Store-Bought Dinner Shortcuts
Healthy Shortcut Dinners
Shortcut Pizza: Refrigerated Fresh Pizza Dough
Store-bought dough yields pizzeria quality. Ask for it in the bakery of your supermarket, or check specialty retailers like Trader Joe's. In a pinch, buy dough in tubes from the refrigerated section of the grocery store (it's higher in sodium than fresh dough). Just bring the dough to room temperature while the oven preheats.
5 More Ways With Pizza Dough
2| Cut into small portions, roll small circles, bake and top with salad or meats for piadines.
3| Make great calzones with dough, pasta sauce, cheese, wilted spinach, and cooked, crumbled sausage.
4| Roll into a rectangle, brush with butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar for roll-ups. Cut crosswise and bake.
5| Cut into strips and make garlicky cheese sticks.
Shortcut Stir-Fry: Washed & Bagged Baby Spinach
Rinsing, drying, stemming, and chopping supermarket spinach is a messy time-eater. Ready-to-use baby spinach from the bag cuts out that whole process. Inspect in the store to make sure it's in prime condition—no black spots, no wilting.
5 More Ways With Bagged Spinach
2| Up your veggie intake by adding chopped or whole leaves to rice or pasta.
3| Toss with olive oil, thinly sliced shallots, and crumbled bacon. Put on a pizza after it's baked.
4| Stir into soups just before serving for a boost of garden flavor.
5| Sauté spinach and garlic until wilted and use it to fill savory tarts.
Shortcut Turnover: Refrigerated Pie Dough
The nutritional difference between refrigerated pie dough and one made from scratch is actually quite small, so on a weeknight, this is a shortcut that's worth the trade-off. Pillsbury is our favorite brand.
5 More Ways With Pie Dough
2| Use dough to top individual or casserole-style potpies.
3| Divide dough; roll into small circles. Fill with cooked meat, beans, cheese. Fold, crimp, bake; empanadas.
4| Bake in mini muffin cups, and fill with crab or shrimp salad for appetizers.
5| Wrap seasoned chicken or fish, and bake for an en croûte entrée.
Shortcut Chicken Salad: Rotisserie Chicken
When you purchase a rotisserie chicken, look for a just-done bird. Most stores follow a schedule, and packages are marked with the time the chickens came off the spit. Stick with the original, unflavored version, as it's the most versatile.
5 More Ways With Rotisserie Chicken
2| Toss shredded chicken with favorite barbecue sauce. Add greens for a hearty salad.
3| Make a classic béchamel sauce; stir in chicken and cheese, and fill crepes.
4| Make a noodle bowl with coconut milk, broth, chicken, peanuts, chile paste, and lime wedges.
5| Sitr shredded or cubed white and dark meat into chili.
Shortcut Entrée Salad: Canned Chickpeas
Use organic or no-salt-added beans to keep sodium levels in check.
5 More Ways With Canned Chickpeas
2| Use in your favorite baked beans recipe for a firmer texture—try all chickpeas or just half.
3| Toss rinsed and drained beans with canola oil and spices. Then toast them in the oven for a healthy snack.
4| Puree with canola mayonnaise or Greek yogurt and lemon juice for a sandwich spread.
5| Add to soups and stews for an al dente bite of earthy flavor.