Friday, August 23, 2013

Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers/Naturals - A Vegetarian Option

I am always on the lookout for convenient, healthy, lunch options that I can make quickly on those days when I just don't have the time or energy to feed everyone something homemade.  So, being asked to try out the Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers/Naturals new recipes was right up my alley!  I was concerned that since the 100% Naturals Cafe Steamers just started hitting the shelves in July, that they may not be available at my local grocery stores.  But Healthy Choice took care of that also, because you can go to each type of meal, there is a place that says "Where to Buy",  you enter your zip code and it will list your local stores that carry that recipe, and it showed my stores carried the varieties I wanted to try.  SCORE!

First I wanted to try the Pumpkin Squash Ravioli, their description says, Tender pumpkin-stuffed ravioli with crisp green beans, sweet butternut squash and juicy granny smith apples, topped with a tasty butter-sage sauce...and I feel it fits it perfectly.  I thought it may be too sweet for a lunch meal, but it wasn't, it was very savory, and flavorful. They use their tray in tray technology that seperates the ingredients while cooking, so the vegetables are crisper and the pasta is al dente. Now this does require using more plastic than we would want, because everyone is more aware of waste, but it definitely achieves the finished product I would want, and would feel good about feeding to my family and daycare kids.

The next day I tried the Asian Potstickers, I chose the varieties that I did, because our family tends to fix a lot of Italian dishes with red sauce bases and I like a change of pace.  This is described as a Vegetarian dish served on a bed of rice and covered with a sweet Asian-style sauce.  We've also added more potstickers and sauce, while making it less spicy, per consumer feedback.  And for me, I felt it had just the right amount of spice versus sweet, and amount of potstickers compared to sauce, so those changes definitely worked for my taste, and I loved how the rice was perfectly cooked, which is very hard to find in a frozen, microwaveable meal. 
 
I really like that Healthy Choice listens to their fan feedback on ways to improve their recipes.  And that now their 100%  Natural steaming entrees are a part of their Cafe Steamers line, giving us as consumers some great new vegetarian options with the taste we love and the nutrition we expect from Healthy Choice.
 
Here is the full line-up of the new recipes included:
· Portabella Marsala Pasta: Freshly made whole wheat pasta and rich crimini mushrooms, tossed with a savory Marsala wine sauce and topped with rich fontina cheese.
· Pumpkin Squash Ravioli: Tender pumpkin-stuffed ravioli with crisp green beans, sweet butternut squash, and juicy Granny Smith apples, topped with a tasty butter-sage sauce.
· Tortellini Primavera Pasta: Four-cheese-stuffed tortellini featuring whole-grain pasta, julienne carrots, and red pepper strips and now includes more tortellini and sauce.
· Asian Potstickers: Vegetarian dish served on a bed of rice and covered with a sweet Asian-style sauce. We’ve also added more potstickers and sauce, while making it less spicy, per consumer feedback.
· Portabella Spinach Parmesan: Freshly-made whole wheat pasta, and now featuring even more baby portabella mushrooms, red peppers, tomatoes and spinach.
 
Now I need to go pick up a few more, to share with my sweet grandchildren next week...

 
Disclosure: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer Network Healthy Choice campaign. I have been provided with free products and remuneration in exchange for my honest opinions about the products. All opinions are my own and were not influenced, nor reviewed, by Healthy Choice prior to posting.