Monday, February 2, 2009

Ix-nay on the icrowave-may!

You know those TV dinners you find in the freezer section of your local grocery store? Well 3 years ago I barely knew they existed. Growing up we never ever encountered them in my home, and in the nearly 12 years after leaving the nest I had hardly eaten a single one of the microwave "meals in a box." Well that's not exactly true. I do remember this one time, (at band camp) at Food 4 Less (which apparently is not there any more) in Provo my roommate and I found some microwave dinners at about 25 cents each or something ridiculous. So Timmy and I bought about 40 of them and packed our freezer full. I think after eating them for a solid month I never even looked at those boxes again, that is until I met Constantine.

Constantine eats what I call a modified Amer-iterranean diet. Amer because there is a cookie or Fro-Yo after almost every meal, iterranean because there is often Hummus but ALWAYS plain yoghurt on top of everything and of course ample EVOO, and modified because he literally cooks everything in the microwave. ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. His stove, which is in perfect working order, has never once been turned on. In fact, it is unplugged and full of copies of the New Yorker that he has not yet gotten around to reading. There might also be a stray copy of In Style or Us in there, but I can't say for sure. GWYNETH WORE WHAT?! OMG!

The first few times we ate together I was really surprised at how effectively he used that microwave. That kid can cook anything in there. And though he is creative with the machine, for the most part he sticks to the basics: meals in a box and the occasional can of soup. Since I was in college, the quality of these meals has definitely gone up. Of course, so has the price. My favorite TV dinner is the Kashi Southwest Style Chicken. Kashi also has some other great ones, but they usually run about 5 dollars a box. They have great ingredients, but they are only about 250 calories per box, which for me means I should probably eat about 3 boxes for dinner in order to keep my manly physiche (squeal). Wait 15 dollars for a dinner? I might as well go out to dinner! Wait do I really want to afford 10-15 dollars for dinner every night? This is NOT the way I was raised people!

So, ever since I arrived in Chicago I have vowed that I will not buy a single TV dinner. My first trip to the grocery store was a little bit confusing. I kind of forgot you can make other stuff. 1 week later, I find myself very contented with my progress. I remember now what I used to eat before the ameriterranean MODIFIED diet took hold of my heart. And if my calculations are correct, I have probably spent on average $2.50 per meal. And that includes swimmin'.

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