Recently, I overheard a busy-looking mom of two kiddos under 5 say, “ I want to feed my kids healthier food but really, who has time for anything besides boxed mac and cheese?” I get it… and would imagine that many people feel this way. Whether a busy mom, student, professional, stay at home mom,  or busy ‘anyone’… it’s hard to imagine that cooking a healthy meal can take less time and effort than making a box of mac and cheese.

However… we are here to tell you that you CAN make healthy delicious food, easily!

To demonstrate this point, we decided to match up that ‘dinner in a hurry’ Boxed Mac and Cheese against a healthy Ready Grill Teriyaki Salmon with Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash… accompanied by Brown Rice and Quinoa Spanish Rice. We put these two meals head-to-head to see which was truly faster and healthier at the end of the day.

Our Contenders:

Boxed Mac and Cheese weighed in at 1,250 calories per average serving of ½ a box, and ended up being heavy on the calories and low on the nutrition. (Let’s not even bring up those unpronounceable mystery ingredients)


Ready Grill Teriyaki Salmon with Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash accompanied by Brown Rice and Quinoa Spanish Rice weighed in at 455 calories per serving (one plate as shown below) and was high on nutritional content but low on calories.


Clearly on the nutritional and calorie count, the salmon dinner is the winner. However, here’s the crux of this whole experiment… we made our Salmon Dinner in exactly 16 minutes and 50 seconds from start to finish. On the other hand, our Boxed Mac and Cheese took 22 minutes to boil the water, 9 minutes to cook, and about 5 1/2 minutes to heat the milk, butter, stir in the cheese sauce and mix for a total of 36 minutes and 44 seconds from start to finish.

And in this experimenter’s opinion, the boxed mac and cheese actually took more effort than cooking the salmon!

Watch the Video!

With the Ready Grill meal, I simply prepped the zucchini, squash and lemon, put the food in the basket, seasoned it and set the timer for 12 minutes… then sat on the couch (with wine in hand) until it was done. Whereas, with the mac and cheese, I had to measure the water, wait for it to boil, add the pasta, stir the pasta while it was cooking, drain the pasta, heat the milk and butter, add the packaged cheese powder, stir, add the pasta back and mix… and I STILL had a messy pan, strainer and spoon to clean up.


So, as you can see from our very ‘scientific’ experiment, cooking healthy nutritious food does not have to take a ton of time and effort.

Try these other quick and healthy Ready Grill meals as well that all take less time than making a box of mac and cheese… and all come in at under 500 calories!

Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Salad with Tahiti Dressing

Portabella Mushroom Burgers with Pesto Mayo

Dijon & Maple Glazed Pork Chops with Grilled Apples

Chili Stuffed Grilled Bell Peppers

Grilled London Broil

To purchase a Ronco Ready Grill, or for more information, visit

PLUS, you can SAVE 15 PERCENT OFF using the coupon code 15PERCENT at checkout until July 31st, 2016! Start making quicker, healthier meals today.