I'm all about fresh foods whenever possible, cooking them from scratch whenever we have time. When Mom Central offered a blog tour sponsored by Healthy Choice, it took a little thought before I signed up. I'm glad I did. In their new steamed meals, Healthy Choice worked hard to minimize the ingredient list and keep those ingredients identifiable to ordinary people like you and me. They created packaging to steam cook each meal, maintaining the quality of the frozen-fresh vegetables. No mushy cafeteria beans!
Many of my teaching colleagues stock up on microwave meals for their school lunches. They'll pick out five at the store on Sunday, drop them in the lounge freezer on Monday, and continue on with their teaching week with no worries about lunches. These are really handy, and not just for teachers, I'm sure.
Healthy Choice sent me two of their new Steamed meals to try: Rosemary Chicken and Sweet Potatoes & Garlic Shrimp. Here's a snatch from the back of the Rosemary Chicken box:
"Steaming is one of the freshest ways to prepare food... it locks in fresh taste and unlocks the vibrant flavors and colors of quality ingredients." Agreed. The vegetables looked delicious and colorful; the "Eat the Rainbow" crowd would have approved. Cooked in the microwave under their special steam film, the meat and vegetables were cooked well, but not overdone. I followed the directions precisely (are you proud of me?) and even checked the temperature with a meat thermometer to make sure my slightly weaker microwave had cooked the meat through. The meal wasn't burn-your-tongue hot, though. That's a serious consideration when you have a lunch period like mine, with limited time to "cook" and eat before meetings and prep times begin.
The back of the package also has nutrition information in a form that requires little thought. That's okay, folks; if you're calculating calories, exchanges, or Weight Watchers points, it's all there for you.
My impression? Overwhelmingly positive. Microwave meals usually leave me unsatisfied, wanting to make a PBJ on the side. This one was delicious and satisfying. I could eat it for a school lunch and not worry about my stomach growling before the dismissal bell.
I usually cook Rosemary Chicken by reaching outside the door for my herbs. But in the middle of winter when I'm hunting for good and easy lunch options, I'll look to Healthy Choice and steam it up for lunch. Before that happens, though, I'm going to try the shrimp option. It looks simply delicious, too.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Healthy Choice and received samples of their new steaming entrées to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate. Healthy Choice has a Facebook page if you're interested in more information.