September 14, 2013 at 1:00 am

Let's Talk Food: Favorite markets for prepared foods

From pizza to sushi, no-fuss meals abound at markets such as Westborn or Holiday. What's your favorite market for prepared foods? (Maureen Tisdale / The Detroit News)

Last week I wrote about batchcooking to work homecooked meals into a busy life on Saturday ... then got so busy we picked up prepared foods from Westborn on Sunday. As much as I like to cook, and as important as I think it is to eat what I prepare myself to keep my diet stable and save money, there are days when that’s just the way it goes.

Sundays are a particular struggle in our household, due to conflicting priorities. I want to take advantage of one of two mornings a week I’m not on my own taking care of our baby (toddler! — 15 months old this week!) to cram in bills and catch up on e-mail in addition to the usual morning to-do list of unloading of the dishwasher, breakfast, etc.

My husband wants to get to church on time.

Last Sunday we added packaging cookies as thanks for church members who have service roles, with me wanting to wait to package them until after the light was right to take pictures of said cookies for an upcoming column.

So we were 10 minutes late by the time we finally were pulling in the same direction — at which point the toddler (!) emitted a series of sounds and smells that caused another five-minute delay.

Once we got to church tired from the morning wrestles — and already carrying a fatigue hangover from the day before, when we’d crammed in grocery shopping, baking, cooking, a hog roast with one set of friends, the UM-Notre Dame game with another and more — we had more extra stuff going on, with my husband making a “servant appreciation” presentation and me filling in for said servants in the nursery.

By the time we headed home, even my phone-it-in plan for canned chili, corn, salad and fruit sounded like too much. (Dishes!) The debate over where to stop was brief.

“Let’s go where you want,” my husband said.

“No, no, why should you be the one to sacrifice?” I said heroically.

“Because I sacrifice better than you,” he said patiently. “You do it, then get irritable.”

Well, that’s uncomfortable ... and true. Who am I kidding, I definitely wanted what I wanted, feeling done in by a happy, busy life — heavy on the busy.

Most of us have those days, methinks — and favorite places to pick up easy meals. Another working mom (of twins!) and I were chatting on Twitter about the great offerings at Holiday; the week Whole Foods opened downtown with its popular hot bar, three hard-working co-workers and I hopped into a car for a spur-of-the-moment trip there that felt like playing hooky in the best way.

And on the crammed days, prepared foods (or as I like to think of them, batch cooking where someone else is tired afterward) make it easier to sink onto a couch for a good meal and some rest — at last.

Do you have favorite places to pick up prepared foods? I’d love to hear about what they are and what you like about them in the comments below. You need a Facebook account to add comments, but they’re free and easy to sign up for, which is how I managed to have one for years and ignore it except for this sort of thing. I’ll be keeping an eye out the next few days to respond to any great comments or questions you post. You can also follow me on Twitter @reentiz. Join the discussion!