11.19.2013

My New Favorite Frozen Dinner

I know this isn't what you'd expect to hear from a restaurant owner, especially one with a degree in Nutrition, but I have a lot of experience eating frozen dinners. More than I'd care to admit. It all started my senior year of high school, when I also went to Burger King more than should be legally allowed. (Sometimes twice a day, but that's a different story.)

The frozen dinners had something to do with me repeatedly missing dinner because of tennis, basketball, and track practices/games/meets. And then my younger brother, Paul, started repeatedly missing dinner because of . . . hmmmmm, skateboarding practice? So that just left my parents. And my dad is a strange eater. Sometimes he does things that could be construed as offensive to someone who has just prepared a meal. Like getting up from the table during the middle of dinner and finding a box of cereal to pour on top of his food because he thinks it needs a little crunch. And back then, he was really into fruit snacks, so he wasn't always hungry for a big meal. Eventually, my mom just kind of quit cooking dinner. 

(At least that's how I interpreted the situation. Maybe the reality is that Sam was the favorite child, and once he was gone, there was nobody left to cook for.)

That was also the year I got my tonsils out. I had to go back to the ER twice for hemorrhaging, which resulted in a month of soft food. Fettuccine Alfredo was soft. . . soft enough, so my mom filled the freezer with frozen dinners. (Marie Callendar's Fettuccine Alfredo is the best, should you ever need to know. I ate them every once in a while when I was pregnant. . . they taste same both directions.)

So I don't know if any of that actually helps my culinary credibility, but just believe me that I've eaten a decent amount of frozen dinners and I am a selective eater, so when I say this is good, it really is. 

Thankfully, we haven't had the need to eat frozen dinners over the last few years. But on Saturday, we went grocery shopping as a family, with the goal of buying "real" food that Rachel could pack for school lunch. (She's been known to pack lunches consisting of multigrain chips and cookie butter, and I'm sure the lunchroom monitors aren't impressed.)

When we walked down the organic/vegan/gluten-free/lactose-free aisle, Steve spotted some Kashi frozen dinners that looked okay. Rachel loves pesto, so he put a few Pesto Pasta Primavera dinners in our cart. (Sadly, they did not pass the taste test and were rejected by me, Rachel and Lucy.) Luckily, Steve grabbed this one too:  


Kashi's Mayan Harvest Bake. I ate it last night, and it's good. Of course, it doesn't actually look like this picture: 


And nothing looks appetizing when it's eaten out of a black plastic tray, but it really is my new favorite frozen dinner. Steve warns that I might be jumping the gun and that I should factor in that I ate it at 10:00 pm when I was starving. But let's be honest. . . would you ever eat a frozen dinner if you weren't starving? And plantains, sweet potatoes, black beans, kale, and pepitas. . . I love all of those ingredients! I am tempted to recreate a fresh version, except that will definitely ruin my current level of satisfaction with this one. So in the meantime, if you ever find yourself needing to purchase a frozen dinner, give this one a try. I might go back and buy a few more while they are still on sale at Smith's.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the tip! I have 3 nights a week when my kids eat with Tyler and so I'm always on the lookout for good options for a table for one.