Recently they asked me to have a small dinner party with some of the phenomenal women in my life, where we could sample Lean Cuisine and just plain have fun together. So I invited my mother, my mother-in-law, and two of my best friends over to my house for dinner on Saturday. We started with veggies and dip and some homemade salsa and tortilla chips, and we just started chatting.
As usual when women are all together, the topic of conversation became “what is wrong with the world and how we could all solve it if everybody else would ask for our advice.” And together we solved a lot of problems in the world! Unfortunately no one asked for our advice. Darn.
But what all of these women have in common is that we all have dedicated a lot of our lives to helping others who need help. We’re all caregivers.
My mother-in-law cares for her 90-year-old neighbour who is without family. She has spent countless hours in emergency rooms, in doctors’ offices, arguing with community health to get her more help, arguing with the hearing aid people, the housekeepers, and the pharmacies. She’s been an advocate for this poor woman, and it’s exhausting.
My mother has spent countless hours and days and weeks and months collecting items to be donated to a children’s home we support in Kenya–and she’s been there herself 8 times. She’s sacrificed the majority of her house as a depot for collecting stuff.
Another friend has been deeply involved in caring for children that desperately need help, and having some in her home, suffice it to say that she has gone above and beyond, and sacrificed so much it astounds me. And she does make a difference, even if she doesn’t always see it. And then another friend has carried the load of caring for her kids as her husband has spent a lot of his career working out of town during the week. She has helped many down and out find jobs, and has counseled people to be able to keep those jobs. And she is the first person that I would go to if I were in a jam. She’s one of the most generous people I know.
So there we all were, talking and laughing and solving the world’s problems. And what struck me is how much all of us want to make the world a better place.
Sometimes, though, that wanting to make the world a better place means that you’re forever running here and there on a moment’s notice. An emergency doctor’s appointment. A meeting you have to speak at. A friend needs help. And that’s where frozen meals can actually be a godsend.
I love cooking. Making dinner is one of my favourite activities. That time from 5-6 p.m. when I chop garlic and sauté veggies and scour cookbooks is one of the most peaceful and grounding hours of my day. It’s sacred to me. When my kids were younger, they knew to leave me alone then because I needed that time.
But even so, I always have a collection of meals in my freezer for those nights when I just don’t have time to cook, even if I wanted to, and I don’t want to resort to phoning for pizza. My friend Lisa and my mom both talked about how they often used Lean Cuisine when they were working and didn’t have time to make a lunch.
And then we sampled all five!
Lean Cuisine has four different lines of products:
- Marketplace – For times when women seek modern foods and chef-inspired offerings
- Craveables – Includes indulgent, casual food you would find at a neighborhood bar, such as pizza and sandwiches, and features many items that are high in protein
- Comfort – Perfect when only comforting, home-cooked flavors will satisfy
- Favorites – Includes enduring “favorite recipes” such as Spaghetti with Meatballs and other popular, existing recipes
We were asked to sample four specifically from the Marketplace collection:
- Pomegranate Chicken
- This dish is high-protein, gluten free and includes no preservatives – it also includes 15% daily value of vitamin C
- Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese
- This dish is made with pasta, organic butter and no GMOs
- Sweet and Spicy Korean-Style Beef
- This dish is high protein, gluten free and includes no preservatives – it also packs 15g of protein for lots of energy
- Spicy Beef and Bean Enchilada
- This dish is made using ingredients that are naturally gluten-free and no preservatives
And then I added another one just for fun, so we had five dishes! We threw in a Sweet & Sour Chicken, too. Many of Lean Cuisine’s new products are gluten free, and they’re really focusing on people’s unique eating challenges while still trying to make food that’s tasty.
We all decided that the beef dish was our favourite, although we liked all of them. I preferred the chicken dishes; others preferred the pasta. But they really were all quite yummy.
We got them all ready in the kitchen and then moved into the dining room to keep talking.
It was honestly the easiest dinner party I ever had–I just cut up veggies, made some dip, and then heated up Lean Cuisine! And everyone agreed it was super fun. Of course, the chocolate cake and tea for dessert didn’t hurt either.
One of the best parts: I didn’t even clean up before they all came over. I mean, they’re all practically family (and some are family!). They know what my house looks like normally anyway. So just come over and we’ll chat and eat food! Super fun.
It reminded me of three things:
- All of us are busy and are carrying so many concerns on our shoulders. We really need to pray for each other and make time just to chat more and keep up with each other’s lives. We all need the support.
- We women have a lot of fun when we get together. We should do it more often!
- Having people over doesn’t have to be a lot of work.
Here is the Lean Cuisine product locator so that you can see where exactly they sell these specific dishes in your area!
So tell me: Who are the phenomenal women in your life? Leave a comment for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card from Lean Cuisine, thanks to SheKnows!
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