconds or until thoroughly cooked.
-Initially, when I made the batch I pictured above, I made my own veggie mix and sautéed them in a pan. I decided to just include frozen veggies into this recipe for you guys because the extra work really just wasn’t worth it.