Last week, I ate a frozen dinner. Now, I understand many people do this on a regular basis, but I don't-- pre-made meals tend not to sit well in my often-recalcitrant stomach. But last Thursday I was desperate. I had bought a bunch of delicious (and expensive) salad ingredients at Whole Foods and made myself and delightful spinach salad. I tossed it in a big bowl with a homemade vinaigrette and then tonged it out onto my plate. And there, remaining in the big bowl that the thoroughly-tossed salad had just vacated, was a huge clump of... something. Dirt? Dirt and hair? A bug that had lost most of its appendages? Who could be sure? I looked at the clump. I looked at the salad, once so tempting, now so... tainted. And with a heavy heart and a grumbling stomach, I tipped the salad into the trash.
And then I was stumped. I was hungry, and I had no more ingredients. I wasn't particularly in the mood to wait for delivery or even to go out for take-out. I had to eat. And then I remembered: buried deep in the recesses of my freezer was a Kashi frozen entree. I had bought it a while ago because I had received a coupon, making the little white box almost free. And then I'd tossed it in the freezer and forgotten about it. Every now and then, when I reached in there for some ice cream, I'd look at the meal and acknowledge that anything that so closely resembled lasagna was bound to give me indigestion. And so there it remained.
But last Thursday, I was in dire straits. Inevitable indigestion be damned-- I was going to eat my Kashi Tuscan Veggie Bake. So I followed its elaborate preparation instructions letter for letter (N.B., it took about 15 minutes to prepare, during which time I actually could have gone out to get takeout... good to know) and was soon facing this:
I've seen worse. It had appealing little herb flecks in the tomato sauce, and it actually smelled pretty good. So I dug in. And it was good. Between two thick noodles made of the famous Kashi grain mix lay a mixture of veggies and beans, all smothered in tomato sauce. The veggies were even identifiable-- a piece of squash here, a lentil there. It was quite good. I ate it all, save for one neglected bite of noodle. And then an hour later I had bad indigestion.