Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Healthy Tiffin: Frozen Meals Are Finally Delicious

Just a quick note today to tell you about something I really like: Healthy Tiffin frozen meals, made by Deep Foods, an Indian food company in New Jersey.

Unfortunately, you cannot buy these in just any grocery store, but hopefully someday you will. Meanwhile, do like us and stock up on them at an international grocery in the nearest large city. (We've been buying Healthy Tiffins at Global Foods Market in Kirkwood, a suburb of St. Louis.)

Why frozen? Because it's extremely convenient, especially when you're freelancin' and you don't want to take time off to fix anything, and you want something you can eat at your desk while you get back to work! And all the Healthy Tiffins I've had have turned out fine, even in the dreaded microwave.

A tiffin, by the way, is basically "lunch," and a tiffin carrier is the standard lunchbox used in India. You might have seen these nifty stacking metal containers, which many people are using now to avoid plastics.

And why Indian food? Because at least in this case, it's vegetarian and delicious at the same time. Indians have been vegetarian for so long, their vegetarian cuisine is completely satisfying in terms of flavors, textures, and nutrition. My friends who eat meat, try Indian for your "meatless Mondays."

Although you can buy plenty of frozen Indian dishes at the international store, what makes the Healthy Tiffin line so nice is that each one is a complete three-part meal, with rice, a dal (beans), and a vegetable (usually a wet curry, one with lots of tasty "gravy" to have with your rice).

So here's four of 'em, and I think there are more:

  • Paneer makhani + rajma + onion Basmati rice (cubes of homemade cheese in a spicy tomato-based gravy; kidney bean dal; rice flavored with onion and cumin)
  • Kofta curry + chhole + spinach Basmati rice (kofta are vegetarian dumplings; chhole is garbanzo bean dal; the rice is fortified with spinach)
  • Palak paneer + dal makhani + turmeric Basmati rice (cubes of homemade cheese in pureed, nicely spiced spinach; a luxuriously creamy dal; beautifully yellow seasoned rice)
  • Mutter paneer + dal palak + cumin Basmati rice (cubes of homemade cheese in a gravy with green peas; a soft creamy moong dal preparation mixed with spinach; a relatively plain rice seasoned with cumin)

Finally, here's another reason to seek out Healthy Tiffin frozen meals: they really do make an effort to make these meals "healthy." They swap out or reduce the cream and butter for olive oil; they offer lots of fiber and protein; they have reduced the sodium from the "traditional" recipes. (I think they could do further with the last item, as each meal supplies about 25 percent of one's sodium for the day; I would rather they use less sodium in their preparations, so I can enjoy my salty Indian mango pickles without knowing I'm going overboard.)

Here's another thing: one of my friends can't get out much because of a disability, but she loves vegetarian food . . . but she's also missing a lot of teeth. These Healthy Tiffins are just the thing for her! Every time we get them, we buy extra for her!

Keep your eyes out for Healthy Tiffins! I'm sure you'll love them.