Open most people's freezers and you're likely to see a pint of ice cream and TV dinners. While these foods may be freezer staples, they're not helping you on your quest to lose weight. But, when used right, the freezer is the perfect weight-loss tool for you.
It happens to the best of us, those weeknights when everyone's running in different directions, and cooking dinner is simply not an option. While frozen and packaged foods may have a bad rap, our friends at Dinner: A Love Story are providing us with eight nutritious and totally tasty options for a quick and easy meal that the whole family can enjoy together.
- PJ's Organic Chicken Burritos These burritos are a recent discovery. They’re not cheap — I think each goes for about $7 — but you get what you pay for. Good quality ingredients, fresh flavor, and a variety to choose from. I find them at Whole Foods, but [their] website says you can find them in the freezer section at national supermarkets and natural food stores.
- Black Bean Soup A quick heat on the stove top and a dollop of sour cream, and it barely feels like I’m doing anything extra. Try Latin Style from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value brand, or Amy’s Black Bean Vegetable.
- Trader Joe's Thai Shrimp Gyoza Dumplings We steam these or sauté them in a little oil and serve with broccoli. I once made a recipe from the Cooking With Trader Joe’s Cookbook, which called for tossing the dumplings into chicken broth with some frozen vegetables and a dash of soy sauce. It took about 10 minutes. I’m not sure why I haven’t reprised that one.
- 365 Everyday Value Organic Vegetarian Chili Organic and affordable. I often open a can of this chili for lunch and top it with chopped avocado and a little sour cream.
- Naked Nuggets These are the unbreaded (so gluten-free) real white meat chicken pieces from the guys behind Blue Ribbon Sushi in New York. I think the genius is that you heat them in a little olive oil on the stove top instead of in the oven. The only problem is that they can be a little hard to find — though their site lists availability at ShopRite and Food Lion, among others. My 8-year-old literally gasps when she spies them in the freezer section.
- Hofmann's Hot Dogs OK, I’ve never actually tried these hot dogs from the family-owned Hofmann, but Yolanda’s franks and beans dinner over on Momfilter sounds so good that I’m determined to remedy this culinary void immediately and stock up. (Slow-cooker owners are encouraged to follow the entire recipe.)
- Amy's Spinach Pizza Snacks There was a stretch when these organic pizza snacks graced the table way more often than they probably should have. For reasons I can’t remember, we called them “Fun Pies” and have had luck with other flavors, too — like Nacho and Cheese Pizza.
- Saffron Road Chicken Tikka Masala There is a whole line of these Indian freezer dinners, and so far, I haven’t tasted one I don’t like. Most take about three minutes in the microwave and come with rice. Add some grape tomatoes or a handful of baby carrots and pat yourself on the back.
Today IHOP announced the launch of a new line of premium frozen breakfast foods, IHOP at Home. The products, which are available exclusively at Walmart, consist of French Toast Stuffed Pastries, Omelet Crispers, and Griddle 'n Sausage wraps.
There are no details about the cooking method of these breakfast items, which I find a little unappealing. Do they go in the toaster? Microwave? Toaster oven? Although I haven't tasted them, I can't imagine that they are all that good.
Still, when I was younger, pizza pockets piping hot from the microwave were an after-school treat, so maybe in a pinch, these could hit the spot for a fast breakfast. Are you interested in trying IHOP at Home?
More and more restaurants have followed in the footsteps of Jamba Juice and Starbucks by counting on customers at the grocery store. The latest? Joe's Crab Shack.Yesterday, the casual seafood chain unveiled a new line of eat-at-home dinners that steam in the microwave.
The meals, which range from $7 to $9 and are designed for two, include dishes like Cajun cod and green beans, honey Dijon salmon with broccoli, and mahi mahi with tropical salsa and coconut rice.
Right now, the dinners are available in select Walmart stores, with plans to expand further in 2011 as well as roll out a line of frozen Joe's Crab Shack appetizers come Spring. While other famous restaurant names like California Pizza Kitchen and P.F. Chang's have seen success, I'm still skeptical of frozen, microwaveable seafood. Does it have potential?
Source: Flickr User Javier Vidal
Although the items in my freezer are kept to a minimum (meaning it's generally pretty clean), I do have a weakness for one frozen food in particular: Stouffer's French Bread Pepperoni Pizza. I'm absolutely crazy for the stuff! It's definitely a guilty pleasure, but when I'm home alone and in the mood for a no-cook dinner, I pop one of these babies in the oven. Since March is National Frozen Foods month, it's time for you to fess up. From Lean Cuisine to Bagel Bites, I want to know, what frozen foods do you eat?
Last month, I asked what you could tell me about canned foods and since today happens to be National Frozen Foods Day, I thought I'd find out what you know about frozen foods. Although much of the food industry's focus lately has been on farm-fresh produce, it's important to to give flash-frozen products some credit — after all, they help millions of Americans get food on the dinner table each day.
Will you freeze in your tracks when I quiz you on your knowledge of frozen products? There's only one way to find out.Take the Quiz
Well, Fabio wasn't lying when he told us, "unfortunately, you're going to see my face a lot." When we last spoke to the charismatic Top Chef contestant, he mentioned that he had an offer for a TV show and a line of food coming out. Now the star himself has confirmed to at least one source that he will be starring in his own TV show. Although he stayed mum on the concept, Fabio promised that more details would be public by April.
Additionally, Dr. Oetker, one of Europe's top frozen pizza brands, is launching its Ristorante line in America, and has called on the reality TV personality to be the spokesperson for the thin-crust pizza. "We feel Fabio is the perfect voice for the brand," Dr. Oetker USA said in a statement. "He has an incredible personality and a real passion for cooking."
The Florence-born chef, who will tour with the pizza line this Summer, also recalls the frozen pizza from his childhood. "Growing up in Italy, my mom often had Dr. Oetker's products in the home," Fabio said in the same statement. "I'm excited to help introduce Ristorante frozen pizzas to American households."
I'm curious to know if you think Fabio could be a lasting food figure. Do you plan to try the frozen pizzas he's hawking, and will you watch his new TV show?
First published in 1931, the Joy of Cooking has been considered the definitive cookbook for more than the last half-century, and is credited with helping to demystify cooking for home chefs. But the culinary classic is now poising itself to become the star of another market: the frozen-food segment.
I'm not sure how I feel about this. Perhaps the Joy of Cooking has, ahem, oversimplified itself. Should it change its name to the "Joy of Reheating"?
Yesterday Lean Cuisine's parent company, Nestlé Prepared Foods, recalled approximately 879,565 pounds of frozen chicken meals.
According to the US Department of Agriculture and Food Safety, the meals may contain foreign materials like small pieces of plastic.
To find out what exactly is being recalled, read more
The only things in my freezer are ice, frozen berries, puff pastry, and vodka. There was a time when my freezer was full of tupperware, but I never ended up eating anything I froze, so I stopped. Although I make soups and casseroles, I prefer to eat the leftovers rather than freeze them for a later date. How about you?