Our generation is busy, with a capitol B. As a group, millennials are busier than ever before. Whether you're cramming for your next test, editing a spreadsheet from work late into the night, or meeting for a quick happy hour with your besties, chances are you're feeling the time crunch. If your life is already pretty stressful and showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, you're not alone. But that's no excuse not to take care of yourself. In fact, it's an even more important reason to do so. Taking the time to do the things that are good for you—like eating right, actually venturing outside during your lunch break, or hanging out with people you care about will only benefit you in the long run.
Unfortunately, when we're pressed for time, one of the first things we forget about is eating right. At our busiest — during exam time or when a project deadline is looming over us at work—we often grab whatever's easiest, even if it's not the most nutritious — or, let's be honest, tasty. Because when you get home late with another scrolling to-do list looming ahead of you tomorrow, who has time to make a full meal, anyway? That's why we've partnered up with Evol, a frozen food company committed to making real food that tastes delicious. We've put together this step-by-step guide, designed to help you feed yourself amazing food — that doesn't cut into your precious free time.
1. Establish A Spot
The first step to having a great meal is promising yourself not to eat it hunched over your coffee table while you spiral into your latest TV show binge. Now is the time to reclaim your kitchen table or counter top as reusable eating space. First, clear off any unread mail, magazines, or miscellaneous items that have been hanging out for the last couple of weeks. Then, put out a real table setting. That means a plate that isn't paper, utensils that aren't plastic, and a glass that's made out of actual glass. Don't worry though — you can definitely still use a paper towel. Cloth napkins are a little overkill, anyway.
2. Pick Your Meal
So, you may not be ready to prepare a three-course meal from scratch. But you still deserve to eat good food. And good food starts with real ingredients. The key here is to find your favorite foods in an easy to make form, and double check the ingredient list to make sure they don't contain any creepy chemicals and additives. For pasta fans, I suggest Evol's butternut squash and sage ravioli. Or if Japanese food is your weakness, try the teriyaki chicken. Bon appétit!
3. Get Cooking
Believe it or not, there's more than one way to prepare your frozen meal. Besides the always-trusty microwave, you can heat your meals in the oven, on your stove top, or if you have one, using a panini press or barbecue grill, depending on the meal you're making. Breakfast sandwiches get nice and crispy on a panini press, or pan fry your burrito on the stove top to fill your entire kitchen with that delicious aroma of chimichangas!
4. Get Personal
Love cilantro? Chop some up to sprinkle over your vegetable enchiladas. Can't enjoy lasagna and meat sauce without a side of garlic bread? Throw a loaf in the oven! Since your main course was so simple to make, you've got extra time to experiment with additions and side dishes. My favorite? Sprinkling some bread crumbs on top of truffle parm mac and cheese. Yum!
5. Become A Sommelier
Just kidding — becoming a certified wine expert seems like a lot of work, and you're busy enough as it is. But pairing a good wine with your meal can take it to the next level. If you're having fire grilled steak, pair it with a nice red. Trying the grilled chicken poblano? Pick up your favorite bottle of white on your way home. Or break all the wine rules, strike that and reverse it. As long as you're drinking wine.
6. Enjoy Your Not-So-Hard Work
After a long day at work, sitting down and simply savoring your meal is a huge relief. Whether you're enjoying it with someone else or riding solo at your kitchen table, dinner is a great time to chill out and truly appreciate the meal you're eating. Especially when your dinner consists of recognizable ingredients that also taste delicious.
This post is sponsored by Evol.
Images: Caitlin Lemoine
Ed Note: This post has been updated to reflect that teriyaki is Japanese cuisine, not Chinese cuisine. We regret the error.