Heat-and-serve soup is my go-to grab-and-go lunch. This find cuts the sodium way down and keeps up the zesty flavor.
The product: Dr. McDougall’s Lower Sodium Black Bean, Vegetable, and Chunky Tomato ($3.89 for a 17.9-ounce package; available at rightfoods.com and natural-foods stores nationwide)
The taste factor: Spicy (but not too hot!) cumin and paprika give the black-bean soup a kick, while the vegetable and chunky tomato will please a milder-seeking palate. Chopped tomatoes, peppers, onions, and corn also pack these chowders with veggies, keeping them hearty.
The health factor: These low-cal, low-fat blends are made with organic ingredients. Each serving holds the sodium under 300 milligrams, less than half the count of similar heat-and-serve soups (just watch out for high-salt sides or snacks if you decide to make it a meal and finish the full two-serving carton—the USDA recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams a day, and only 1,500 if you’re over 50).
Editor’s Pick: Top the black-bean soup with a few chopped scallions and a scoop of cottage cheese for a tasty, protein-packed lunch that’s ready in minutes.
Why we love it: This convenient and tasty dish serves up vegetables and organic ingredients, and keeps the fat, calories, and sodium down. Warm-up solution found!