Convenience Foods

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This morning, the Husband headed to the grocery store with one mission:  to stock up on as many healthy convenience foods as possible.  This is very little time for food prep right now.  We need stuff that can be reheated easily.  I would also like to create as few dirty dishes as possible.


Because you know how I feel about loading and unloading the dishwasher.  Most hated chore.  Now more so than ever.


So – convenience is the name of the game over here. I made dinner in 5 minutes flat while the Husband played with Henry.  And LOOK.  Our meal included vegetables!


The magical ingredients (all from Trader Joe’s):


Frozen brown rice

Steamed lentils

Havarti cheese

Pre-chopped vegetables

Sunflower seeds


Everything was microwavable except for the veggies, which just required a few minutes in the wok.  I didn’t even have to dirty a knife to slice open the package. 




I’ve waxed poetic about the Trader Joe lentils before, but I do have to say that, as a vegetarian, they are especially awesome.  They’re packed with protein and a nice change from the usual tofu / tempeh / bean routine most of us veggies get stuck in. 


You know what else is convenient?  A package of cookies.  Well, at least they’re convenient when I’ve got a ragin’ sweet tooth…



  • Kristen June 17, 2012, 8:28 pm

    This may sound odd, and I am not judging in anyway since I use it several times a day, but I am surprised that you use a microwave. You and your husband are very committed to so many healthy and natural living habits, that this surprises me. I’d love to know your thoughts on microwaves and/or if you’ve ever thought about not using one.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 8:31 pm

      You should talk to Kristien about this! LOL He hates it when I use the microwave and really would prefer that we never use it, ever. I guess I’m just lazy – or choose my battles. 😉

      • Sana June 17, 2012, 9:46 pm

        My family grew up without a microwave and a TV. We have both now…

      • Kristen June 18, 2012, 4:31 pm

        Not lazy… It’s just so ideal for really busy people. Now is not the time to try to give it up 🙂

    • Margaret June 18, 2012, 12:53 am

      A suggestion if anyone’s thinking of getting rid of a microwave, is to get a toaster oven. Heating up something like pasta is a pyrex bowl takes a little longer than in the microwave, but not ridiculously long, and it’s so much better for heating up things like pizza! It just gets more crispy, instead of rubbery or soggy.

  • Stacie @ Snaps and Bits June 17, 2012, 8:29 pm

    Convenience is totally key! Not sure this will help you but one bad habit I acquired when I had kids was eating too fast. I never knew when I’d be able to eat so I wolfed it down when I could. I started that 15 years ago and it’s a VERY hard habit to break. If you can avoid that, you’ll be happier later!

  • Jess June 17, 2012, 8:32 pm

    I don’t even have a newborn and I still run for convenience foods. I make sure all meals can be prepared and cooked in 15 minutes or less. Precooked rice is a lifesaver, tinned soup is awesome, and hey, frozen meals are better than takeaways!

  • Earthy Nicole June 17, 2012, 8:33 pm

    I’ve been loving lentils lately too. I love pretty much anything by Amy’s, soups, frozen entrees, etc… Kashi has a frozen entree I like (a spinach and artichoke penne). Hmm… frozen pizza from California Pizza Kitchen are always fun. You can tell I’m about convenience, huh? You can make big batches of ingredients like veggies, rice, beans, and a sauce and then just keep it all in the fridge so it’s easy to toss together for lunch or dinner. But cookies sound a-mazing right now, too! xx

  • Hillary June 17, 2012, 8:36 pm

    Sooo I don’t have an infant, and these are some of my staples. Does that make me resourceful, or just lazy? Hmmm…

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 8:54 pm


  • Presley (run pretty) June 17, 2012, 8:58 pm

    I was just thinking about groceries today. I could pop any day now, so I was afraid to buy anything “complicated”. I wish we had a Trader Joes… That dinner looks perfect!

  • Jessie @ Graze With Me June 17, 2012, 9:00 pm

    Lol on the sweet tooth comment. I gotta say I think it goes hand in hand with breastfeeding. I’m 9 months in and I CRAVE sugar like i’s my job!! I have a theory about the sweetness of breastmilk and sugar….

    • Amy June 18, 2012, 9:26 am

      Haha me too! You might be on to something here …

  • Jessie @ Graze With Me June 17, 2012, 9:01 pm


  • Lindsey June 17, 2012, 9:07 pm

    Love your honest resourceful posts and am soo impressed how consistent you’ve been with blogging since Henry’s birth! Congrats again and thanks for the quick and healthy meal suggestions.

  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) June 17, 2012, 9:18 pm

    Still so digging Henry’s name! Love it! (Its up there, for me, with Walter, Harry, etc)

    I really hit up the beans when I need quick food…I prefer fresh or frozen but keeping a few cans on the shelf is a must in my house. Its so helpful, if I just don’t have time, to crack open a can of beanies…and I, too, have been hitting up the sunflower seeds and eggs lately. Quick protein is a need!

  • Sana June 17, 2012, 9:45 pm

    This post has no baby pics 🙁 I can’t get enough!

  • MomHTP June 17, 2012, 10:20 pm

    Have a cookie – you deserve it!

  • Mo June 17, 2012, 10:47 pm

    Such a great post! I’m due in 2 weeks and already trying to think about some “quick and easy” meals. I have a few ideas, but I would have never put together your dinner, yet it looks fantastic! Adding it to my list. Also, count me in on another person that is impressed (and thankful) for your continued blog updates with a newborn! :-). Go mama!

  • Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles June 17, 2012, 11:36 pm

    Their lentils are so good and still taste fresh. TJs is so perfect for healthy convenience foods.

  • Elizabeth June 17, 2012, 11:43 pm


    I think you are doing amazingly well. I completely get that you don’t feel this way, but look at all you have accomplished in the last few days, not counting giving birth!!!

    Do you heat the lentils in the microwave? Could you have thrown them in the wok with the vegetables? I bought a package the other day, but I am not sure what to do with them!



    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 9:01 am

      I just heated them in the microwave but you def could’ve tossed them in the wok.

  • Marissa C June 18, 2012, 12:12 am

    We just got a Trader Joes!!!

  • Ruby June 18, 2012, 1:57 am

    I’ve read great reviews on “Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents” by Debbie Koenig. And yes, cookies are fantastic energy foods 🙂

  • Claire June 18, 2012, 3:06 am

    I only realised after having baby number 1 that the absolute best thing you can ever do for a new mum is take around a meal for them – just knock on the door, hand them the food and leave quickly – unless of course they want a visit. It is so hard to get food on the table in those eary weeks, and making cups of tea for endless visitors is hard when you haven’t even got the time to feed yourself properly.

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats June 18, 2012, 3:58 am

    Trader joes is always amazing when it comes to healthy convenience foods!

  • Mel June 18, 2012, 4:36 am

    After several unsuccessful tries to cook lentils, I was finally successful last night! And they are GREAT- when you cook them right. As a vegetarian in a meat friendly foreign country, lentils are quickly becoming my go to staple with my veggies! Three cheers for healthy, protein packed convenience items! Although, I am shedding a few tears for Trader Joes. I miss that place!

  • Kelly June 18, 2012, 6:06 am

    I have only made Lentils myself once and I wasn’t crazy about my own perpetration. I need to try them when someone else makes them for me because I obviously didn’t know what I was doing!

  • Kelly June 18, 2012, 6:07 am


  • Kelly June 18, 2012, 6:08 am

    Oh I give up! 🙂

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 18, 2012, 8:04 am

    I usually prefer to save money and not buy convenience foods, but some life situations (like exams or babies!) definitely call for them! And this post just goes to show that convenience foods can be easy AND healthy. 🙂

  • Nicole June 18, 2012, 8:40 am

    I LOVE those lentils. You got me hooked on them 🙂 In fact, I brought them to work for lunch today. With a new baby in the house, convenience is definitely the name of the game. Hang in there!

  • Amy June 18, 2012, 9:24 am

    Impressed that you’re eating so well at this point! A lot of women have zero appetite for the first week or so. I knew I was on the mend when I wanted to eat something green again. 🙂

  • Julia H. @ Going Gulia June 18, 2012, 12:54 pm

    Ya know, for convenience food, that looks like a darn good meal. Glad you’re getting time to grab a bite with Henry home now! Have you tried any other cheese with the lentils, or just Havarti? Just curious 🙂

  • Jaclyn @ JustJac! June 18, 2012, 1:01 pm

    I read this last night and really meant to comment then. I have to tell you, sometimes I read your blog and you are just so REAL and actually very inspiring. We all have things that are hard in our lives and I like that you actually talk about them. It makes me feel normal lol

    Anyway….. my mom used to say this about first jobs. She used the example of a teacher: you start at a new school, a new classroom, new students, all new lesson plans. It must be completely overwhelming and you think ” I can’t do this” but give it time; six months, the first year… after that first year, you know the other teachers, the classroom, most importantly, you have all the lesson plans for the next year. while it won’t be easy, you’re prepared… idk your post made me think of that. and if that doesn’t work…

    “this too shall pass”

    I am in awe and totally proud of all you new mommas out there, i can’t imagine how difficult those first few weeks must be. but. know that you have a ton of readers out here rooting for ya! 😀 <3

  • Pam June 18, 2012, 10:22 pm

    Great that you are still eating healthy, I hear it’s best for breastfeeding and recovery.
    Yeah for husband who goes to the grocery store 🙂

  • Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See June 22, 2012, 9:34 pm

    I looooove lentils! For some reason, they’re even better than regular ‘ole beans to me 🙂

  • Caitlin July 2, 2012, 12:49 pm

    Just got some of these lentils for the first time. OBSESSED!! They’re so good, easy and filling! Thanks for this tip!

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