A new shelf-stable meal kit from ConAgra Foods allows consumers to microwave starch-and-sauce combo meals without removing the product from the package.

Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers are packaged in a plastic tub with rice, pasta or noodles plus a packet with sauce. The top of the lid is perforated with holes, which are exposed when the consumer peels a film cover off the lid. The consumer removes the sauce pouch, adds water to the tub, replaces the lid and microwaves the starch.

For products with rice, the holes vent steam while the rice absorbs the water. With pasta, the lid serves as a strainer when the consumer inverts the tub to drain the water. The consumer then microwaves the sauce pouch and mixes the sauce into the cooked starch. Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers come in five varieties: Ziti and Meat Sauce, Rotini and Zesty Marinara Sauce, Szechwan Beef with Noodles, Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice and Sesame Teriyaki Chicken with Rice.