Our neighborhood supermarket has had a ready-to-eat counter for a long time, but recently has put in a new gimmick: the $6 meal. For six bucks you choose one entree and two sides from the many items in the cold case. We've done this a few times and have come to one conclusion: one $6 meal is plenty for both of us.
Here's one plate worth of dinner, consisting of half a $6 meal plus a handful of baby carrots and a slice of bread found in our otherwise depleted larder. If you follow the rule of thumb that a healthy serving of meat should be the size of a pack of cards, we each got an adequate share of this hunk of pork.
I like this concept, first because it's a really good deal. In fact, the last time I bought two meals I weighed everything they gave me, compared it to the per-pound price at the same counter if you were to buy a la carte, and determined that for our $12 we got $16.62 worth of food. And if a $6 meal is a good deal, a $3 meal is an even better one.
Second, because the size of the carryout tray encourages big portions of sides. Yes, you can find some unhealthy things like stuffed baked potato if you're determined to raise your cholesterol level, but there are lots more salads and vegetables to choose from, so your plate can be filled with vegetables without half trying.
We'll do this again.