Friday, April 3, 2009

Indian Lunch in Under 4 Minutes, $4 and 400 calories

Some days, I make a beautiful salad for lunch.

Other days, I cook an easy, healthy meal like sauteed spinach and mushrooms with ground beef or Italian-style beans and greens.

My happiest days are when I can reach into the refrigerator and pull out cartons of leftover beef stew or takeout Thai curry. Heat and eat.

And then there are the days when I reach in and come up with. . . nothing. And, of course, those are the days that I want food and I want it NOW.

How do I bring on the fast and easy without resorting to my daughter's favorite lunch, ramen that's ready in three minutes? Or grabbing for the bag of chips with a side of salsa?

Peak into my pantry and you'll always find a stash of these ready-made Tasty Bite dishes that I learned about from Wandering Chopsticks.

Bombay Potatoes is one of 18 Indian vegetarian dishes available from Tasty Bite.

The nutrition label says that the packet includes two servings, but I find it perfect for lunch for one.

With a serving of heat-up Trader Joe's jasmine rice, here's how the time, cost and calories stack up:

(I don't know how to make nice, neat columns in blogger, so I'll have to itemize in little chunks.)

Indian Food, Tasty Bite Bombay Potatoes
Time: 2 minutes
Cost: *$2.19
Calories: 220

Rice, Trader Joe's Thai Jasmine
Time: 1.5 minutes
Cost: $.75 per serving
Calories: 180

Time: 3 1/2 minutes
Cost: $2.95
Calories: 400

*$2.19 at Fresh and Easy but $2.99 at Cost Plus

Take an extra 10 seconds and add a handful of chopped cilantro and a few mint leaves.

Mix it all together, enjoy and get back to work.

What do you do when you want "fast food"?

NEWS FLASH: I just returned home from Cost Plus for my monthly supply of cheap cava and discovered that Tasty Bite meals have been reduced from $2.99 to $2.00. I stocked up.


Desiree said...

Miscue! I scrolled down too quickly and thought the pommes frites were under 400 calories. Damn. A woman can dream, can't she?
I love how you doctored the mix--I look forward to trying it--

The Food Librarian said...

Oh! These are on my shopping list right now. Sure beats Ramen :)

Cafe Observer said...

SC, I don't have 2 peak N2 your pantry to find these - they're in mine already.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I love Tasty Bite. The Bombay potatoes and Jaipur vegetables are my favorite flavors. Fresh and Easy's naan is really good too. Chewy. So much better than TJ's version.

When I get a craving for Indian food these days, that's what I go for. Cheap, quick, and usually satisfies my craving.

Anonymous said...

Looks good. blue kitchen had a recipe this week for linguine w/clams; everything but the pasta from a can. I was dubious, but it was delicious. Esp. w/the anchovies.

Margaret said...

Now you've gone and made me hungry again. Stop doing that!

Susan C said...

Desiree, I wish I could have those pommes frites in under 4 minutes.

FL, Hurry to Cost Plus, if you have one nearby. On sale for $2.00 a package.

CO, Good for you.

WC, Thanks for the great tip on these. I still have to try the Fresh and Easy naan.

AH, I bookmarked that Blue Kitchen recipe. Can't wait to try it now that I know you've vetted it.

Margaret, After the huge breakfast, I'm not gonna' be hungry for a while.

Anonymous said...

I purchased a bunch of that Thai coconut soup at Cost Plus. I had to cut it with plain coconut milk because it was too hot for me but that was kind of good.

Nelle said...

While this looks good and the calories are great I would bet the carb count would be too high for me as a diabetic. I love rice but it's very high and so are anything in the bean family. I only have 150Mg of carbs per entire day and one cup of rice is nearly 1/3 of that. I miss chili so much but I have to spread my carbs out over the day. I try to have most at breakfast and dinner saving a few for snacks. I can have a salad at lunch with lots of protein without using them if I pass on croutons or beans.

susan said...

PA, The hotter the better.

Nelle, No these would not be good choices for a carb-counting diabetic. I was shopping with a carb-counting friend at Fresh and Easy, and she dismissed these. I didn't realize that beans are so high in carbs.

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