Archive for ‘Frozen Meals’

June 20, 2014

A Cosmo In Your Freezer (and other delicious combinations), Pop Lab Brings It!

by jem614

 

On Thursdays, at Whole Foods, there is a great little Farmer’s Market happening in Pembroke Pines.  We found homemade nut butters, soaps, vegan Jamaican food, pie in a jar (amazing), gluten free nut free sugar free desserts and much much more.

I also found this great “Pop Lab” ice pop bar.  Delicious, all natural and they do parties!  This pop was literally coconut milk and a chai latte- kind of spicy and creamy at the same time.  It was refreshing and the Chai latte was an interesting twist to your regular, boring ice pop flavors.  They do have milk and non-dairy options available and you can have them shipped.  They also have some pretty delicious combinations like banana milkshake and dulce de leche for those of you that just have to have some dairy.

But these guys don’t stop there, no!  They are the THE people to go to when you want to throw a party, if you know what I mean.  They have Sangria, Cosmos, Watermelon Mojito, even a Bloody Mary popsicle.   So, sit back, relax by the pool and let them bring the party to you in the form of a delicious, ice-cold popsicle.

For more information, go to www.poplabusa.com.

September 19, 2013

Lyfe Kitchen Vegan Whole Grain Pilaf with Sweet & Zesty Vegetable Peperonata

by ashley

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain PilafUpdate 11 Feb 2014: We have had many users point out that this has honey, which most vegans do not eat honey as it is an animal product. I have written a note to Lyfe Kitchen to inform them. Thank you very much to all of our readers who pointed this out! Sorry that it slipped past me!

I had so much energy after eating Lyfe Kitchen’s Whole Grain Pilaf, I had trouble calming down to write a post about it. What drew my eye to this in the freezer section was that it had kale. I’ve never seen a frozen meal with kale, which I love adding to as many of my dishes as possible, so I knew I had to try it. Pilaf of any kind rarely sounds interesting to me, but with the addition of kale, quinoa, red wheat berries, artichokes, zucchini, toasted almonds and many other wholesome ingredients, this is one pilaf I could get excited about. The fact that it has no animal products, making it completely vegan, is another great selling point.

Heating this dish up is not as easy as other frozen meals, but it is worth the effort. I believe they did this to preserve the flavor, as well as ensuring their packaging is as eco-friendly as possible. I have taken step-by-step photos of the process, but the instructions are also clearly marked on the package. You will need a microwave safe plate in order to make this.

Remove the package from the box, place on a microwave safe plate with the seam facing up (so it can release steam while cooking). Cook for 4 ½ minutes. Let stand for 1 minute.

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

It will look like this once it’s finished cooking.

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

Use scissors to cut along the dotted line. I thought my mini hula girl scissors would make the photo a bit more festive.

 Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

Carefully slide the entrée onto your plate and enjoy!

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

The lime juice concentrate was slightly overpowering at first, but the more I ate, the more I liked the dish. There are A LOT of ingredients in this dish and it definitely has a lot of flavor, but almost all ingredients are unprocessed foods, with “natural flavor”, potassium chloride and calcium chloride popping out as the only “processed” ingredients that I could see.

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

I haven’t seen any other Lyfe Kitchen entrées in my grocery store, but I will keep an eye out for more. I was most impressed by the huge jolt of energy I got after eating this. Perhaps it was coincidence or maybe the whole grains? Let me know what you think of the dish!

September 17, 2013

Evol Truffle Parmesan Mac & Cheese: Yes, this comes from a freezer!

by ashley

Evol Truffle Parmesan Mac & CheeseI have a love affair with mac & cheese – it’s embarrassing sometimes. I love all types, but truffle mac & cheese actually was never that enticing to me. I’ve found the cheaper truffle oils to be overpowering and just masking the natural saltiness of a good cheese. Therefore I was even more hesitant to try a frozen meal of truffle mac & cheese. I have been a fan of Evol for a while, so I thought I would at least give it a try. While it is made with wholesome ingredients, this is in no way a light meal. Of course, anyone expecting mac & cheese to be a light meal is a bit crazy. With 480 calories and 25 grams of fat, this is a hefty meal that still needs a salad on the side to be fully satisfying for me. This pairs amazingly with a spinach salad, at least.

If you are unfamiliar with Evol, they are a relatively new brand focusing on wholesome ingredients, compostable bowls and recyclable packaging. They use foods with no rBST hormones and even have gluten free options, although most of those do include meat. They have several vegetarian options that do include gluten, including many different lunch and breakfast burritos, a few different pastas and bean enchiladas. You can check out the full listing here: http://evolfoods.com/products/

The truffle mac & cheese is one of the newer offerings, and I’m quite excited about it. As soon as I opened the microwave, I knew it was going to taste good. A strong aroma of sharp parmesan cheese first wafted out, then the savory smell of black truffles. Cracking the panko breadcrumb crust makes a satisfying crunch, with the creaminess of the cheese and pasta underneath. There are so many flavor layers, it’s amazing they were able to preserve the dish so well in frozen form.

I am truly impressed with this meal – it bodes well for the future of the Evol brand. Here’s hoping for even more delicious vegetarian options!

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April 13, 2012

Evol Frozen Vegan and Vegetarian Cuisine

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

A brand new Publix opened up just a few blocks from my house a few weeks ago. It may sound a bit pathetic, but that was a huge excitement for me. Our area is full of large buildings and the other two Publixs in the area were a nightmare to just to walk through the aisles, much less actually wait in a check-out line. Plus, a shiny, new grocery store always inspires a slightly slower waltz through the aisles, which helps me find new brands. This time I found Evol, a brand out of Denver, Colorado that originally started as a burrito stand at the bottom of a mountain trail.

Evol’s packaging first caught my eye because of it’s bold design, but I kept reading after seeing the stamp “New & Improved Compostable Bowl” on the upper corner. Their vegetarian and vegan options are slim, but I picked up a vegan veggie fajita burrito and a vegetarian bean & cheese enchilada to try. It’s great that they also use corn tortillas in their enchiladas, making them gluten free. The burrito is made from a wheat tortilla and does contain gluten.

Upon first glance when opening the package to the enchilada, I thought it looked a bit messy. Like a hodgepodge of corn kernels, tomatoes and beans. I couldn’t see any cheese. I took the plastic wrapper off the bowl and cooked it on high in the microwave for four minutes, as the package indicates. Once done, I immediately noticed that the bowl looked a bit dry. The edges were microwaved to a crisp. I cut into the center and took a look around the inside, unfortunately finding it to be dry, as well. The good points I noticed as that all vegetables were distinguishable and seemed to be fresh. The corn has a great char on it and tastes great. Eating through it, I still couldn’t find much moisture and none of the cheese. The rice was mixed around in small portions. The corn tortilla was very authentic and tasted great, except for the hard edges, which is tough to cook in a microwave. I probably wouldn’t eat this again, at $4.99 it is a bit expensive and just didn’t have enough sauce or flavor overall. I still prefer Amy’s for organic, vegetarian frozen Mexican fare.

The vegan veggie fajita burrito didn’t do much better. Visually it looks great, even when cutting into the center. Again the vegetables are discernable and seem to be really fresh. Picking the peppers and corn kernels out was quite enjoyable, however the burrito as a whole was just lacking in flavor. It did have a much better consistency than the bowl, with more moisture. I was just disappointed overall with the flavor of both of these products. I love their idea and hope they continue improving their flavors.

March 8, 2012

Help Kettle Cuisine Feed the Needy

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

One of the first things I reviewed almost a year ago (I can’t believe we’ve been online for almost a year) was Kettle Cuisine’s Organic Carrot & Coriander Soup. You can see my original review here. Today I received a lovely e-mail from Kettle Cuisine’s PR department notifying of an amazingly generous promotion they are currently doing on Facebook.

 

 

For every LIKE they receive, they will give the new fan a $1 coupon toward a Kettle Cuisine product of their choice and also will donate a bowl of their soup to someone in need. This is a great way to help Kettle Cuisine bring food to the needy.

 

If you haven’t heard of Kettle Cuisine before, they are a dedicated gluten-free frozen soup producer, making several types (omnivore, vegetarian and vegan) that are located in freezer sections throughout the country.

 

Please visit their Facebook page to help with this munificent gesture: http://www.facebook.com/KettleCuisine

October 19, 2011

Delicious, Organic, Vegan Indian Food from your Grocer’s Freezer: Amy’s Indian Vegetable Korma

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Since eating Jamaican food, I have always been afraid of curry. I’m not a fan of spicy food and curry to me always meant spicy. But Amy’s curry has taught me that the two terms are not synonymous. Amy’s being one of the largest vegan and vegetarian frozen foods manufacturer, I already had high hopes for the Indian Vegetable Korma. I haven’t ever had real Indian food, but if it is anything like Amy’s version, I’m certainly missing out on a great cuisine. Fully vegan, organic, gluten-free and low in calories (310 calories per meal), this is a great lunch or dinner on the go.

I love the homemade taste, the large portion vs. calories and that spicy-phobic eaters (such as myself) can enjoy the curry taste without the burn! I’m not usually a fan of the big brand names, tending to support smaller companies, however Amy’s has proved time and again that they are a market leader for a reason. A great introduction to Indian food – I’ll be looking for the real thing very soon!

 

June 2, 2011

Gluten Free, Vegetarian Delight: Garden Lites Roasted Vegetable Soufflé

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

I love how the lights in the Publix freezer section turn on and off automatically as you stroll through the aisles. I know it’s simple mechanics and motion sensors, but for some reason it always fascinates me that someone even thought to invent it. As I was making my way through the section, a light turned on just a little late, illuminating the Garden Lites box like a beacon. Despite knowing that most boxes portray perfect specimens of their products on the cover, and containing something that doesn’t even resemble it inside, something about the freshness of the colors made me have to try it. Not to mention that I love soufflés, especially vegetable soufflés. And I was not disappointed.

While the product inside may not be quite as beautiful as the one on the cover, it tastes as if I had just whipped up the ingredients myself from scratch. Carrots, onion, spinach, broccoli, egg whites, potato, zucchini, red peppers…fresh, real ingredients in a list taken verbatim from the back of the box.  And at just 140 calories, 1 gram of fat and 350 grams of sodium, it truly is as healthy as it sounds.

While it is not vegan, due to it being a real egg white soufflé, it is gluten free and full of healthy, natural vitamins and minerals. One soufflé contains a whopping 250% of the daily value of vitamin A, which is an A+ in my book.

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