Tags: frozen food

Not going to lie….I didn’t expect this to be as good as it was. I’m almost strictly an organic frozen meal kind of girl, or one that’s made with the best ingredients possible. I normally go for Amy’s Kitchen Meals, like this one, or sometimes even Kashi, like this pizza here. Online Colleges is a resource for finding information about health and nutrition. There is always more to learn about what the best ingredients in foods are.

Regardless, browsing the frozen food section, I saw this and was intrigued. I took a peek at the ingredients, and approved. I didn’t see any ingredients I didn’t really approve of, so I thought it would be worth a try.

mmmm.

Once it was done cooking, I could certainly smell the sauce throughout the kitchen. It smelled really good, and seeing as I just did a weights workout, I was hungry. This meal I felt was perfect post workout- protein, carbs, and some healthy fats alongside some veggies. I also had a chocolate chip cookie….but that’s besides the point 😉

I have a complaint when it comes to frozen meals and the vegetables sides. For the most part, I feel like the vegetables on the side are either

1. Too chewy/hard

2. Too mushy

3.Too plain.

THESE vegetables, however, were different. They were almost sitting in what I’m assuming is olive oil, and had a bit of seasoning to them. There were peppers, carrots, and broccoli, all perfect consistency. Not mushy, not chewy. So delicious. In fact, I kind of wish I could buy just the side compartment on vegetables and eat them alone. Yes, I am talking about broccoli and carrots. The peppers I could have done without, but I’m not a pepper kind of person.

Moving on, the pasta was a little on the soft side, but pretty good. It rested in a sauce that was a tad salty, but had a good flavor and even soft chunks of tomatoes. On top was the chunks of chicken and some pieces of cheese. The cheese was sparse, but certainly delicious. The chicken, not going to lie, was the letdown of the meal. It was a bit chewy, and I had some fatty parts I wasn’t happy about. It was juicy and not dry, so that was good, but I really wasn’t digging it. There was a mild pepper flavor I noticed too.

Overall? I really liked this meal! I would definitely buy it again. 4 1/2 stars

What’s your favorite product by Stouffer’s? I haven’t had much that I remember in the last few years, so this is my new favorite!

Ever go grocery shopping, with the intent of buying one thing, and then letting your stomach decide what you actually buy?

Yea. That’s what happened here. That’s how this Kashi Margherita Stone-Fired Thin Crust Pizza ended up in my cart, then in the stove, and then eaten by yours truly. It sort of happened like this…

I figured I would walk by the natural food section of my grocery store, just to browse( for the record, browsing in that section is NOT wallet friendly for me. I spend a LOT of money on food!!) and then  I passed by this pizza.  I’ve seen this pizza over and over at the store, and just never bought it. And after eating it, I’m really mad at myself for not buying it sooner.

Doesn’t this look delicious? Because it was delicious x 10

While it was cooking, my kitchen transformed to normal kitchen to a pizzeria. Seriously. It smelled so good! After it came out, I thought I would be disappointed because it was a VERY thin crust, but rest assured, it was delicious. I cooked mine on a pan, so the edges were a bit crunchy, but the middle part of the crust was nice and soft.

The pizza as a whole wasn’t super greasy, so that made me happy. The crust was even pretty flavorful, with a bit of garlic and a bit of spice weaved in.  It even tasted “doughy” despite the fact that it was a thin crust. The tomatoes tasted unbelievably fresh, and were juicy, as if they were cut straight from the garden. There were garlic and onion flavors mixed in with the cheese, of which there was just the right amount of. Not drowning in cheese, and not so little that I had to wonder if the company remembered to put any cheese on at all, but just right.

Overall? This pizza rocked. It also has whole grains and omega-3’s according to the box. I had half of the pizza left over that I left on the pan, which was devoured by another person as soon as they came home. So much for leftovers… ; )   5 stars

You could say I have had PLENTY of frozen meals in the past. Between eating them intentionally for a review, eating them because I haven’t had time to fully cook a meal, or the more likely option, I’m too lazy to cook anything, I have had a good amount of meals in the past.

I do have a couple standards when picking out frozen meals. They can’t have any trans fats, they have to be made with organic or natural ingredients, and they can’t be crazy high in saturated fat or calories. And in order for me to buy and eat it again, it has to taste homemade. If it tastes super commercially prepared, or bland, or just mediocre, I will not buy it again. I usually stick to Amy’s Kitchen Meals (like here are the ones I reviewed!), as they never have disappointed me in the past.

Well, I went shopping the other day and to my disappointment, there were HARDLY any Amy’s meals at that store. So, I went looking for another option. I saw these meals by Marie Calleender’s, and although the ingredients weren’t as nice as I would like them, they weren’t horrible either.

So I cooked this meal up, and noticed it cooked separately from the sauce. Here are pics before adding the sauce

and after adding the sauce…

So yea, it looked absolutely delicious. Why? Because it was!

I also steamed up some veggies on the side, because I felt this meal was lacking in the veggie department minus the few mushrooms thrown in.

There was a good amount of sauce to mix the meal, which I liked, and the smell was delicious. The mushrooms were chewy, tender, and actually pretty good. I cant say I’m a *huge* fan of mushrooms, they are more of a take-it-or-leave-it vegetable for me, but these were pretty good!

The rice was fluffy, and soft and absorbed the sauce quite well to really make a creamy risotto!  I was a bit disappointed that it was white rice instead of brown. The sauce was buttery and cheesy tasting, and really, when do the flavors of butter or cheese really disappoint? They certainly did not disappoint me. I will happily accept buttery and cheesy flavors on my food. =)

Lastly, the chicken. The chicken was sort of weird to me- it was cut into cubes so I was expected a very processed tasting chicken. However, it tasted like it was pulled right off of a rotisserie chicken! It was chewy and soft and really quite good! It was a tad on the salty side, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

Overall, very good. There were flavors of onion, garlic and cheese, and I really enjoyed this meal. I do think it definitely needs some veggies on the side, but nothing I couldn’t easily fix.And although the ingredients had a few things I wasn’t happy about, it tasted like homemade to me! 4 1/2 stars

What’s your favorite product by Marie Callender? I also really like the biscuit mix!


27 May 2011, Comments (3)

Trader Joe’s Black Bean & Corn Enchilada

Author: Healthnuttxo

Tonight for dinner, I was in the mood for something tasty, and something different. I remembered I bought the Trader Joe’s Black Bean & Corn Enchilada dish a while ago, and searched and then dug it out of the back of my freezer (it’s a balancing act in there with all those boxes leaning on one another!!)

According to the package, these were “wheat free” and “dairy free”, as well as being made with “organic white corn tortillas”, which I liked.

I cooked em up in the microwave, and had some steamed broccoli on the side. In the dish itself, there was crispy edges on the side and plenty of sauce surrounding the two enchiladas. Here’s how it looked when transferred to my plate.

And, here’s how it looked when I cut the tortilla to see the inside filling. There was mostly corn, tofu and black beans, with a few peppers I believe as well.

As you can see, PLENTY of corn. There wasn’t a TON of filling, but I’d say a rather good amount. The corn was very fresh tasting, and the beans were soft. The tofu was my favorite part, even though it was so tiny! Literally itsy-bitsy squares of soft tofu. I think I also saw a few peppers or some other small green vegetable, but those were rather sporadic.

The filling was stuffed inside the corn tortillas, which were very soft, and easy to cut with my fork. I liked that, for even though growing up I remember my mother telling me it was improper table manners to cut with just your fork, it’s EASY! And if I can cut with just my fork, then why not? (;  (rest assured, If I was eating at a restaurant, I would practice proper table manners. No worries!!)

Lastly, the sauce. It was very flavorful, and left a hint of spice in my mouth even when I was done eating. I liked that there was a good amount of the sauce as well.

Overall, pretty tasty! I wish that there was more protein, as both enchiladas only provided 8 grams of protein. Even though I wasn’t all that hungry at the beginning of my meal, I was hungry shortly after eating. Next time I eat these, I’ll probably have more veggies and a side of protein as well. 4 stars

So, my question is….What’s your favorite Mexican entree? Any particular brand you like?


10 Apr 2011, Comments (2)

Michael Angelo’s Vegetable Lasagna

Author: Healthnuttxo

Lasanga definitely reminds me of one of two things- either eating out at a restaurant, or eating it for a holiday. Those are really the only times I eat lasagna, so it surely is something special.

Yesterday I was pretty hungry around dinnertime, and in the mood for something saucy and satisfying. I steamed up some broccoli and cooked the Michael Angelo’s Vegetable Lasagna in the microwave for a total of 6 minutes. Here’s how the top of it looked cooked

As you can see, it didn’t seem like there was a ton of cheese, but looks can be deceiving! Upon first bite, I got a lot of cheese, and found a good amount of it stayed on the side of the container (no worries- I scraped it off with my spoon!) And speaking of the cheese, it definitely tasted like mozzarella, and it was very stringy! Kind of like when I pulled my fork up a long string of cheese connecting to the dish was formed and I had to twirl my fork over and over again to break the strand.  There also was ricotta cheese, which I really enjoyed. It was chewy yet soft, and kind of reminded me of something that took place of traditional  “meat” that may be there. When I was little, my family used to put ground beef in lasagna, so that’s what it reminded me of. So between the ricotta and the mozzarella, there was certainly no scrimping on the cheese!

Next up, onto the noodles and veggies. I saw pieces of broccoli, which were a little too firm for my likings, I would have preferred them more tender, pieces of carrots, cauliflower (which I loved!) and I think I got a piece of zucchini as well.  They were mostly in between the noodles, which were chewy and not super soft, and still had a bite to them. By themselves, I wasn’t crazy about the noodles. I think I even tasted a flaxseed flavor, which I didn’t care for.

Lastly, which I think hindered this lasagna a little bit, was the sauce. It was very liquidy. I wish there was a more heartier sauce, as I felt it was almost like a tomato juice in consistency. It was delicious, slightly salty, with mild garlic flavor, but just too thin.

Overall, pretty good. It reminded me of something I would get going out to eat. I liked that there wasn’t a ton of sodium in this dish, and that it had a good amount of both fiber and protein.3 1/2 stars

What’s the BEST lasagna you ever ate? I think my favorite one is here

1 cup is 270 calories, 11 grams of fat (5 saturated), 440 mg of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein.

I was provided a coupon to try this lasagna for free from Michael Angelo’s.

******

Hey guys! One of my readers Missy, asked kindly to help me promote her sister who is entering the “Happy Ever After” Contest for an awesome wedding at Disney! If you’d like to vote for them, please click here. Good luck!

2 Apr 2011, Comments (0)

Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese

Author: Healthnuttxo

Dinner time rolled around the other night, and I only had one thing on my mind. Mac. &. Cheese. What better a time to try out something new for me that I bought at Trader Joe’s? The Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese. Not only does it look awesome on the box, it was completely awesome in general. For instance, here’s how this delicious-ness came out of the microwave….

Hah. I find that extra blob of cheese quite amusing.

It even smelled good. So cheesy!

Although I was slightly disappointed at the fact there wasn’t a larger portion of mac & cheese, there was a decent amount. I rounded off the meal with some veggies (any guesses? Yea, it was broccoli…), and ate.

At first bite, I was impressed. It certainly was cheesy, but had that clumpy, “baked macaroni & cheese” flavor and consistency, with crispy edges on the outside of the carton. The noodles were chewy and slightly firm, but still quite tender. It also tasted surprisingly salty. There was 540 mg of sodium in this entree, which I don’t think is that high, but it in fact, did taste pretty salty!

Overall, 4 1/2 stars. Why not 5 stars? Well, it was relatively low in fiber, only 1 star, and wasn’t made with whole grain noodles, which I prefer over regular wheat. But still very tasty, and I would certainly get it again!

1 container is 270 calories, 6 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 4 grams of sugar and 15 grams of protein.

What’s your favorite brand of macaroni & cheese? This may certainly be one of my new favorites!

So, I went to Trader Joe’s today (ME? Go to Trader Joe’s?! When does THAT happen… 😉 ) and bought these Country Potatoes with Haricots Verts & Wild Mushrooms. I’ve eaten it before, and pretty much loved it, so I feel it deserves some recognition here on HealthNuttxo!

I put the bag’s contents in a frying pan and cooked it – here’s how it looked in the pan.

Only one thing to say. MMM.

I remember the last time I bought these I cooked them up, people in my house were asking what smelled so good and if they could have some. It indeed, smells delicious!

After cooking up, I transferred it to my plate. There was potatoes, mushrooms, pieces of onions, and “Haricots Verts” as the package states. It was a bit greasy, but so tasty that I didn’t mind. The potatoes were thickly cut, some big pieces some small, and very soft and fluffy on the inside. The green beans were tender, flavorful, and delicious. Lastly the mushrooms, which I was ok about, some were big flat pieces and other pieces were more textured. Some of the pieces were very good, and others were kind of squishy in consistency. I could have eaten a different vegetable in place of the mushrooms, but they weren’t bad.

Overall, it was a bit salty (300 mg per serving), and had a garlicy and oniony flavor. So good! This one gets 4 1/2 stars, and will be a regular appearance in my grocery cart to buy at Trader Joe’s!

110 grams is 130 calories, 6 grams of fat (2 saturated), 18 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein.

What’s something you buy again and again at Trader Joe’s (if you have been there) ?

16 Feb 2011, Comments (5)

Glutino Gluten Free Duo Cheese Pizza

Author: Healthnuttxo

Reviewing today, Glutino Gluten Free Duo Cheese Pizza! What sparked me to buy this? I actually have no idea! It looked interesting, and I’m pretty sure I never had a gluten free pizza before. Sometimes I really enjoy gluten free products, and other times, the consistency throws me off. Anyway, I was willing to give it a try!

I looked at it frozen- I was slightly disappointed on how thin the crust was! (but I love this picture!!)

I happen to like thick crusted, chewy/doughy pizza as opposed to thin crust. However, who knows, it could still be super yummy!

So I cooked it at 425 degrees F for 12-15 minutes as the box told me to, except at 9 minutes I noticed it was getting very crispy. I transferred it to a pan for the remained of and here’s how it looked.

ohhhh yea. chhhhheeesy.

I steamed up some veggies on the side, and cut the pizza in fours to eat. One thing I liked was that I noticed the pizza wasn’t super greasy, which is a turn off for me.

The bottom of the pizza was crispy, and the top part was rather doughy and soft. I didn’t know if this was becasue I transferred it to a pan or not, but either way it was delicious.

The cheese was chewy, and not super stringy, it stuck together on the pizza quite well. I predominately tasted mozzarella cheese, although the ingredients say that there is monterey jack cheese as well. Under the cheese was a smooth, flavorful sauce, that had just the right amount of zest to it.

All together, really tasty! I do think it needed just a touch of salt, but nothing too dramatic. If I hadn’t known it was gluten free, I wouldn’t have known. Flavorful, and quite delicious, I would buy it again. I don’t remember how much I exactly spent, but I remember it was a little expensive- somewhere around 5 dollars. But, I would still get it again! 4 stars

1 pizza is 310 calories, 12 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 4 grams of sugar and 12 grams of protein.

What’s your ideal pizza? I happen to be a fan of a lot of sauce, light on the mozzarella, some type of vegetable, and lots of parmesan cheese!!  : )

6 Feb 2011, Comments (3)

Amy’s Kitchen Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Author: Healthnuttxo

This is the BEST frozen lasagna I had ever had- and the most unique. I cooked this in the microwave, and let it sit for 2-3 minutes as directed (certainly difficult to do since I was hungry and it smelled GOOD!!). Here’s how it looked out of the microwave

Cheeeeesy goodness.

To start off, unlike any lasagna I ever had, it had breadcrumbs on the top, kind of like baked macaroni & cheese. It also had a creamy, cheesy sauce on top, followed by lasanga noodles, veggies, and then marinara sauce on the bottom.

First bite, I fell in love. The gooey and cheesy sauce on top had a cheddar flavor, which went so good with the breadcrumbs on top and the noodles. I do wish the breadcrumbs were a bit crunchy, so perhaps I’ll put this on broil in the oven for a few minutes before I eat it in the future.

The noodles were chewy and soft, and I saw broccoli, zucchini and the occasional small mushrooms for the vegetables. The veggies were soft, but still had a bite to them, so they weren’t mushy. There was also a bit of a black pepper flavor.

The sauce on the bottom tasted fresh, and reminded me of a more traditional lasagna of tomato sauce and cheese with noodles.  I noticed throughout the lasanga everything wasn’t dry at all, even a tad bit liquidy.

Overall, really, really good. Unique, and delicious, and quite filling too! I had it with some steamed broccoli (you know me!) and thought it was a perfect dinner. This one gets  4 1/2 stars : )

1 lasagna is 350 calories, 11 grams of fat, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar and 16 grams of protein.

What’s your favorite thing to use bread crumbs with?

31 Jan 2011, Comments (4)

Amy’s Kitchen Veggie Loaf Whole Meal

Author: Healthnuttxo

Alrighty. Here goes the Amy’s Kitchen Veggie Loaf Whole Meal review. Ok, so the name isn’t exactly super exciting, but then again I don’t really find the word “loaf” all that exciting either. Anyway, I’m assuming Amy’s Kitchen is taking a veggie stand on meat loaf.

Sooooo in this meal is a veggie loaf with some sort of gravy, peas and corn, and mashed potatoes. After I cooked it, here’s what it looked like.

much prettier on the box, indeed.

I started with the peas and the corn. I took a spoonful and almost instantly noticed a texture problem. These were, well, mushy. I was expected them to be crisp, even slightly firm. The taste was really good, but they had a uniform texture- I couldn’t distinguish a kernel of corn from a pea as I chewed it. However, everything was pretty flavorful and the peas were pretty sweet.

Next up, the mashed potatoes. I was a bit let down at the portion of the potatoes, as it wasn’t very large. I took a scoop and they were fluffy, slightly pasty, and slightly salty. The taste reminded me of those thick wedged potato fries. Pretty good.

Lastly, the loaf. On top was a sweet tomato-flavored sauce/gravy. It wasn’t super sweet, but it wasn’t really salty either. The loaf itself was dense, chewy and had a lot of vegetables in it. I easily detected a black pepper flavor, and some garlic as well. It was a tad bit dry, but not too bad. It’s kind of hard to explain- it was almost like oatmeal and veggies in a loaf shape. Here’s a picture of what a piece looked like.

Overall, I actually really enjoyed this meal. It was a light meal, not super filling but substantial, and really quite tasty. It’s a little low on protein, only 9 grams, so I think having a glass of milk or something along the side would be a good option. I also think it’s safe to say I filled my vegetable quota for the day  ; )   4 stars.

1 meal is 290 calories, 8 grams of fat, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar and 9 grams of protein.

What’s your preference- Vegetable Loaf or Meat Loaf?

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