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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Editor's Choice: The Healthy Pantry Skillet Lasagna

I have a confession to make.  I'm not very good at cooking. Well, I am really good at making French Toast, and can put together a mean macaroni and cheese by following the directions on the back of the Kraft box.  But that is IT. I tend to stay in my comfort zone of things that can be easily boiled or put on top of my rotating frozen pizza cooker.

We recently had an article in last month's Fancy Food Magazine about one pot meal kits, and I was inspired by the idea of keeping things simple without sacrificing taste or quality. It seemed like a perfect way for me to get into cooking without the guesswork of finding the right spices and proportions. Eventually I hope to evolve some kind of competency at the finer details, but for now, one thing at a time. Throw stuff in pot + apply heat = eat.  I can handle that.

Enter the CookSimple line from The Healthy Pantry.  Being a huge fan of lasagna (and a huge fan of how delicious it looked in the photo), I grabbed the box and headed to the store to get the meager list of ingredients. All I needed was some turkey, cheese and diced tomatoes. That's it!  Three ingredients.  And I didn't have to do anything but pour them in a skillet. I was excited. As it cooked, I literally stood over it and said the same thing over and over again in my head: yup, this looks like it's gonna be good. In less than 30 minutes, I sat down to my feast and was not disappointed.

To make things even sweeter, CookSimple products use only all-natural ingredients. This means gluten-free items with no preservatives or artificial additives. CookSimple is certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) and is tested and approved by an independent lab to ensure compliance with all standard regulations.  Many of the ingredients are organic, and most of the products in CookSimple's line have no added sugars. The lean proteins are a great boost for an active guy like me, and the high fiber content left me feeling full and satisfied.

There are many other tasty sounding dishes in the CookSimple library, including Cranberry Wild Rice, Punjabi Curry, Tibetan Dal, White Bean Chili, Tamale Pie, and the one I'm heading for next, New Orleans Jambalaya. These authentic, globally-inspired dishes can serve an entire family, or a living garbage disposal such as myself for a few days (the leftovers are just as good heated up). You can find these all over the place, so pick one up and give it a try!

-Marc Kozak (