There are so many things you can do. While pre-prepared meals and pre-boxed foods aren’t the healthiest for you in general, sometimes they are just too convenient to avoid. Unless you are going on a specific diet, like keto, or have allergies to common ingredients in pre-made foods, prepared foods can make things much easier. For the most part, adding ingredients will make it healthier too. Below are some examples that you can use or to get inspiration for further experimentation.

I know these aren’t the best, nor healthiest examples, especially to those on keto but here are some good ones:

Boxed brownie mix: You can add more chocolate chips, or peanut butter (chip or no chip form), vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, cherry chunks, other fruits, nuts if you must. These can be to add taste, texture, nutrients, any number of things really. For instance, there’s things like chipotle dark chocolate, or orange chocolate. While you might not want a huge batch like brownies make for the spicy bit, you can share those or just enjoy them slowly keeping the remainder in the fridge.

Frozen pizza: While frozen pizza is probably not even close to okay for your body, I still enjoy it quite a bit. You can spruce up regular frozen pizza with more cheese and topping the cooked slices with sauces like sweet chili or pineapple habanero. Or you could take the cheapest pizza (which I’ve seen someone buy for a quarter) and spend a bunch on toppings, using the whole pizza as if it were a crust. Add sauces, meats, veggies, cheeses, and bake it like normal. While it is still not good for you, with using so many fresher ingredients, it becomes much better.

Smoothies/milkshakes: While this isn’t exactly a pre-prepared food, it embodies the spirit of additions. The whole point is putting in a bunch of ingredients that may or may not belong together, and making something tasty out of it. That is, unless you are needing it for the consistency due to injury or otherwise. There are so many ways to take it, fruits, veggies, frozen, fresh, different amounts. Pretty much any fruit works, then depending on if you are going for taste or only nutrients, there’s all sorts of things like carrot juice and spinach. You can add protein powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, peanut butter, heavy whipping cream, ice cream. The only difference between smoothies and milkshakes being, adding a bunch of milk or ice cream makes it a milkshake.

Boxed noodles: You can definitely have some variations with these. You can substitute the noodles, to make it better for you or if you like the sauce packet but not the shells or the spirals, you can go to bowties or straight long noodles. You can even find some way to swap it to zucchini, or rice noodles, or keto noodles, or spaghetti squash. Then there’s the sauce; My favorite noodles are the four cheese spirals from Pasta Roni in which the box calls for some butter, milk, water, and the cheese powder. Instead of these, you could use varying swaps for the milk like almond, coconut, or heavy whipping cream, or even go as far as to use shredded cheese instead of the water and powder. Finally, you could cook the noodles however you like with changes, and then put it with other things (like breading) to make a casserole.

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