If you don’t have time to cook, or if you’re cooking just for yourself or for one other person, there are plenty of “convenience foods” at your local supermarket that are easy to store and prepare, and which fit the requirements of a low-glycemic diet. Here are some foods that are easy to buy and keep in your refrigerator or cupboard:
In the Deli:
- Rotisserie Chicken – The ultimate low-glycemic convenience food. Add a salad and you have a complete meal;
- Deli Meats – roast beef, turkey, ham, salami…great for making traditional sandwiches, adding to salads, or mixing with cheese and heating in a whole-wheat tortilla or pita sandwich;
- Deli Salads and Vegetables – avoid the starches like macaroni or potato salad. Go for the tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, cole slaw, fruit salad, and roasted vegetables.
In the Freezer Case:
- Frozen Grilled Fish Fillets – these come in a variety of seasonings, including lemon butter, garlic and pepper, Italian seasoning, etc. Great for a quick microwave meal;
- Frozen Vegetables – fresh vegetables are always first choice, but having frozen veggies is great for making quick soups, stews, and omelets. And in a pinch, adding butter, salt, and pepper is an easy way to create a healthy vegetable side dish;
- Frozen Fruit – again, fresh is always better, but frozen berries and cut fruits are great to have on hand for yogurt smoothies and topping with a few tablespoons of melted premium vanilla ice cream (so good…)!
In the Butcher Department
- Pre-Skewered Beef or Chicken Kabobs – easy to toss on the grill or under a broiler;
- Pre-Cooked Ham – a fresh-cooked ham is great for sandwiches and browning a slice or two in butter with eggs. Make sure the “cure” isn’t sugary;
- Pre-Cooked Shrimp – great for tossing into a salad or making a homemade shrimp cocktail. Check the commercial cocktail sauces for sugar…most are loaded with it. It’s easy to make a homemade cocktail sauce using low-sugar ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and horseradish;
- Pre-Cooked Crab – go for the cocktail sauce or dip in your own lemon-butter.
Other “Convenient” Foods
- Canned Tuna – you can make a tuna salad in minutes…just drain and add mayonnaise. Scoop atop lettuce and assorted veggies and you have a great lunch or dinner;
- Eggs – a staple of the low-glycemic diet. Keep some hard boiled in the fridge for salads and/or snacks;
- Cheese – another low-glycemic staple food. Great for melting on eggs, adding to salads and soups, creating interesting sandwiches, or just eating as a snack;
- Cottage Cheese – top with seasoning mixes like Emeril’s Essence or Dash for a satisfying meal or snack;
- Sugar-Free Yogurt – add almonds and a little honey (yes, a little honey is OK) and you’re good to go for hours. Fage Total 0% yogurt has gotten rave reviews;
- Bagged Salad – no time to wash lettuce or chop vegetables? Buy pre-packaged salad mixes and keep them in your fridge;
- Guacamole and Salsas – there are a hundred ways to eat guacamole without chips. Add guacamole to omelets, soups, sandwiches, and wraps, or use it as a dip for vegetables. Salsa is another staple for the refrigerator, adding flavor to omelets, fish, chicken, and other dishes;
- Prechopped Onions and Veggies – most supermarkets now offer containers of chopped onions, green and red peppers, sliced mushrooms, etc. What a great way to keep “prepped” foods in your refrigerator, making it so easy to create quick dishes where sauteing onions and vegetables is required;
- Canned Tomatoes and Canned Beans – having lots of cans of these in your cupboard will allow you to make a wide variety of soups at will. Great when you’re looking for a meal and just can’t figure out what to eat…