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Prepared meals that are low in sodium
Old 07-01-2016, 05:03 AM   #1
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Prepared meals that are low in sodium

Looking for meals that are <400 calories and <600 MG sodium. I have found frozen meals that fit the bill (big fan of Michelina's), but not dried or vacuum sealed. Only exception is Nutrisystem, which is good, but I am looking for more variety. Using various discounts, the Nutrisystem lunch/dinner entrees that DW will eat cost $2 to $3.50 each. Would like to stay in that range.

All of the canned soups achieve this by calling a serving size, half a can. That isn't going to work for DW.

I have asked grocery store to carry appropriate meals. We will see.

Bumble Bee has a chicken salad and cracker package that fits the bill.

This project is for DW to take to w*** where she has a microwave but limited freezer space. She also tends to eat at her cubby so things that are smelly like tuna don't work.

Having me prepare something from scratch, daily, and bring it to her might work if she had a different husband.

Well?
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:25 AM   #2
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I like these:
St. Dalfour Gourmet On The Go™ French Bistro Wild Salmon with Vegetables -- 6.2 oz - Vitacost - click 'details' on that page to see the nutritional label, but the hole can is 210 calories, 600 mg sodium. They're good either hot or cold, although it's a pretty small meal - almost more a snack than a meal.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:36 AM   #3
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Thanks. Those are exactly what I was looking for. Also the Dr. McDougall's and some of the Thai Kitchen look good. Have you tried them?
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:52 AM   #4
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Thanks. Those are exactly what I was looking for. Also the Dr. McDougall's and some of the Thai Kitchen look good. Have you tried them?
No, I haven't tried those.
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:34 AM   #5
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Meals with <400 calories and <600 MG sodium are going to be very difficult to find and still have taste that's appealing. Within those guidelines, adequate nutrition is somewhat hard to provide.

Ultra low calorie meals are best cooked yourself--not in convenience frozen foods. We prepare just about all our meals from scratch.
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:47 AM   #6
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Meals with <400 calories and <600 MG sodium are going to be very difficult to find and still have taste that's appealing. Within those guidelines, adequate nutrition is somewhat hard to provide.

Ultra low calorie meals are best cooked yourself--not in convenience frozen foods. We prepare just about all our meals from scratch.
+1

Food prep is a skill well worth learning for everyone.
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:58 AM   #7
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Shouldn't there be other spices that could be an alternative to flavoring with sodium, unless the other significant purpose of sodium is to preserve?
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:04 AM   #8
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Only a few individuals have sodium sensitivity = high blood pressure. Why is your wife avoiding sodium? Is it due to high BP, and is she really salt sensitive?

But eating processed foods in general can be unhealthy. So IMO the high sodium is just one of several issues with processed food with a high shelf life.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:19 PM   #9
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So IMO the high sodium is just one of several issues with processed food with a high shelf life.

Taste/flavor being the primary one...
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:29 PM   #10
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Look up "mason jar salads". You make them up on Sunday night and refrigerate.

I make soup and freeze it in single servings for lunch. Add a handful of baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, precut veggies, or bagged salad. Grab a serving out of the freezer and tuck it in a bag with a bowl for reheating and a spoon.

A frozen veggie burger like Morningstar Farms, Dr. Praeger's, or Bocaburger, microwaved and stuffed into a pita. Some veggies or side salad. Half an avocado, if you want to get fancy.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:29 AM   #11
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Look up "mason jar salads". You make them up on Sunday night and refrigerate.

I make soup and freeze it in single servings for lunch. Add a handful of baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, precut veggies, or bagged salad. Grab a serving out of the freezer and tuck it in a bag with a bowl for reheating and a spoon.

A frozen veggie burger like Morningstar Farms, Dr. Praeger's, or Bocaburger, microwaved and stuffed into a pita. Some veggies or side salad. Half an avocado, if you want to get fancy.
I'd agree that there are some very simple meals that could be 'assembled' rather than what most people would call 'cooking'.

With a good quantity of a variety of fresh vegetables (any combo of peppers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, etc), I think you will have something low in calories, very low in sodium, and probably more filling than a prepared 400 calorie meal.

And it is really easy to add a little pre-cooked meat to that. I used to take salads to work that had slices of leftover steak, a chopped up left-over hamburger patty, leftover chicken, etc. Tasty, and not hard to make at all.

I'll also second audreyh1's comment as to whether the sodium level is really an issue. But I still think simple home-assembled meals would be easy, cheaper, and probably more nutritious.

-ERD50
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:13 PM   #12
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As an aside, here's a wonderful website with very low sodium recipies. And the backstory is quite compelling.
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:18 PM   #13
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I'd agree that there are some very simple meals that could be 'assembled' rather than what most people would call 'cooking'.

With a good quantity of a variety of fresh vegetables (any combo of peppers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, etc), I think you will have something low in calories, very low in sodium, and probably more filling than a prepared 400 calorie meal.

And it is really easy to add a little pre-cooked meat to that. I used to take salads to work that had slices of leftover steak, a chopped up left-over hamburger patty, leftover chicken, etc. Tasty, and not hard to make at all.

I'll also second audreyh1's comment as to whether the sodium level is really an issue. But I still think simple home-assembled meals would be easy, cheaper, and probably more nutritious.

-ERD50
"Assembling" food is what I often did when w*rking. A little bit of chicken in a wrap with veggies can be made in a couple minutes. I also used to keep a bowl of fruit at my desk and also a few containers of nuts, home-made trail mix, etc.
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:02 PM   #14
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Look at Morningstar farms frozen entrees. They taste very good and usually will not have too much sodium. I've enjoyed several of them.


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Old 07-04-2016, 11:32 PM   #15
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Only exception is Nutrisystem, which is good,
One of us has obviously crossed into an alternate universe, so I don't think I can add to the conversation. Sorry.
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:27 AM   #16
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Preparing your own food is so much cheaper and allows complete control over what goes into your body. I still work 2 days per week, and tend not to eat much cooked food at work. Instead, I bring small containers filled with things such as sliced cooked chicken, low-sodium wraps, cut-up vegetables, dried fruit, and plain unsalted almonds and walnuts. A couple of apples and a banana, and I'm all set.

As with anything prepared at home, time is the biggest expense, and I've licked that, too...maybe 15 minutes to put food together for work. How heavy is her schedule? I've worked 12-hour rotating day/night shifts, and still managed to prepare my own food (and everyone else's for that matter...usually left in the fridge for them to heat up).

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Having me prepare something from scratch, daily, and bring it to her might work if she had a different husband.

Well?
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:01 AM   #17
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OP here. Thanks for the ideas folks.

The low sodium is just based on AHA and FDA recommendations. DW has no particular malady, allergy, growth or disease associated with sodium.

The homemade stuff that needs to be refrigerated or in a freezer or a maybe you are suggesting a cooler? at w*** is a great idea but, as I said in my OP, the office refrigerator/freezer is not suitable.

Again, thanks for the ideas.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:51 AM   #18
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The homemade stuff that needs to be refrigerated or in a freezer or a maybe you are suggesting a cooler? at w*** is a great idea but, as I said in my OP, the office refrigerator/freezer is not suitable.
Just a thought:

Back in my w*rking days, I would often make a sandwich in the evening with fresh bread, meat, cheese, and a generous helping of fresh grown sprouts, lettuce, etc.

I put the sandwich in a ziplock bag and placed it in the freezer. In the morning, I took it out, put it in my briefcase and then stored it in a desk drawer until lunchtime. When I took it out around noon, it had thawed perfectly and was just as fresh as when I made it.

Worth a try.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:37 AM   #19
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I never bothered to refrigerate my meals at w*rk, if you're really worried about food safety, then just tuck a freezer pack into an insulated lunch bag along with the food and you'll be good to go. I imagine that kids still take sandwiches to school. Or maybe they all get fancy Hello Kitty bento boxes now, but a few hours without refrigeration won't hurt most food. Avoid homemade mayonnaise and you should be okay.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:14 AM   #20
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I *never* use the office refrigerator, and there were no refrigerators for brown-bag lunches taken to school. Food such as I've described does not go bad that quickly.

Pre-made, reheatable foods contain preservatives, because they have to last a long time in the supermarket and later, in people's freezes and fridges. I prefer to avoid added chemicals in my food. It does take a little bit of planning (basic home economy) to ensure you always have the ingredients you want, in a fresh enough state.

Now, if something got left in the office overnight and was more than 12-hours from preparation...or was left in a hot car...I'd throw away any protein (except nuts) or any dairy. I don't like mayo, so that is not a factor for me.
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