Finding healthy heat and eat meals isn't easy, so we're doing the legwork for you.
As if you didn't already have enough reason to wander the aisles of Target, the big-box retailer just announced that it's adding more than 100 new ready-to-eat items to shelves over the next few months.
Each item is expected to cost less than $9—and most of these items are already available in stores, according to a spokesperson for Target.
You'll find nearly every kind of ready-to-eat meal among the new food items, including soups, salads, grain bowls, cheeses, pastas, and even pre-cooked proteins. These items will definitely be a draw for shoppers perusing, say, Chip and Joanna Gaines' Target collection.
Unfortunately, not all of the items are healthy—which is the often case with many frozen and prepared foods. The new Broccoli Three Cheese Soup, for instance, hides a whopping 21g of saturated fat (more than you should have in an entire day) and 1,370mg of sodium in a single cup. That's why it's crucial to scan nutrition labels before adding any new Archer Farms' products into your cart.
However, some of Target's new food products are relatively healthy, and are designed with alternative lifestyles and diets in mind. Finds like vegan apple pecan quinoa salad, with multiple servings at just $4.49, or vegetarian Mexican street corn salad (esquites, which you can make with this recipe right here) sold for the same price, are lifesavers for busy home cooks.
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The Archer Farms collection of groceries already included staples that were worth a trip to the store, but we're highlighting 5 favorites from the new collection that you can get your hands on now. And we'll watch closely as Target releases more by the end of the year.
1) Vegetarian Red Quinoa Salad With Beets and Feta, $4.49
If you love beets, you're in luck! The red quinoa salad with beets and feta is a versatile dish that you can add to existing dishes or even beef up with extra fresh vegetables, as each serving contains 320 calories and 380mg of sodium, thanks to the addition of feta cheese.
2) Creamed Spinach and Kale, $3.99
If you're looking for an indulgent side, this creamy vegetable-based side dish is a treat without too much nutritional blowback. A half cup per person includes 510mg of sodium, and a manageable 160 calories.
3) Archer Farms' Shredded Chicken, $5.99
This package of pre-cooked chicken is a lifesaver for when you need to assemble dinner rather than cook it—simply warm the shredded chicken and add it to any dish that needs a boost of protein. 3 ounces is 90 calories and 390mg of sodium, but you'll also enjoy a full 16 grams of protein.
4) Mushroom and Kale Ravioli, $3.99
There are many new pasta options now on Target's shelves, and you'll be happy to hear that a few of them are actually solid choices for a quick lunch or dinner. If you split this package of mushroom and kale ravioli into two servings, you can enjoy a meal that clocks in at around 350 calories, 480mg of sodium, and just under 49g of carbohydrates. Another safe pasta option is the cauliflower and spinach ravioli, also $3.99, that contains even less sodium: just 300mg and under 450 calories.
5) Mexican Street Corn Salad, $4.49
You may know this side dish as esquites, an off-the-cob version of the popular Mexican eloté that has become wildly popular in the United States over the last few years. It's smoky, sweet, spicy, and tangy, and Target's version is loaded with grilled corn in a sour cream base topped with jalapeños and feta cheese. A half-cup contains 210 calories, 270mg of sodium, and 16g of fat, a more manageable amount thanks to the addition of sour cream to a base that is traditionally just mayonnaise.