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Category Archives: FF Frozen Food Foray!

Thankful for Turkey in Disguise? Umm.. No.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving  this weekend,  I decided my selection on the frozen food entrée had to be of the festive sort. (Yessss dear Americans, we lovely Canadians got the jump on the celebration of being all thankful and shit, waaaay before you guys even THOUGHT of the idea….. coughCopycatscough.)

Anyway… enter the Hungry Man Turkey Dinner.

Before we begin, I have a little issue to mention. It’s with the name itself.

HUNGRY MAN????

Buying this entrée made me feel like I should be dressed in a lumberjack outfit, have an axe over my shoulder while wearing a manly, man-watch. Had I had balls to scratch, I would have – just to feel more comfortable buying this thing.  Now I understand how a guy feels buying tampons.

Ok, let’s get started.

#5 – Hungry Man – Turkey Dinner

Here’s the box:

HMbox

The Goods:

Calories: 480, Fat  13 gm, Carbohydrates  71 gm,  protein 20 gm,  and WHOLLY CRAP – Sodium 1430mg which equates to 60% .. SIXTY PERCENT!!!! of your daily allowance.

Food Tray Op:

HMfoodtray

Heating Instructions:

1. Remove film from dessert. Cut slit over corn.
2. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Turn back film; rearrange turkey slices. Stir stuffing and potatoes. Replace film. Return tray to microwave.
3. Microwave on high for 4 minutes.
4. Let stand in microwave for 1 minute. Stir potatoes.

Ok… so remember how the box made the meal looks so homey and comforting?.. the perfectly sliced turkey with deliciously browned gravy,…. and look again at those mashed potatoes… all whipped and luscious and that cranberry/apple dessert – simply delectable, right?

Uh huh. Sure. ….Wait.. do you hear that?… That POP noise? Yeah.. that’s your bubble bursting my friends…. or perhaps it was just mine, because when I opened the film and looked at the still half-frozen crappiness that was my festive turkey dinner, I was starting to feel all bummed out.

Take a look at the stirring point:

HMstirpoint

The damn “turkey” is TURKEY DELI MEAT. You know, the stuff you make your lunchtime sandwiches with?

SO not impressed Hungry Man.

You know, I GET that the turkey can’t be whole turkey breast off the bird simply for consistency sake, but really,
if you’re going to use chopped and formed meat, at least use those chopped and formed turkey breast roasts…
cut some THICK slices off that bubba. Don’t give me some weak~assed flimsy meat that’s meant to be loved up by bread and mayo.

I finished cooking it the rest of the way, and plated it. See?

HMplated

2~Bite Taste Test:

Because the entrée had a few different components, I had a bite from each one, so technically, it’s a 5~bite taste test.

The corn was your average, run of the mill niblet corn. It was sweet but tough. Not unpleasant though. I’m sure it will go out tough like bullets as well. What??? TMI?? I thought we were all friends here. Sigh.

The turkey was gross.

It sort of tasted like turkey but really, the deli~turkey meat taste, not the  just-off-the-turkey, turkey taste. Get my drift folks? In fact, not only deli grade turkey meat, but shitty quality deli meat – the kind that quite frankly, wins the hotdog trophy for processing.

The potatoes were finely mashed and pasty, much like the kind made with potato flakes. Oh, and guess what? The box confirmed my guess – they in fact ARE potatoes made from potato flakes. Surprisingly, they tasted like potatoes though. Imagine that. The dressing was VERY good, as was the gravy for the dish. The dressing was nicely textured, slightly peppery – really good.

The cranberry apple dessert was a complete joke.

I originally thought, ‘oh ok this is the dessert’… and then I thought,.. ‘wait… what????.’  because when I scooped it up on the plate,
it was LITERALLY one spoonful. No word of a lie people, ONE MEASLY SPOONFUL. Soo.. although the box calls it a dessert,
I will save their sorry butts and consider it a cranberry sauce of sorts, just to help make up for the pathetic stuff that was disguised as “turkey”.

All that being said, the sauce was very, very good. Sweet and tangy like a cranberry SAUCE should be.

Too bad this entrée didn’t come with a dessert.

Considering that I bought the entrée FOR the turkey, and it turned out to be a dismal forkin’ FAIL,
I have to say the rest of the entrée was pretty passable and left me feeling sort of festive-ish.
If the turkey was replaced with oh I dunno… proper tasting TURKEY, it would be a fantastic entrée.

I give Hungry Man’s Turkey Dinner

6/10

blueforkinfoodiestamp

Sweet Sesame Chicken hides my Heroin

Fighting that ingrained, deeply DNA’ed urge to get all fatteningly casseroled up due to the coming of fall, I struggled and prevailed over the instinct and bought an entree from the lighter selection available.  I’ve come to realize however, that I think the word HEALTHY is a relative term when talking about frozen food.  Relative in the same way as calling a deep-fried Mars bar “dessert”, or a Walmart greeters’ job a career, and the absolute promise of “just the tip”.

Healthy Choice’s Gourmet Steamers entree’s are sorta like that. They lull you into thinking, ‘hey, this is a good idea, I’m so righteous cuz I’m making good decisions for my body!’, and you proudly throw it into your cart, face up, so everyone walking by can envy your resolve and think your cool. Ok, maybe too much thought there, but you get my drift.

Here we go :

#4 – Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamers – Sweet Sesame Chicken

Here’s the box:

box

The Goods:

Calories: 330, fat: 5g, Carb: 53g, Protein: 17g, Sodium: 330mg (14% of your daily allowance)

The entree is endorsed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. FYI, The Heart and Stroke Foundation charges participating companies an annual licensing fee in order to use the endorsement stamp on their packaging and cover costs associated with product assessment. It starts from $300 and up depending on the company, and The Foundation says it’s not for profit.

Hmm.

Food Tray Op:

foodtray

Heating Instructions:

1. Remove entree from carton. Place in microwave oven. (really? sheesh). Do not puncture. 2. Cook on high for 4 – 5 minutes. (I used 4 and half minutes). 3. Carefully remove film from the top. Remove steamer basket from the outer sauce bowl. 4. Stir steamed food into the sauce bowl. 5. Check that the food is cooked thoroughly ( and they show how you can insert a thermometer into the food. Again, really???  Who the hell has time for that shit?)

Here’s the shot just before combining:

foodtraymix
On a side note:

 You are full of heroic awesomeness if you recycle.

These trays (and box) are recyclable.

Recycle.

Mother Earth thanks you.

Plated Meal:

plated

2~Bite Review:

Surprisingly  the carrots and snow peas retained a slight crunch which was great. What was not so great was the fibrous-ness of the pods. Chew, chew,and then chew some more. Geezus!  I hope it goes out better than it went down. Rice was perfectly done. Not mushy, not crunchy.  Go figure right?

Sauce was sweet and the sesame taste was subtle, but present with it’s arm raised. By the way, it turns out that the sauce SHOULD be sweet because the “healthy” entree has 18 GRAMS OF SUGAR!  Big deal you say? Ok.. well .. a full can of high-test (not diet) COCA COLA has  9 grams of sugar per can, so yeah… eating this is entree is like drinking two cans of soda, or hey, how about shoving TWO Reese’s Peanut Butter cups in your pie hole? If you’re diabetic, welcome to a blood sugar extravaganza.

Ok, onto the chicken. Sigh. Kinda dry ppl.  Tasty, but be sure to have a big glass of liquid to wash it down with unless you like the feeling of miniscule, rolled up pieces of chalk rolling around in your mouth. Good times. Oh, and I need mention that the amount of chicken you get in this dish MIGHT feed a small animal.  Even my dog would be like…. “Whaat?? This is IT, cheap human?” Here’s a photo for proof. ( Of the amount of chicken, not of my talking dog.)

chicken sample

Yep. I know, calm down.

There’s one piece missing that I ate for the testing, but really, that’s all you get in the whole entree. The generosity over at Healthy Choice is overwhelming.

All in all though, based on the fact that it IS low in sodium, low in calories, low in fat, and because sugar is my heroin it was really tasty.

Besides, who doesn’t like a sugar rush???

I give Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamer Sesame Chicken

8/10

blueforkinfoodiestamp

But, does she home-style???

There are only a few things in this world that equate with pure, simple bliss. Great sex, for one, but that kinda goes without saying. (sorry Mom and Dad.)  Hearing  a child’s big belly laugh for the first time, or being pinned under 10 lbs of flannel quilting while laying on your Grandma’s couch as she cooks home-made soup for you. And you’re not even sick.

Another bliss inducing thing?

A big ass bowl of creamy Macaroni and Cheese.  That’s right. Uh huh.

What is it about pasta and cheese that catapults us into a land of warm fuzziness, with a heavy-lidded glaze over our eyes and a smile in our bellies? Who knows, and who cares. We just like the stuff, right?

So much so, in fact, that human beings eat 7 MILLION boxes of the blue box variety each WEEK. The K-brand chemical crap can’t be compared to a home-styled mac n cheese but, what do you do when you don’t have M&C skills?

Head to the frozen food aisle.

#3 – Amy’s Macaroni & Cheese

Found in the health food section, the box reads that  it’s made with Aged Cheddar Cheese and contains 78% Organic Ingredients. (The food, not the box, smartypants.)

Here’s the box:

box

The Goods:

410 Calories, 16g fat, 16g protein, 47g carbohydrate and 640g of sodium, which is 27% of your daily allowance. I also wanted to post a photo of the ingredient list, as it’s not often that you actually can pronounce almost everything on that list, and that it’s ORGANIC! Check it out:

ingredient

Food Tray Op:

foodtray

Heating Instructions:

They list a few different options, Oven, Toaster Oven, and Microwave. I choose the mike because typically all the other frozen food entrée’s require a microwave and I like consistency. Both in food and routine.

1.Remove overwrap.  2. Cook on high for 4 minutes.  3. Stir and cook on high for 2 to 3 minutes.

Plated Meal:

plated

2~Bite Review:

As it cooked in the microwave I have to say it was smelling mighty fine. When I stirred it on step 3 and put it back in the microwave it had that REALLY saucy consistency that makes mac n cheese so luscious. It looked exactly like it does on the box.

I was gleeful.

Upon taking it out and plating, it was NOT like it was 2.5 minutes earlier.

 I’m not sure if the pasta sucked up HALF of that sauce but it seemed like someone was trying to rip the last shred of sunshiny-happiness from my pathetic and miserable life by making it sticky and unsaucy. Ok, perhaps a LITTLE dramatic, but suffice it to say, I was dissapointed. And, maybe not HALF the sauce was missing, because it was still kinda saucy, but NOT LIKE ON THE BOX, OK!!

On tasting, the pasta was nicely done. Not mushy, but not underdone either. It didn’t have that “toothsome” or “al dente” bite that pasta is “supposed” to have, but that’s ok because it’s a FROZEN ENTREE people, for crying out loud, give it some slack. The second bite was bit more cheesy, but the sauce had this, thick, starchy taste to it. Oh, and the cheese could use a bit of a sharper flavor, because considering it contains almost 30% of your daily sodium intake, I think it was riding dirty on the bland train.

All in all though, for a frozen mac&cheese entree that you find in the health food aisle, it was pretty damn edible.

I’m wondering if you took it out at the REALLY saucy stage and didn’t cook it further would it have been better? Hey, I’d forgo a bit of pasta tenderness for cheesy, saucy sauciness. Priorities, people.

Lastly, if you’re like, tall and husky, and have an appetite on you, this little speck of an entree won’t cut it. (Plus you can email me with your phone number cuz I’d like to meet you, wink wink ).  Seriously though, I measured it to be not even a full cup.

measure

However, if you’re one of those salad eating bitches, this will be more than enough, but then again, if you’re eating salads all the time, you wouldn’t DARE eat fattening, yummy, I-wanna-wear-a-onesie inducing, pasta and cheese.

So, does Amy home-style her Mac n Cheese?

Considering general taste and nice, organic ingredient list, and if you don’t care about next day salt-bloat,

I’d say oh yeah, she home-styles it alright.

I give Amy’s Macaroni and Cheese

8/10

blueforkinfoodiestamp

SHUDDUP AND MANGIA!!!….. or not.

Chicken Parmigiana.

Ok wait………. one more time:

CHICKEN PARMIGIANA

Now, imagine you heard me say that with THE COOLEST Italian accent EVER.  I sound sexy right?  (nod your head.) That’s right, because italian accents are SUPER sexy.  You know it, I know it, the whole world knows it.  Having said that,  please hold onto that imagination because THIS chick with the ukrainian/dutch-heritage-but-born-in-Canada background, SUCKS at accents in real life. Honestly.  I’m AWFUL at them.

However, as much as I suck at accents, I’m pretty good at eating italian cuisine. I have a full-fledged, flat-out LOVE of all things pasta. I also have the ass to prove it. But hey, that’s a story for another day, and as I prepare to get out my Thighmaster, I give you the second installment in the Forkin’  Foodie’s Frozen Food Foray!

#2~ Lean Cuisine, Chicken Parmigiana.

Here’s the box:

box

The Goods:

280 Calories, 8g fat, 33g carb, 18g protein, and 600mg of sodium which is 25% of your daily allowance.

Food Tray Op:

foodtray

Heating Directions:

1. Pierce.   2. Cook on HIGH for 6 min. Stir Pasta at 4 min.     3. Let stand 2 min.

This is the box at the stirring part:

foodtray2

Plated Meal:

The Two~Bite Review

Feelin’ hopeful was my state of mind. The aroma was tomato-ey and somewhat promising of a semi-authentic italian bite. On bite #1 one, the pasta was just… meh. Edible. Slightly overcooked, but not mushy. BUT, on a good note, I actually liked the sauce! It was well seasoned and I was pleased to see the seemingly fresh chunks of tomato and zucchini, unfortunately the cooking instructions caused the zucchini to be soft and limp like…..um…. well, .. we’ll leave that one alone. I have to say though, on my count, there were only TWO lousy pieces of zucchini in the whole meal, and “coincidentally” they only show two pieces on the damn box. Makes me wonder, is there really someone standing there, hating life with two tiny chunks of veg in hand, dropping them in the sauce as they whiz by on the line? Come the hell on, Lean Cuisine, or shall we say NESTLE, you can’t spring for a few more pieces of veg?  Sheesh. Add more veggies and healthy up that shit!

The Cheese. Ahhh the cheese. It was like a blonde with big tits at a mensa party. It was like it didn’t exist, and what was actually there CERTAINLY didn’t live up the expectations promised on the box.

Now the “chicken”.  You KNOW what I’m going to say about this, don’t you? Yes, you smartypants, you have it right….. sorta. The chicken (and I use the term “chicken” lightly) is of the NUGGET sort. You know… bits and pieces, chopped and formed.. .seasoned.. then molded into a shape you might recognize. I don’t like or eat NUGGETS, but if you do, then you’ll maybe like this “chicken”. The flavor of the meat itself was like the previous post – “meaty”-  but not what I identify as being chicken. The breading on it surprisingly has a nice herbed taste to it, although it was a bit soggy because of the sauce it was cooked with.

The GIANT NUGGET

See what I mean??? Nugget. Chopped and formed. Ugh.

All in all, it wasn’t that bad. I think if I was to have it again (and I won’t) that I would gauge the remaining cooking time at the 4 minute “stir” point. Maybe my microwave is on steroids. Maybe my microwave should be called “Arnold”.  Maybe it should have said “Take dat shit owt won minute earlia”.

See… just no damn good with the accents.

I give Lean Cuisine’s Chicken Parmigiana:

7/10

blueforkinfoodiestamp

The Inaugural Foray – Why not Breakfast?

 The most important meal of the day, they say.  How do you start yours?
Bacon and eggs?
Tea and toast?
Cereal and milk?
Rum and coke?

Well no worries dear friends, because the frozen food isle at the store has your back. Quick, easy and tasty ~ 2 minutes to get your day started RIGHT!

So here we go, the first entry in the series of Forkin’ Foodie’s Foray into Frozen Foods! ( Hm.. name’s still not growing on me yet, even in bold )

I thought I’d start off with the first meal of the day, breakfast. Now, if you’re trying to watch the whole, ‘calories in, calories out’ thing, I did you a favor and chose something of a lighter fare. See how I keep you guys in mind with my decisions?!

(It had nothing at all to do with the fact it comes with syrup.)

#1 – Smart Ones (Weight Watchers), Morning Express ~ Pancakes with Turkey Sausage, served with a side of syrup. (It wasn’t because of the syrup).  So, here’s the box :

box1

The Goods: 250 Calories, (7 points to the faithful WW followers), 6grams Fat, 40 grams Carb, 11 grams Protein. OH.. and because typically, frozen food entree’s are a salt company’s wet dream, I will be also including the sodium content. So this little baby contains 420mg, which is 18% of your daily amount of sodium.

Food Tray Photo Op:

foodtray

Heating Instructions: Pierce plastic above sausages, heat in microwave for 1 minute, 10 seconds.

Plated Meal:

pancake1w

2~BITE REVIEW:

So lets talk first about the turkey sausage. Besides the fact that they looked almost exactly like my mom’s wiener dogs’ lawn bombs, they had a weird, almost soggy type texture on the outside, yet also a chewy type texture overall. If I closed my eyes, I’d have no idea what I was eating, really. They tasted like…. “meat”, for a lack of better word, but weren’t very “sausagey” tasting, and the seasoning was VERY mild. They weren’t horrible but they don’t taste like typical breakfast sausage to me. A friendly side of mustard could make these wallflowers get up and party a bit. Kinda.

pancake2w

Onto the pancakes. Side note, are flapjacks the same thing? Anyway, when I swirled the syrup packet onto them (about 1 tablespoon worth. Sigh.), the flavor of the cakes was quite nice. Sweet and somewhat cakey type texture – not light and fluffy like they look on the package. The syrup is soaked up IN A DAMN FLASH, so it can make them a tad dry. Overall, there was a nice syrup taste with an undertone of earthy cakeyness, due to STUPID whole wheat flour they put in them to make them more STUPID healthy.

That being said, I think they’d be an OK meal when you’re craving pancakes. Look the other way on the sausage tho, I really don’t think the calories are worth it. Maybe sub in some nice lean CANADIAN bacon, or even a side of scrambled eggs. But I guess if your scrambling eggs and making back bacon, you might as well make the damn pancakes too.

I’ll give Smart Ones Pancake and Sausage Breakfast Entree:

6/10

blueforkinfoodiestamp

And She Forkin’ Forays….

One of the projects I’ve been wanting to work on deals with the world of frozen food. Whether it be entree’s, appetizers, desserts, etc, I’ve thought about this for a while now. So, without further adieu (ado?), I proudly present to you:

Forkin’ Foodie’s Frozen Food Foray!

Yeah, yeah, so maybe not so proudly, but I couldn’t think of a better name ok? I like the Foray part tho.

So here’s the deal – I select a frozen food item of some sort, and photograph the box, plus the frozen state it comes in. I will then heat it according to the mfg instructions, and re-plate the food in a (hopefully) nicer setting. I’ll photograph that.

Then comes the TWO BITE TASTE TEST!

ONLY two bites, you say?? Yes. Only two. My reasoning is that you can usually tell within the first two bites if you like something or not, and, well more truthfully… I”m sure that with some of them, two bites will be all I WANT to try.

That being said, with my final review, I will give the frozen food either a stamp of approval, which looks like this:

blueforkinfoodiestamp

 

 

Or they get nothing, which looks like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.