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Best Supermarket "Frozen Food Find", Anyone?

chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 10, 2008 05:35 PM

I'm eating out at restaurants less and less, and trying to have dinners at home. I decided to try Ellio's frozen cheese pizza and it was EXCELLENT (i put some spray olive oil on it before baking and some sea salt).

Anyonerelse have some "El Cheapo" processed food finds from your market's frozen section?

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  1. b
    banjolinana RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 11, 2008 12:05 PM

    Stoffer's makes a good meat lasagna as well as macaroni and cheese. I personally love Tombstone cheese pizza over Ellio's.

    1. m
      mpalmer6c RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 11, 2008 04:29 PM

      Marie Callendder's stuff that I've had is not bad, especially the turkey and chicken-fried steak. You might also be interested in some mail-order frozen meals, many of which are a cut above anything at the market. I like Home Bistro, in particular their tarragon chicken, salmon-scallop tagine, Szechuan rice bowl, shrimp scampi, jambalaya and short ribs.

      1. BobB RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 12, 2008 06:50 AM

        Trader Joe's Four-Cheese macaroni & cheese is pretty good, especially when you mix in some diced ham and cayenne pepper. It has plenty of nice gooey cheese.

        1. jeni1002 RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 12, 2008 09:49 AM

          I like Amy's Southwestern burrito and Indian tofu wrap. Haven't tried their entrees or bowls. We also like TJ's potato pierogis and multigrain pilaf (not frozen). DH swears by the TJ vegetable lasagna.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jeni1002
            madgreek RE: jeni1002 Nov 15, 2008 04:50 AM

            I keep wanting to try the Amy's wraps. I've had the bowls and loved them, but that stuff is just so expensive. I love it when I'm fasting (Greek Orthodox), and it's hard to prepare something special for myself for dinner (kids too young to fast imo). It's so tasty, but again...too expensive. I'm always looking for the sales, but have been cooking from scratch a lot recently, so prepared foods tend to sit in the freezer for months.

            1. re: madgreek
              jeni1002 RE: madgreek Nov 15, 2008 05:48 AM

              We do the same fasting (Orthodox, too). Watch out - some of the wraps have cheese. When I fast and DH chooses not to, I tend to cook either stews, soups, etc. where the dairy is added at the end (I don't add it on mine, and add it on his) or the same dish, but with a different protein (meat for him, beans/lentils for me). This reduces the effort of cooking two different dishes....

          2. operagirl RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 12, 2008 11:53 AM

            Trader Joe's masala burgers -- essentially samosa filling without the fried dough. Spiced well and a nice change from other kinds of burgers.

            3 Replies
            1. re: operagirl
              madgreek RE: operagirl Nov 15, 2008 04:33 AM

              These are great, though I would prefer them a touch spicier. That's what condiments are for-lol.

              1. re: madgreek
                operagirl RE: madgreek Nov 15, 2008 05:40 AM

                Yeah! I use mango chutney in place of ketchup =).

                1. re: operagirl
                  madgreek RE: operagirl Nov 15, 2008 06:06 AM

                  OMG, great idea. Why did I not think of this before? Great, now I need another condiment-lol.

            2. r
              Rick RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 12, 2008 03:37 PM

              Trader Joe's has great prices on frozen fish. I just had the salmon last night, it was just ok. The real find in my opinion has been the Turbot. It's already seasoned, just cook it from frozen for maybe 10-15 min. The first two pieces I had were great, the third was on the salty side. I think it's only $9 a pound or so. They had a lot of $3-5 packages.

              1. trentyzan RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 12, 2008 08:42 PM

                Kimbo brand Raddish (sic) Paste Cake. Sounds hilariously awful, but is deliciously great.

                1. yamalam RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 13, 2008 11:16 AM

                  I like Handy's frozen crabcakes. I was born in MD, but am exiled in the southwest, i.e. I know a good crabcake but am deprived. They are sold at Costco and Whole Foods I believe.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: yamalam
                    latindancer RE: yamalam Nov 13, 2008 05:49 PM

                    Amazing crabcakes...Costco sells them at a third of the price of my fishmarket here in S Cal.
                    A truly great find but not all Costcos sell them I've found.

                  2. l
                    laliz RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 13, 2008 11:33 AM

                    I guess mine is not so processed. I love the frozen winter squash. Nuke it and add sweetner, a dash of cinnamon and butter.

                    1. l
                      link_930 RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 13, 2008 12:01 PM

                      Trader Joe's Tarte D'Alsace. Ham, gruyere, caramelized onions. It's a serious problem.

                      1. macca RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 13, 2008 01:16 PM

                        I keep TJ frozen asparagus on hand. Easy to steam quickly. I also like the TJ lemon tarts-two to a package. Bought some last week, made a merangue to top the tarts, and popped into the oven to brown. Nice individual servings, and so easy

                        1. t
                          tinymango RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 13, 2008 06:20 PM

                          a lot of trader joe's frozen products are absolutely exceptional in most cases.

                          stouffer's mac and cheese will be echoed by me. im also quite fond of their vegetarian lasagna. cpk and wolfgang puck frozen pizzas are also a standby for me. cooking all day for others= lazy dinners for myself at 2 am.

                          i will also say that i like the green giant frozen veg dinners for myself. cauliflower cheese, steamed veg with herbs, etc.

                          1. EmmaToo RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 14, 2008 04:46 PM

                            Rising Moon frozen ravioli are most excellent. Try the Feta-Hazelnut with Butternut Squash -- so good with a simple marinara (not canned). Should be readily available in most health food or specialty markets.

                            Also, El Monterey now makes an "All Natural" line of frozen burritos, quesadillas, taquitos. They're pretty good! I love both the chicken burrito and the green chile & cheese quesadilla for a quick tasty/cheesy snack. Should be able to find in most grocery stores.

                            1. k
                              Kelli2006 RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 14, 2008 09:04 PM

                              Do Tater Tots count as processed frozen food?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Kelli2006
                                ccbweb RE: Kelli2006 Nov 15, 2008 06:15 AM

                                In what possible way could they not count as processed frozen food?

                              2. madgreek RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 15, 2008 06:59 AM

                                I found a 10 pack of El Monterey bean and cheese burritos at my local target for 1.39. I've had them for a month, and haven't gotten around to eating any yet, but remember that I used to love them, and for less than 15c per burrito, you can't beat the value. They're processed, but not heavily so, and taste fine (with lots of hot sauce, some guac, and sour cream) when cooked in the oven (gross from microwave)

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: madgreek
                                  chocolatebirthdaycake RE: madgreek Nov 15, 2008 07:17 AM

                                  "Rising Moon frozen ravioli are most excellent. Try the Feta-Hazelnut with Butternut Squash -- so good with a simple marinara (not canned). That sounds AWESOME, hope I can find them in New York.

                                  Others thinks I like are the Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Raisin "Swirl" Bread (about $3.69/loaf but worth every penny), I keep it in the freezer (it comes double-wrapped) and lightly toast slices as needed, it "ups the game' of a Tuna Salad Sandwich or Chunky Chicken Salad Sandwich tremendously.

                                  Also, believe it or not, Aunt Jemima French Toast (under $2.00/box)...I put that in the toaster and top it with good strawberry jam or sauteed bananas - YUM!

                                  1. re: madgreek
                                    ccbweb RE: madgreek Nov 15, 2008 07:20 AM

                                    I've eaten frozen burritos and expect I'm likely to again at some point. No real issues with that. I'm curious, though, about why you write that this particular brand isn't "heavily" processed. Looking at the ingredients it doesn't seem to be a simple "beans, cheese and pepper in a tortilla" that happens to be frozen.

                                  2. Gio RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 15, 2008 07:20 AM

                                    I have recently discovered the wonders of... frozen artichoke hearts. Where have they been all my life?

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Gio
                                      chocolatebirthdaycake RE: Gio Nov 15, 2008 07:24 AM

                                      How do you prepare the artichoke hearts, Gio???

                                      1. re: chocolatebirthdaycake
                                        Gio RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 15, 2008 08:33 AM

                                        I used the frozen artichoke hearts when preparing Rabbit Stewed with Artichokes for the COTM in August which was "The Glorious Foods of Greece by Diane Kochilas.
                                        I can't seem to make a Permalink so here's a link to the thread. Look for Lulusmom report titled:
                                        " Crete Chapter - Rabhit (chicken) stewed with artichokes, p. 426" It's about 1/3 down on the page.

                                        1. re: chocolatebirthdaycake
                                          mintchip RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 16, 2008 06:29 PM

                                          For a fun dip, or sandwich spread - I zap frozen artichoke hearts in the microwave (I buy mine @ Trader Joe's) & then puree them with olive oil, a little lemon juice, and tons of freshly grated parmesean cheese. S & P to taste.

                                          This is also great over pasta!

                                          1. re: mintchip
                                            yamalam RE: mintchip Nov 16, 2008 07:25 PM

                                            How do the frozen artichokes compare to canned?

                                        2. re: Gio
                                          tinymango RE: Gio Nov 16, 2008 04:05 PM

                                          oh yes, frozen artichoke hearts are very handy! also, the frozen butternut squash is great to have on hand.

                                        3. s
                                          silvergirl RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 16, 2008 04:18 PM

                                          Reames frozen noodles. Cook em in broth and add some leftover chicken or roast.

                                          1. r
                                            Rick RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 16, 2008 04:39 PM

                                            I just found at Trader Joe's frozen pre cooked Edamame. You just defrost them in the microwave and eat. They also have them frozen, not cooked, that you boil or steam for ten minutes or so. Under $2 a bag.

                                            1. c
                                              cheeser RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 16, 2008 05:25 PM

                                              i found frozen fiddleheads. so awesome! you boil them in the bag, empty into a pot, add a bit of butter, salt and pepper! delish. and nearly no prepping.

                                              1. Bill Hunt RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 16, 2008 06:48 PM

                                                Not a "supermarket," by most definitions, but I've been picking up the Thai Tempura Shrimp at Costco. We used to use a gourmet delivery service and I swear that they bought these, and just took them out of the package. Ten-twelve minutes in the toaster oven, and you've got a half-dozen light, but crisp, tempura shrimp. We always have a box of 24, or two, in the freezer. Even their little "dipping sauce" packets are pretty good.

                                                Now, the Kirkland (Costco's brand) of Tempura Shrimp were horrible - we tossed the majority of these, after one tasting. They were dried, and tasted like dead-bait smells after a day in the sun - ug-g-g!


                                                1. Will Owen RE: chocolatebirthdaycake Nov 17, 2008 04:44 PM

                                                  Those Steam'n'Mash potatoes. There are several different kinds of frozen mashed that I like, mostly those pellets that you can make as much of as you want at a time, but these new guys are almost better than from scratch, because they pretty much ARE from scratch: chunks of potato in a closed bag, so that they pressure-steam in the microwave, and then you dump them out and mash them to your liking. The garlic ones make the best side for a steak, and amazing fried potato cakes to have for breakfast with eggs.

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