I’m always on the lookout for prepared foods worth buying a second time, examining the frozen food aisles of Trader Joe’s, Costco, and any other interesting grocery store on a regular basis to see what’s new and interesting. Recently, we found a few winners - not like homemade, but worth recommending. Sorry I didn’t make note of the prices!
Trader Joe’s Fettuccine Alfredo was a big hit with Odel. The pasta is frozen in little nests; the creamy sauce is included as frozen chunks and slices (you can remove a portion in advance if you feel the dish is too heavily sauced, but we thought it was about right). Pour everything into a microwave safe bowl, nuke, stir and nuke again.
I added about 1/2 c. of frozen peas after the first stir, and the fettuccine and peas accompanied grilled salmon. VERY tasty combination.
I believe it was supposed to serve 3 people (360 calories per serving if my memory is correct), but of course we ate it all between the two of us. Definitely worth purchasing again.
Are you familiar with the Alexia brand? You can find their products at “health food” grocery stores: Whole Foods, Henry’s, Sacramento Food Coop and others. I wish mainstream grocery stores (Safeway, etc.) carried them! I first bought an Alexia product at Whole Foods, part of Alexia’s “Artisan Breads” line: frozen whole grain rolls. Really GOOD bread and rolls are difficult to find in many of the places we travel – and mostly impossible to keep on hand - so having sourdough rolls, whole wheat rolls, focaccia, or ciabatta rolls in the freezer, ready to heat and eat… priceless. :)
Alexia seems to specialize in frozen potato products – their waffle fries (bake ‘em) and sweet potato fries are winners. Based on these good experiences, I picked up “Roasted Red Potatoes & Italian Inspired Vegetables”. Lots of red potato chunks and white beans, with lesser (but adequate) amounts of other vegetables. Thaw the included olive oil, broth and basil mixture, then heat it in a skillet. Add the frozen vegetables and sauté 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are browned.
Good texture, color and flavor. Odel’s comment: “The only thing wrong with this is that there isn’t enough!” We had it with grilled lamb chops; I don’t know how many servings were intended, but we ate it all. Next time, I might add a cup or so of frozen, chopped spinach (one of the ingredients) to stretch it a bit. Another keeper.
I am not normally a fan of prepared Teriyaki Chicken because the sauce is too sweet, or too thick, or both. Trader Joe’s BBQ Chicken Teriyaki was a big surprise. For one thing, it is all dark meat, which Odel, Luna and I favor. Plenty of teriyaki sauce is included, in two separate packets – YOU decide how much of the very light, not too sweet sauce to toss with the chicken. We had it over Trader Joe’s frozen Organic Brown Rice, with nuked frozen pea pods (unfortunately, not worth buying again). 3.5 servings per bag (I’d say three, and plan plenty of rice and vegetables to fill the plate), 150 calories per serving.