Categories: Blake’s

14 May 2015, Comments (0)

Blake’s Shepherd’s Pie

Author: Healthnuttxo

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Mmmm. Shepherd’s Pie. One of my favorites. I saw this at Target, and used a coupon  mailed to me at the courtesy of Blake’s…thanks guys! 🙂

There were two cooking methods…microwave oven or conventional oven. I chose microwave (because I’m lazy). I decided tonight would be a good time for a microwave dinner because
1. It was hot, and I didn’t feel like cooking
2. My normal raging appetite was on the low side today, so a smaller portion meal would suffice

Onward we go! After 4 minutes in the microwave, I let it sit for a bit (because I’ve scorched my tongue WAY too many times doing frozen food to microwave reviews…and perhaps I have finally learned better) and then dug in. Here’s what the inside looked like:

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Heavenly.

Let’s start from the Top to the bottom, shall we?

The mashed potatoes laid on the top. They reminded me of a whipped potato, fluffy and airy, and had a bit of a “country” feel to it. They had a slight taste of garlic but were otherwise on the bland side. It was fine though, since this meal isn’t really intended to eat piece by piece…I just like to dissect my meals.

The corn underneath was sweet, fresh and crisp. There was certainly plenty of it as well, which was good because I always feel I need something moderately “crunchy” in a meal, and the corn is obviously a classic for Shepherd’s Pie. I applaud.

The beef underneath was great as well. It was chopped up very fine, almost minced, and I almost wish it had bigger chunks. That is totally personal preference though, since my mother’s cooking always had bigger chunks of beef for “chop meat”, so I am kind of used to that. However, the beef was fresh and tasty, and had this “clean” feel to it. I can’t describe it other than it tasted fresh. I wonder if it was grass fed beef, since the beef flavor was prominent. It was juicy, not oily, and there were visible onions I saw on the bottom layer as well that helped with flavor.

All together? Pretty dang good. It was small, but hearty for it’s size, and there were good ratios of each of the 3 components. I added a pat of butter on the mashed potatoes and it tied everything together. My only complaint really is that the mashed potatoes I think need a little work, but overall, a good  light meal.

The sodium content is great, only 520 mg for a box (which isn’t that bad for frozen foods), and 18 grams of protein is enticing as well. There are 5 grams of saturated fat, and since the beef tasted lean, I checked ingredients and saw cream, so I assume that is what the saturated fat is from. Regardless, 4 out of 5 stars.

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I received this product for free. This is an unbiased review.
22 Apr 2015, Comments (11)

Blake’s Hearty Beef Stew

Author: Healthnuttxo

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Saw this at Target today (the best store in the world, duh) and decided to give it a whirl. I often stay away from frozen dinners for a few reasons…
1. Full of sodium (hellooooo bloating)
2. Full of preservatives (how about some BHT with your carrots?)
3. Teeny portions for a lot of money

And while this one looked small, the sodium levels were low, and it was a natural dish so no preservatives or colors added. I’ve also had Blake’s chicken pot pie before and it was scrumptious. So I decided to give it a whirl.

Suggested cooking method is the oven. Did I use the oven? Of course I did….the microwave oven (see what I did there?) 😉

Here’s what it looked like:
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Smaller than I thought. Frozen dinner? How about a frozen snack….

There was literally 3 pieces of beef in here. THREE. TEENY. PIECES. I am a big girl (okay, I’m not a big girl, but my stomach likes big portions), and I can easily down a plate of meatballs, steak, hamburger, etc. And still be hungry. So I knew this wasn’t promising.

The first piece of beef was scrumptious. Soft, tender, flavorful. Bits of garlic and pepper, perfectly complimented with the gravy. Reminded me of the stew my mom used to make…mmm.

The other two pieces of beef were fatty. Half fat I should say. White, visible fat. Chewy and bleh. Some people like fatty meat. I am not one of them. Moving on…

The carrots and peas were on point. Carrots were perfect consistency, and peas were nice and crisp. It reminded me of the inside of a pot pie. Both flavorful and fresh. Very good.

The square potatoes were an epic fail. These were supposed to be red skin potatoes? They tasted like the super starchy brown ones you can make french fries with. They were essentially a block of mush. Starchy mush. Awful.

The gravy was thick, but gelatinous, which probably meant it had a high fat content. And seeing as my mere 3 pieces of beef could not possibly contribute all 12 grams of fat, I assume the rest of the fat was in the gravy. Which I will admit, was delicious and flavorful. It held the dish together nicely and went well with everything. Even those awful potatoes.

Overall? Meh. Hearty? Hardly. I wasn’t even hungry when I ate this and I think I am hungrier post meal. Would not buy again, but if bought for me I would eat it. 2 1/2 stars

 

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Introducing…… THE PERFECT POT PIE. At least it’s perfect in my eyes.

I’m a huge fan of pot pies. And to win me over, the crust has to be tasty- for to me the crust = the best part. And this pot pie surely does NOT disappoint.

I used the combination method, or the “Express Cooking” that was listed on the back of the box. A combo of microwave + oven, in around 20 minutes or so.  The crust was a golden brown on the outside, crisp edges with a slightly doughy middle. Like a flat biscuit placed on top- the perfect pie crust. It was tender and incredible.

Moving on to the insides, there was good sized chunks of juicy, slightly salty chicken, peas that were soft yet still firm (I hope that makes sense…), soft carrots and bites of potatoes. What I liked also about the potatoes is that some of the pieces still had the skin on, but it was very tender and even fluffy- the box stated that they were “organic red potatoes”. All of the inside of the pot pie was in a delicious gravy-like mixture- it was thick, creamy, and tasted like chicken stock.

To be honest, how it looks on the box is how it looked on my plate. I would have taken a picture, but I started eating it before I realized. (Oops!) It went perfect with a side of steamed broccoli. The only downside was that this pie had a good amount of both fat (17 grams) and saturated fat (8 grams) but wasn’t too bad with the sodium (470 mg). So what does this get? 5 stars! 8)

1 package (227 g) is 340 calories, 17 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 15 grams of protein.

Do you eat pot pies? What’s your favorite brand?

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