“Don’t forget – my friend’s mom is picking me up from school and taking us to that play tonight,” my daughter said this morning as she slammed my car door shut.

had forgotten. And now that she mentioned it, I realized that with my husband out of town this week, I am going to be alone until late tonight. What should I do about dinner?

Healthy Choice Baked EntreesAnd then I remembered that I have a stash of Healthy Choice meals in my freezer. I’m kind of laughing about this: When I was young and single, I lived on this stuff for dinner most nights. (Maybe that’s why I didn’t have to worry as much about my weight back then.)

These meals have come a long way since the 1980’s: they’re tastier, feature more natural ingredients and make use of new materials and processes. For instance, Healthy Choice’s line of Baked Taste entrees are packaged in a tray that’s designed to cook more evenly in the microwave, meaning fewer burnt bits on the edges.

My favorite food is pasta, so I guess it’s no wonder that weight is an issue for me now that I’m at an age where my body has trouble metabolizing the carbs. I mean, there is nothing easier to cook — but I have a major problem with portion control, especially if I’m the only one eating it. That’s why heating up one of these Healthy Choice Baked meals works for me on a night like this.

I really like the Healthy Choice Italian Sausage Bake and the Ravioli Marinara Bake. I especially like the fact that the pasta in the former Baked Taste entree is the more nutritious and better-to-metabolize whole grain type, and the Ravioli Baked Taste entree is a vegetarian choice. Both weigh in at fewer than 300 calories.

Healthy Choice Chicken & Rice Cheddar BakeTonight, I am thinking I’d like to switch it up from the pasta. Maybe I’ll try the Healthy Choice Chicken and Rice Cheddar Bake, featuring a blend of brown and wild rice (which isn’t rice at all, but more of a grass — and so a cup will have way fewer carbs to digest). Or perhaps the Slow Roasted Turkey Bake, made with roasted potatoes, butternut squash and green beans (in a gravy, topped with crispy onions). That one sounds like a little Thanksgiving preview; perfect for this time of year.

Which ever meal I choose, I know it will be fast, easy — and nice to my waistline.  Maybe I’ll engage in some of my other “single girl behavior,” like dancing  — in front of the TV. Because I may be temporarily single, but I need a lot more motivation to leave the house on a cold night.