Wow! These have been chaotic days around the house! We're traveling to Portugal in a week, to see family and friends, which we do just once a year. It's a happy time but also a very busy one. Getting everything ready for all of us, including getting the kids on board about packing light takes a lot of effort and many hours of sweet talk. We'll get there!
In the meantime there hasn't been many time to explore new recipes or work on new ideas because I'm getting my fridge cleaned and ready for our 3 week absence. I'm always trying not to buy anything extra that we really son't need because we're be going away and I can't have spoiled food!
Lucky for me I have been going through my Good Food Made Simple frozen meals. The brand was generous enough to send me some coupons for free products so I could try them out and tell you all about it. It's been great so far, I'll tell you that!
I've been focusing on brands that care about what they put in their meals and that have products that we can easily heat up and that don't require a messy routine to get lunch or dinner on the table. If that's possible under 10 minutes the better!
Good Food Made Simple does all this.
In contrast with many breakfast foods frozen meals, loaded with preservatives and artificial flavors Good Food Made Simple uses only natural, minimally processed ingredients and makes all its meals from scratch. The products are then frozen to preserve the freshness the natural way, so there's no need to use the artificial junk!
Wholesome ingredients that make us feel good and that allow us to have a proper balanced and nutritious diet. Food doesn't have to be over complicated, simple is good - simple is better! The brand offers a wide variety of products, from breakfast staples to full nutritious entrees.
There are 8 different varieties, plenty of choices for everyone!
I'm getting every flavor to try because I just had the Southwestern Veggie and it was amazing. Full of flavor, fully satisfying and with ingredients that you can name just by looking at them. No mushy mixture inside, just plain ingredients. For me, that's a keeper! Just take a look:
Gorgeous, isn't it?
I haven't tryied these out yet but will be looking for them on my next shopping trip. They're available in 4 flavors:
A bit more elaborate and with some extra ingridents to give some extra kick to these meal sized wraps. They're great to pair with a small bowl ou soup or a fresh greeen, clean salad.
Also, the brand has available frozen white patties which are great for each one of us customize for breakfast, lunch or snack time. I'm planning on using them to build some muffin based breakfast sandwiches that I will then freeze. That way I'll always have a fast and good options with veggies, cheese and great quality whites.
Pancakes and Waffles
For those with a sweet tooth these options are great. You can have them ready in a hurry, just popped them in the microwave and after a couple of minutes you're getting them on the plate. The puffs are great just by themselves or with fresh fruit and yogurt. The waffles are also a great option and, if you're feeling a bit more indulging just grab a scoop of good old ice cream and a dash of whipped cream and you'll make the kids afternoon!
Steel Cut Oatmeal
There are 3 versions available and I'm just sorry that I haven't found them at my grocery store yet because Oats are my favorite all time breakfasts! I love having them both in the winter time for some comforting cozy warm feeling or in the summer with fresh flavors from the farmers market!
That has been my mine focus these days because I'm really needing some help with lunchtime, as I said.Even tough I'm trying some of the meals now I had already tasted some of the entrées before and I loved them all. I'll list them and will let you know along the way what i though about them, in case it's one of the ones I know:
Who can resist that??
The texture is great, the heat is on point and the rice that comes with it is fluffy. Really like this dish and, because my kids don't appreciate it that much I rather have the option for me; in case they have something special for dinner I'll be having my enchiladas!
You can see the texture of the noodles is just fine and you can get a piece of everything each time you taste it because it's not just a mushy amalgam of ingredients! That's why I like GFMS products, I see what I'm eating!
See that sauce on the photo? It's really delicious and luscious. As usual, I added half an avocado, drizzled with lime juice and a sprinkle of chili flakes. The salsa also worked out great with the flavors of this dish.
Other list of great flavor combos that work pretty well as a light meal or that can be paired up with soup or salad, for example, to make a more fulfilling meal.
If you'd like to know more about the Good Food Made Simple brand look up their website, here.
Let me tell you a bit more about what goes into these meals. All recipes are created by a real chef and the test kitchen is a real restaurant. The ingredients are carefully chosen and organic, whenever possible.
CAGE FREE EGGS: the chickens roam free, aren't confined to cages or crates and are raised without the use of antibiotics.
ANTIBIOTIC-FREE MEAT: all beef is antibiotic-free and the nitrate-free, uncured bacon comes from pigs that are never given any antibiotics. Ever.
REAL CHEESE: no funny stuff in this cheese. It's free of animal rennet, artificial colors or antibiotics. Always.
ORGANIC: Good Food Made Simple uses organic and non-GMO ingredients whenever possible. The Vermont Maple and the Original Steel Cut Oatmeals are certified USDA Organic.
The products from these brand are also free of artificial preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated oils.
The next time you visit the Good Food Made Simple website make sure to take a look at the section "Blog" to be on top of anything new related to the brand. They also have great suggestions on how to turn up the volume on those frozen meals!
The brand is also on Facebook and Instagram and have frequent giveaway opportunities. Win coupons for free meals? Who doesn't like that?? I'd love to know what products you're going to try first!
Everyone who knows me knows that I am a chili lover because I do love it! Every version of it pleases me: chicken with white beans, beef and black beans, even vegetarian chili. Although we're not vegetarian in our house I always try to have a meal a week made up just out of veggies. As for the kids they eat veggies everyday and 3 pieces of fruit too, at least! They love it and with baby carrots and cherry tomatoes going all year round it's easy to get them in their lunchboxes for school!
Back to the chili!
I got this frozen meal from Grainful to show you. Isn't it pretty? It's lovely and delicious too just with the right amount of spiciness. In every bite you get the taste of smoky chipotle peppers, bold chili spices, vegetables, quinoa, three types of beans, sharp cheddar cheese and 100% whole grain steel cut oats. The cheese on top is amazing and it makes the chili creamy and gooey, just like I like it!
You'll find the following ingredients on the chili: water, tomatoes, black beans, tomato paste, pinto beans, kidney beans, cheddar cheese (pasteurized cow's milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), Organic corn, 100% whole grain steel cut oats, onions, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, quinoa, olive oil, chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce (chipotle peppers, water, vinegar, sugar, salt, tomato paste, smoke essence, onion, garlic), minced onions, spices ([chili powder (chili powder, paprika, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt], smoked paprika, cumin, granulated garlic), salt. It contains milk.
I decided, once again, to use the chili and incorporate it into a recipe but you can eat it right from the tray where it comes in, after heating it in the microwave for 4 minutes. It's just a matter of having the time, will power and ingredients to work with!
I used two zucchinis and after washing them cut them in half lengthwise. I scooped the pulp of the zucchinis and reserved them to make some soup for dinner. Otherwise I could have diced the pulp and added it into the chili, it would be delicious too!
After doing this I heated the chili and filled the zucchinis with it right up to the top. Be careful not to overfill it so it wont come over the edges, which could get the filling a little burnt. I placed the stuffed zucchinis in a pre-heated oven at 400 F for about 15 minutes. It's just the right amount of time so the zucchinis get a little cooked but they still come out with a bite to it!
Take the zucchinis out of the oven and served with a side salad and corn chips to dip in!
With fresh lemon water this was the perfect lunch for a hot Summer day!
The final touch was a good handful of crumbled Feta cheese! Can't go wrong with a little bit of extra cheese, can you??
So, next time you're in a mood for chili just remember to look for it in the frozen food aisle of your local grocery store and look for Grainful meals! You won't be sorry and you'll be coming back for more, that's a fact! The fact that it only takes 4 minutes to get a fully satisfying meal like that on the plate? Pure bliss!
After getting several Grainful frozen meals to try out, I immediately thought of this dish! I love spices and using them on my recipes to make the flavors bold and unique. With this Chana Masala frozen option I can have a restaurant quality meal in no time just by adding a few ingredients to the packaged meal.
Really, these options that we get nowadays are really a way of stating that you can have "fast" food, you can have great food and that will only take you about 10 minutes. Want to know how? I'll walk you through what I made to get this delicious lunch ready in a snap!
First lets take a look at the meal ingredients that come all prepared and pre-cooked for your convenience. The Chana Masala consists of: water, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, 100% whole grain steel cut oats, onions, tomato paste, olive oil, turbinado sugar, garlic, Garam Masala (cumin, pepper, cinnamon, hulled cardamom, cloves, mace), salt, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, Cayenne, lemon juice.
So, there you have it. All the Indian flavor that we're looking for in such a meal is all there. Now, let's work a bit around it! Of course you can eat it just like that, heat in the microwave for about 4 minutes, stir it up and enjoy. But if you have 10 minutes, please, try these suggestion and will see that it turns out amazing! You can even serve this to your friends and they will be pretty impressed!
Get a Nan bread grilling for a bit. You can use a panini maker or a grilling plate, just make sure that you're watching it because it gets done in about 1 minute! Get the grilling marks on the bread so that all the flavors that you're going to add on top get all the way through the bottom!
In a bowl mix some Greek plain yogurt with chopped cilantro and mix it up very well. Season with salt, pepper and a little bit of cumin. Then, it's assembling time:
Tasty and mouth watering in no time at all! Grainful really makes it easy for us to enjoy all kinds of world flavors, just choose whatever you're into that day! Be sure to check out other meals available here.
Which one will you choose?
Here, in New Jersey, we have been getting a pretty moody Summer. The days are usually hot, in the 90's F but they have also been cloudy and rainy. Even the kids don't feel like going outside to play. They prefer to stay inside and enjoy the cooler air.
As for me, I'm feeling a need for some comfort food. And, let me tell you, since I opened the Homestyle Cheddar Meal Kit, from Grainful, I sure found what I was looking for! I made these meal on a day that was going kind of hectic and I decided to try and cook it on my InstaPot that also works as a slow cooker. According to the directions on the package all I needed to do was put some water on the bottom of the slow cooker and add the oats that came in the meal kit, reserving the cheese mix.
Wow! That was like an answered prayer for me! To have a meal cooked while I'm getting some work done or just enjoying some play time with my kids during this Summer break is the ideal thing! So, I did just that and when the cooking time ended I just had to open to slow cooker and mix the oats with the remaining water. Then, I added the cheese...it's just delicious and luscious! I really was thinking about not putting the whole bag of cheese in but, yes, I had to do it because it tastes really like cheese, real cheese! And, for me, that's the key to comfort food!
After adding and mixing all the cheese I decided to add some previously steamed peas and them all worked in the cheesy and creamy oats. And, when I though of peas I immediately had to pair it with crispy and utterly satisfying bacon! I cooked 4 slices of organic uncured bacon (2 sliced for each serving) and broke it in bite sized bits.
I loved the combination and I'm glad to say that there were some leftovers! Who doesn't' like to have the next meal done in advance?? Ill just have to eat it and go!
This was my first time trying out a meal kit from Grainful and I can't wait to try the next one!
The flavor and texture were great and to think that you can get countless combinations of flavor pairings to add to this cheddar cheese oats is amazing! Whatever your taste buds feel like having, mix it up and try it out! I also added some extra spicy sauerkraut to give it a kick of a flavor, nailed it!
I'll leave you with some more mouth watering photos of my lunch! Try the kits out yourself. Find them here and choose the flavors that fit you the most. You won't regret it!
Look at that color! Doesn't it look tasty??
I'm thinking about mushrooms and asparagus for next time!
Today is a really exciting day! I start sharing with all of you a brand that I’ve been using since I got to the US! As most of the moms I know we are always on the go and, sometimes, we forget to prep lunch or dinner and we need a fast but healthy option to feed our family. I have found that solution with Gainful meals!
All the meals, which you can get frozen or in a meal pack (I’ll get that later on) are all natural and made of 100% whole grain steel cut oats. We love our oats in the morning and evening with some fruit, yogurt, honey or nut butter. And now they’re making it available to us to have them for a meal too? How great is that?
Grainful meals don't have preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. They are gluten free certified, rich in fiber and there are no GMO ingredients either, which I know is always something to avoid at all costs! The more natural you keep your food, the better it will be for you and your family. With these meals you get 100% natural ingredients, low fat and high protein content.
As for me the frozen meals are a staple in any home. I mean, I can get it from the freezer to the microwave and in 5 minutes I have a whole meal to which I can add some more protein like chicken or eggs or I can just have it like that for a reinforced snack or a small meal. I must tell you it doesn’t get any better that that as for fast “good for you” food!
Lets meet the family of products!
As you can see you get to choose from a great range of flavors, from international cuisine to southern inspirations and you'll have no work at all doing so! Whatever your imagination and inspiration takes you just add your favorite toppings and some fresh herbs and you will be giving your family a true chef inspired creations with your own personal touch.
I LOVE the "Porcini Mushroom Chicken" and I usually just add some Parmesan shavings and that's enough to have kind of a mushroom risotto!
The range of frozen entrees can satisfy every taste bud and you have 8 amazing varieties to choose from:
More recently, Grainful decided to expand the brand and they came up with the Meal Kits. They are shelve stable meal packages full of bold flavors and natural ingredients that can help prepare your homemade meals with a little less effort, or a lot less may I say so!!! These are ideal if you intend to further personalize the dish because you can use the kit as a base for the meal and then build up your dinner or lunch around it. For example, cook up a batch of steaming seafood, corn cobs and add some grilled sausage and you'll have the most amazing Jambalaya with the right fixings!
I'll be posting on Instagram and Facebook all the different experiences both with the frozen meals and the meal kits so you can have a starting point. From there you just have to make the meals your own. Try something new and see how that works!
This are the meal kits available:
You can find Grainful meals on your local retail store. If you prefer you can access the website and go here for the store locator. Just put in your zip code or full address and it'll tell you the nearest location where you can find Grainful products. Being a loyal costumer I know that there are always promotions at the store. For example this week I know that locally I can get these meals for $1.99, how cool is that? Nutritious, natural, safe and satisfying meals for under $2!
It's also possible to buy the products online through the website, here.
The frozen meals come in 5 pack boxes for $41.63 or you can get a 4 pack variety to try them out for $32.50.
The meals kits run at $5.99 each and you can get single packages.
With all this information I think I've made my point. You can get frozen options at the supermarket without sacrificing you health. Nothing justifies eating food with artificial preservatives, over processed food and things that we already now are just making us unhealthy.
Please, when you try Grainful let me know what you chose and how you cooked it so we can spread the creativity! Have a great week and be mindful about what to bring in the shopping cart for the next grocery trip.
Also, thank you Grainful, for the generosity in providing the frozen meals and meal kits that I'm reviewing. It's always a pleasure to work with such inviting and caring companies. I'll do my best promoting not only the products shown but also a healthy lifestyle, which really is the main goal of my blog and social contributions.