Last Updated on May 21, 2023 by Michael Brockbank
Normally, my freezer is full of all kinds of microwave meals I made myself. From putting together different things from Trader Joe’s to actually cooking my own chicken in bulk, I’ve made some incredible dishes. And, they’re often far better than Lean Cuisines.
Because in the long run, it’s food that I want, not what manufacturers think I want to eat.
And thanks to properly creating portions, I’ve been able to stave off that last 80 pounds. Because that’s the key to losing weight…not eating more than you burn.
Why Make Your Own Microwave Meals
In reality, it’s fairly simple to make microwave meals at home. Essentially, you just need to put your food together in the proper container and save it for another day.
But, let’s explore why you should consider making some of your own.
Cheaper to Eat
For one thing, I found making my own dishes has made a fast impact on my food budget. I spend about half what I used to while still being able to eat awesome foods.
The only massive investment you’ll have is time. That’s because you’ll need to cook in bulk and prepare all your food at once. Still, I think the most expensive thing for me to make is honey walnut shrimp and fried rice…which comes out to around $1.50 per lunch.
Can Make Any Meals You Want
Well, you can make anything you want to have out of the microwave. Breaded products usually don’t keep or microwave very well. However, I often have kung pao chicken, chicken marsala, mushroom tagliatelle, and many more.
I’m not limited to what dishes Lean Cuisine has in Walmart’s freezer section. And most of what I make tastes far better than manufactured food, anyway.
Properly Portioning Your Food
I started making microwave meals as a way to monitor my food intake. I’m able to properly portion out lunches and dinners without starving myself nor feeling like I didn’t get enough to eat.
For example, one-quarter cup of teriyaki chicken and 2/3 cup of chicken fried rice is about 190 calories, costs less than $1.20 to make, and is more than enough to feel satisfied.
Less Trash to Throw Out
It’s extremely rare for me to throw out food. That’s because I only make what I intend to eat. So, I don’t have a lot of fridge leftovers that wind up stinking after a week.
Unless I forget to cook my cauliflower rice, which has happened.
The point is that cooking in bulk and making microwave meals saves on the amount of trash I throw out on a weekly basis.
Fewer Preservatives and Other Junk
One of the highlights of making my own microwavables is that I know precisely what is going into the food. I can be as natural as I want and use things directly from the garden if I choose.
This means I can curb all kinds of chemical additions manufacturers put into their dishes to preserve them for longer durations.
The bottom line is that my meals have the potential to be far more nutritious and healthy than anything Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine or any other manufacturer can create.
Saves Me Time
One of the highlights of this process is that it saves me a lot of time throughout the week. Most of my lunches and dinners are ready to go in about 2 or 3 minutes. And when you’re as busy as I am lately, that’s incredibly convenient.
Of course, it takes me about 30 minutes to prepare all the microwave meals at once. So, what I do is cook dinner and then portion out the rest to use as lunches throughout the week.
How I Make Microwave Meals
To make your own microwave meals:
- Get Microwave Save Portioned Containers
You can pick these up virtually anywhere. Personally, I like the containers from Amazon as Mainstay Walmart containers tend to warp and fracture way too easily.
- Plan Out Cooking in Bulk
Plan out what you want to cook. I often go to Trader Joe’s and buy a variety of foods to cook at home. Or, I also like using the Maple Burbon seasoning on chicken while adding garlic potatoes.
- Properly Portion Out Servings
After cooking, properly portion out your servings. For example, 3 oz of chicken and a 2/3 cup of rice is plenty of food. I usually go by what a portion is on the package and make modifications depending on what I’m putting together.
- Freeze the Rest
And lastly, freeze the rest of the microwave meals to cook later.
It’s literally that easy. The hardest part is probably portioning out the food. Well, unless you don’t know how to cook.
And in reality, cooking your own food is far healthier for you in the long run. Convenience has more than a monetary price when you order in or hit the drive-through every day.
What Kind of Microwave Meals Will You Make?
It’s hard for me to think of a favorite meal. I’ve done a wide variety of things that were just amazing. Lately, I’ve been taking to going to Costco and buying things in bulk that I can turn into a week’s worth of microwave meals.
I really need to sit down and come up with a few recipes of my own, though. Perhaps I’ll put together a list of realistic recipes that anyone can make…from Trader Joe’s or Costco.
Because let’s face it, not all of us are Gordon Freakin’ Ramsay.