Out of the Freezer

I just ate a real quick lunch now I’m off to the store to buy some groceries! I ate what I have in the freezer…a kashi frozen meal! This has been in my freezer actually since I moved to Orlando and its time I make room for new things! It was actually pretty good and I paired it with a pear for some more fiber and fruit action! This morning during class I had an apple and 6 almonds to keep me going…hope everyone’s friday is going well!



This meal was about 361 calories.

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  • Susan
    February 1, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    You said the other night that you love French onion soup. So do I! Unfortunately, I don’t love the ridiculously high sodium counts of store bought French onion soups. Have you ever made your own? It seems very labor intensive? Also, I can’t cut onions. My eyes sting so badly. Any suggestions?

  • Cassie
    February 1, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Jenna, I posted this last night, and your idea to I listen to music is a great idea, but I find it to difficult to do listen to music with the headphone cords going everywhere etc. when I lift weights, plus the people waiting are still starring at me! So awkward! How do you handle the weight machines when this happens? Or if there is no room to do you lunges, etc.?

    hanks for everything you do. Lets hope to keep this blog positive- unfortunately Kath’s is getting out of control. Both you and her do so much for your readers!

  • jennifer
    February 1, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    help! guys I WISH i knew how to cook but i am so intimidated and won’t even attempt it. i don’t understand how some people can just throw together some ingredients and know what flavors go together or how to cook random vegetables/meats for how long, etc etc- this is mind baffling to me!!! for people like this or any readers- how do you get to that point? do i have to start off following recipes? it seems so time consuming to find a recipe, buy all the ingredients, spend time cooking, blah blah… mostly i am talking about dinners. i would love to be able to cook for myself and my boyfriend. since this post is kind of babbling i will start (or end) with a specific thing that i want to make: i LOVE tons of mixed veggies in tomato sauce and would like to make it myself using tomatoes or tomatoes in a can or whatever not pre-made sauce. i would want to have it over ww pasta yum! and maybe add tofu or some other protein? veggies i like are broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, onions, etc. advice on this or any other starter meals thanks!!! like can i cook all veggies the same amount of time yadayada

  • Kate
    February 1, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Not that you don’t do enough…….but do you think you photo your groceries- its so helpful to see!

  • Emily
    February 1, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Hey Jennifer, I know this is a little scary, but the way to learn to cook is to just jump in and experiment (and probably make some mistakes!). I would recommend starting by finding some easy recipes online for things that you like, and reading a bunch of them – you don’t even have to make them yet. By reading recipes you’ll get a sense of how long things cook, what tends to go together, etc. But then jump in and make one! Unlike baking, cooking is pretty forgiving – you can usually cook things 5 minutes longer or shorter, or add half a cup instead of a cup, and things will still taste pretty good! I swear, at first you’ll be making recipes uber carefully, and pretty soon you’ll just be using them as a general template.

    But in terms of the recipe you asked for…generally the rule is to cook the protein first, then take it out of the pan and add it back in toward the end. So with tofu – cube it (you know you need to put a weight on it and drain it for half an hour first, right?), then sautee it in a pan over medium-high heat, using just a tsp or two of oil (any kind would be fine!). With tofu I like to set it in the pan then not touch it for a few minutes, so you get a good sear. Then take it out and put it aside. Add a little more oil and saute your veggies. Bigger, harder, veggies take longer, so add them first. So broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, should go in first, then smaller softer veggies like zucchini, eggplant, peppers, fresh tomatoes, etc. Garlic goes in last. Once all the veggies are tender-crisp (don’t be afraid to stick a fork in them to check!) you can add the tomato sauce. I like to use canned tomato sauce as the base, then add some spices (dried oregano, basil, onion powder, also a little sugar is great in tomato sauce). If that’s too thick, add some water or broth til it’s at a good consistency. Then put a lid on ajar and turn down the heat (way down) and simmer for like 10 minutes, or more. Presto!

    Good luck!

  • Carrie
    February 1, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    I used to feel overwhelmed by cooking too, but the more I practice, the better (and more comfortable) I am in my kitchen. I am certainly no expert, but here is what I often do …
    My husband and I love onions and garlic, so a lot of our meals start with chopped onion, minced garlic and a tbsp. of olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. I saute that until the onions and garlic become transparent and fragrant. To this same pan, I will often add some chicken (cubed is easy but for some reason I like it sliced the way it comes in Chinese food … I think it is called “julienned”…). You could also add shrimp, cubed beef, whatever … or just have the veggies!
    l let the meat brown for a few minutes and then add chopped broccoli, snow peas, zucchini, carrots, celery, just about anything you can think of. After you do this a few times, you’ll figure out how long to cook each veggie. Not sure how accurate this is, but it seems to me that the softer the veggie uncooked, the less time it takes to cook.
    You can add diced tomatoes to your veggies (or leave on the side and top on the plate so they don’t get mushy) but if you want a tomato sauce, add a can of diced tomatoes. Don’t drain thier juice beforehand!
    You can vary the sauce, too. Add soy sauce, terriaki, barbeque sauce, mustard or just about anything to vary the flavor. Or, don’t add any and just enjoy the veggies and EVOO!
    I like to add spices like black pepper, crushed red pepper, cilantro, dill, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, rosemary … most of these go well in anything, I think.
    Oh, and all the while, make some whole wheat pasta or brown rice to serve with the veggies.
    Don’t be scared, Jennifer! You’ll do great.

  • Ashley
    February 1, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    how did you like the frozen dinner? I have bought them before and I wasnt too happy with them I found they well tasted like a frozen dinner.

    Carrie-That was some really great advice. I just started cooking and basically you told Jennifer everything I have learned along the way. Basically you just have to brave it out learn the basics and try new things! Anything is better than takeout or straight to the oven processed meals! 😉

  • Matt (Kath's husband)
    February 1, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Hey Jenna,

    Someone mentioned at KERF that you asked a question to me about stuffing meats! I have to admit I don’t get to read your blog as often as I’d like because I end up reading all the hilarious comments we get! Here’s what I posted over there:

    I am very against putting anything inside a bird that you are planning to eat and here’s why: Poultry must be cooked to a higher temp than other meats (165*). If you stuff a turkey with the classic stuffing, the absorbent ingredients suck up some of the juices from the inside of the bird. So not only do we have to cook the meat to 165*, but now we have to cook the stuffing to 165*. By the time your stuffing gets that hot, what do you think the temp of the meat will be? Poultry gets very dry at about 180* and maybe it’s just me, but I feel like when you mention “Thanksgiving turkey,” people often think, “yum, thanksgiving’s great, etc, but the turkey’s frequently dry.” I blame stuffing.

    If you want to stuff for presentation, then put it in the bird when everything’s been cooked and it’s about to go on the table.

    Along the lines of “roasting chicken and veggies together for centuries” you’re exactly right. That’s why I don’t get too stressed about minor sanitation issues. All I’ll say about that, though, is the food industry is getting more and more mechanized, and the assembly line has been fully integrated (read Fast Food Nation for more insight here). Think about this: there are workers out there who’s only job is to slice open a cow, pull out the organs, and send it down the assembly line. They do this for 8 hours a day. Considering that, it’s pretty likely that they’ll make a mistake – perhaps slice too deep into the intestines and spill the insides onto the meat. That’s where e. coli infections come from (amongst other sources). Same thing with chickens – in the modern age, can we trust machines to be sanitary?

    To quote AB, “Stuffing is evil!”

    But in reality, I only limit my “no-stuffing” to poultry – it’s like roasting a sputnik, all uneven, and so many things to go wrong! When it comes to nice uniform cuts of meat like a pork tenderloin, or lamb shank, or beef tenderloin, stuffing is awesome. I recommend a small amount of very flavorful ingredients (strong cheeses, spices, etc).

    Man I love talking about food! Happy Friday indeed!

  • Cassie
    February 1, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    That was me! You asked matt and you help us so much and I was curious too, that I asked Matt for you again!!

  • jennifer
    February 1, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    thanks for starting on the advice i need! umm i kind of have a lot of questions!! after reading your post i am thinking about something along the lines of this: do the onion/garlic/evoo thing to start. then adding these veggies: zuccini, peppers, eggplant, broccoli, canned tomatoes (do these go together?). but when i think of how hard the veggies are raw i wonder how they will actually cook through and become soft as opposed to just getting burned. does there need to be some sort of broth or liquid? what type of pan? will the evoo serve as enough to cook them? also if i am just making for myself do i use a whole tablespoon of evoo? that sounds like a lot? and if i use the above veggies do i add the canned tomatoes at the same time or at the end? FINALLY (phew!) how big do i cut the veggies. sorry i am such a beginner!!!

  • ryan the boyfriend
    February 1, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Ooh, I know an answer for once and since Jenna is so slammed, Susan, my mom used to wear swim goggles while cutting onions, highly entertaining for me as a kid, but nonetheless effective.

  • Katie R
    February 1, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Hi Jenna… totally unrelated topic (this goes out to everyone really) I know you said you love to read (same here… I don’t have cable!!) and you love yoga… and food(obviously!)… so I wanted to recommend a book… you might have already read it yet but if not I HIGHLY recommend this book as it is one of my favorites!! It’s called Eat, Pray, Love by Liz Gilbert. Give it a shot, you won’t regret it!!!

  • jenna
    February 1, 2008 at 8:18 pm


    Thanks so much for your answer! I actually have read Fast Food Nation (I think it should be required reading for EVERYONE!). Good luck with all y’alls crazy comments…my goodness!!!!!! Good luck!

    Katie R,

    One of my favorites! 🙂

  • Carrie
    February 1, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Okay, sorry to overwhelm the comments in this section … I hope you guys don’t mind. And, I know I am no expert, so chime in with other suggestions. I learn so much from you guys!


    The olive oil, garlic and onion mix sort of acts like a sauce when you saute veggies, so they shouldn’t burn. If they seem to be burning or sticking to the pan, you can add a little more oil, water, some type of broth or any of the suggested sauces to keep it moist. Oh, and be sure to stir everything pretty frequently.
    The veggies can go in the pan at the same time or you can start with the “hard” ones and add the “softer” ones as you go. Watch thier color — as they cook, they get a little brighter, I think.
    You can really use as little or as much olive oil as you want, that is really up to you. Less for one serving would be fine.
    You can cut the veggies as big or small as you want, but the smaller, the less time they take to cook.
    I just use a medium, non-stick pan like one you would fry eggs in. I don’t know if it has a more specific name — sorry!
    For more complicated dishes, I use recipes at first and as I get more comfortable with them, I modify ’em.

  • Rachel
    February 1, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    This question is for “ryan the boyfriend”! Are you really into healthy eating like Jenna? And what do you like to do for exercise? Also, I know you and Jeanna are far apart during the week do you read her blog daily? I think its kind of a nice way to keep in touch long distance!

  • Aimee H. (formerly just aimee)
    February 1, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Jennifer, I highly recommend watching food network cooking shows.. I definitely don’t try out all their recipes, but it does help me see “how” to cook.. like how to chop, different methods, what kinds of things go together, spices.. etc. I would say watching these shows has given me tons of ideas (in addition to reading these blogs) and I’m more enthusiastic than ever in trying out new things in the kitchen. And I would say I’ve really only been actively pursuing cooking since June 2007 (I was a fulltime grad student and college student before that and had no time to experiment) but now that I live with my boyfriend and want to eat healthy, nutritious meals, I cook for us almost every night of the week and I have a blast!

  • VeggieGirl
    February 1, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    ooh what kind of pear did you have with your lunch?? I’m quite smitten with pears, and was curious as to which variety you prefer the best :0)

  • jenna
    February 1, 2008 at 8:56 pm


    Ive actually never bought store bought french onion soup……its just something I like to order out but not make for myself because I like the whole presentation of it with the bread and cheese in the soup. I think i would sort of ruin it for myself if I made it out of a can and then i would lose the pleasure of it because its one of my favorite treats! I know my wise boyfriend answered the onion cutting question for you and all I can add is a very sharp knife reduces the risk of onion tears!

  • jenna
    February 1, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Veggie Girl,

    I’m smitten with pears as well! I LOVE them right now! I had a red one with lunch, they are my current favorite but I was just shopping at W.F (whole foods from here on out) and could only find green anjou ones.

  • katie #2
    February 1, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Hi Katie R.! I loved that book too! I love memoirs in general, but this was soooo terrific. I hear they are making it into a film. I hope they don’t ruin it. The author has the best sense of humor. It would be a perfect book for this snowy day in Chicago! Enjoy your weekends, everyone!

  • katie #2
    February 1, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    I don’t like anjou pears. To me they have an “off” taste. Oddly enough, I like a good ripe (non-sexy I know) bartlett pear.

  • andrea
    February 1, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Jenna please tell about your grocery store trip. Any new finds?

  • Emily #2(haha)
    February 1, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    How do I get to kath’s blog?…that’s the other one that counts calories too?

  • ryan the boyfriend
    February 1, 2008 at 9:17 pm


    I was forced as a kid to eat my veggies by my mother before my sister decided to become a vegetarian for about 8 years so when I got to college, my freedom (especially since I ran the fraternity house kitchen) allowed me to eat whatever I wanted and I admittedly ate a lot of bad foods and have developed some bad eating habits, soooo long story short, jenna is in the process of breaking me of these habits and helping me to learn to begin “improving” my eating, but I couldn’t say that I am in to healthy eating like she is. But I at least pay attention to what I buy at the grocery store now and try to improve my ordering when I eat out. I guess when the day arrives and Jenna moves in I might as well get used to it because she vowed to take over my kitchen, haha.
    I like ot exercise, mainly weights, swimming, some cardio machines, nothing too serious, not a meatball fleexing at the gym or anything, just enough to keep the stress down and from jenna bannning me from pizza or something.
    I try to read the blog daily, but don’t really care to write in too much, its Jenna’s thing and she is great at it.
    Thanks for the question!

  • jenna
    February 1, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    I totally forgot to take pictures of my groceries—sorry, girls!!!!!! I went to W.F. (whole foods) and spent too much money, yet again. Some new things I got this week were lite soy milk (cheaper than skim and I drank soy for about 5 years and like to switch from cow’s milk to soy sometimes even now), nut bars, whole foods frozen cheese enchiladas ( my FAVORITE!), kiwis, pears, tangelos, blueberries, nature’s path granola, whole foods freshly made hummus (from deli section), some plain yogurts, 2% organic cottage cheese, my dinner for tonight as well as a few random ingredients I need to make a dinner I have planned for this week. Sorry if my groceries might come off as “boring” lately, but I’m really really REALLY trying to save money right now. I miss college when I “thought” I was on a budget yet could still afford to go shopping at j.crew and spend 80 bucks a week at whole foods. I didn’t even know the meaning of the word “save”!!!!! Cherish college while you can, college girls! I was so anxious to get out and get in the real world and it’s def. a rude awakening!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Eliza
    February 1, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    yea I am in college right now
    the whole jcrew shopping thing seems VERY familiar;) a girls gotta have cute clothes!!

  • Mandy
    February 1, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Jenna, I can relate! I went to Whole Foods yesterday… thought I did great… didn’t have much in my cart.. .and spent $100!!!!

  • VeggieGirl
    February 1, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Jenna, I LOVE the red pears – those are Starksimmons :0) and the Bosc variety is scrumptious as well (juicy and a bit crunchy).

    Oh and Whole Foods is the only place my family and I will shop – I go there 2-3 times per week – the employees know me already, haha. I’m easy to spot with my brightly colored reusable grocery bags ;0)

  • jenna
    February 1, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    I have a bright reusable bag too, its hot pink!!! 🙂 Hey, you save 10 cents also !

  • Ashley
    February 1, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I am so excited to hear that you love JCrew me too!! Its so great what are your other favorite stores?

  • Heather
    February 1, 2008 at 11:56 pm


    Please, please, please. I beg you to go by Ryan or Ryan, Jenna’s boyfriend. “The boyfriend” is degrading.

  • Lizzy
    February 2, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Ryan, my mom used to make me cut the onions and I totally sported the goggles haha. Another suggestion would be to rinse the knife you are useing and the onion under cold water. I do that now, and it’s better than nothing!

  • Heather
    February 2, 2008 at 12:37 am

    I think my previous comment to Ryan came off as rude, which is not how I intended it. I LOVE Jenna’s blog and all the comments! I think it is really sweet that Ryan reads and comments. I hope I did not offend anyone, I just think it’s a little cheesy, and yes, degrading to go by “the boyfriend.” I used to read another blog where a significant other was referred to in a similar way and it, among other things on that blog, pushed me away.

    Anyway, I did not mean to seem rude. I do not post rude or negative blog comments!

    Have a great weekend Jenna blog readers, Jenna and Ryan!

  • Jennifer
    February 2, 2008 at 3:00 am

    girls thanks for the cooking advice!!! sorry i didn’t get to write sooner but i am so appreciative. i will DEF let you know when i make my first attempt wooooohooo it’s the weekend!!! mwa

  • jenna
    February 2, 2008 at 4:22 am


    I LOVE anthropologie! I used to work there! Its my absolute favorite…hmm..also william sonoma, nordstroms, urban outfitters….I wish I had more money! haha!


    No worries!!! 🙂

  • Lauren
    February 2, 2008 at 2:50 pm


    Just saw this article

  • Ashley
    February 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    wow jenna we have all the same favorite stores! Very cool!

  • Ryan
    February 2, 2008 at 7:21 pm


    the name was a joke after jennas roomate goes by “helen the roomate”, wasnt taken as rude by any means and I don’t mean to be degrading. glad you like Jenna’s website.

  • Nickole Mcgohan
    September 17, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Article bookmarked and shared on facebook, I’ll publish my feedback on my profile too