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Hungry Girl: 5 Healthy Eating Shortcuts That Will Save You Time In the Kitchen

Lisa Lillien shares her favorite products to make meal time easier.


Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of twelve books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her PEOPLE.com blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

It’s smart to stock up on products that make it easy to put together nutritious meals in a snap. Grab your grocery list, because I’ve got suggestions!

Green Giant Frozen Riced Veggies

Cauliflower rice is a great swap for starchy rice, but it takes some time and effort to prepare from scratch. That’s why I love Green Giant’s versions — they can go from your freezer to your plate in minutes. Plus, they only set you back 20 to 50 calories per cup. My favorites in the lineup are the classic Cauliflower and the Cauliflower Medley (perfect for making a low-carb fried rice). Pair with lean protein for the easiest meal ever! 

RELATED: Hungry Girl: Satisfy Your Chip Cravings with These Healthy Alternatives

Johnsonville Flame Grilled Chicken Breast

It’s getting easier to find ready-to-eat chicken breast at the supermarket, and I’m nuts about these fully seasoned varieties. Guesswork, begone! Try all five delicious flavors: Garlic & Herb, Teriyaki Glazed, Black Pepper & Sea Salt, Southwestern Seasoned, and (my favorite) Honey Mustard Glazed. Each piece has 90 to 130 calories and 1 to 2g fat. Stuff the southwestern poultry into taco shells, or serve any of the flavors over salad greens. 

Taylor Farms Chopped Salad Kits

There are plenty of bagged salad mixes out there, but these kits are extra special. The toppings and dressings are packed separately, so you control the amounts. Plus, the greens are chopped to perfect salad-chomping size! Try the Asian (toasted almonds, sesame ginger dressing, etc.), Farmhouse Bacon (sunflower seeds and more), and Mediterranean Crunch (feta, pita chips, etc.) Each kit has 120 to 200 calories per serving, and that includes all the toppings and dressings.

Al Fresco Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage
Heat-and-eat chicken sausage is one of my favorite quick-cook proteins: so easy and delicious! I like it best cut into coins and stir-fried with veggies. Find Al Fresco sausages in flavors like Roasted Pepper & Asiago and Smoked Andouille. Each link has 120 to 160 calories and 7 to 8g fat. 

StarKist Tuna Creations and Tuna Creations BOLD

This seasoned, no-drain tuna is an all-star in my pantry! It’s ideal for a low-maintenance lunch or emergency snack situation. All the varieties are tasty, and StarKist is constantly adding to the flavor line. Whether you like your tuna zingy (hello, Thai Chili Style) or classic (I see you, Herb & Garlic), you’re a quick tear away from taking a bowl of lettuce or a pile of high-fiber crackers to a whole new level of satisfaction! Just 70 to 110 calories per 2.6-oz. pouch.

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing

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