Heat and Eat Reviews/Frozen Meals
- Eaterlover Feb 19, 2009 08:24 AM
This might be an anti-Chow post, but I wanted to see if there were anyone out there that knows of this website: heatandeatreview.com? I know most 'hounders are pretty fanatical about great ingrediants and full flavor, but what can a CH do when when she works at a client site with little to no options other than the Sodexho (read: Nazi-like blandess) cafe? Has anyone else resorted to eating frozen meals when relocated out of their normal culinary comfort zones? I guess my point is, not all frozen meals have to be bad and I think this website helps.
I'm a follower of the website....while I try to avoid heat/eat meals, sometimes they fit the bill and I work alone and keep a couple of meals in the freezer in case I can't get out for lunch and haven't brought anything.
I used to be strangely addicted to "Smart Ones" .
They have two flavors that I used to go crazy for - Schezuan Chicken and Oriental Chicken.
But i could only eat them a certain way which would disgust most people (I'm weird folks!)
The directions suggest 3-4 minutes in the microwave...but I used to put them in for like 10-14 minutes!
The sauce would caramelize and become super dense and incredilbly tasty...some spots would burn and become crispy and super tasty..the noodles would in spots be dry, yet slightly greasy...and SO delicious!
I would break bits off with my hands, so I could only do this in the privacy of my own home!
Two years ago we bought a home that didnt come wioth a microwave...seein as this was the only thing we ever used it for, we haven't bought one yet.
I did try the oven method, leaving it in to "burn" but it just doesn't come out the same! Yuck!
If anyone is curious = give it a shot - you'll be surprised at how delicious this can be.
Though sorry - not for the office!
LOL this sounds hilarious. I'm so amazed by the idea that over cooking a frozen meal can make it better because I usually try to undercook my meals so that the vegetables don't end in mushy sadness. Since I started working away from home, I think my favorite brand is lean cuisine, their no preservatives thing really jives with me--and have you had the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Creamy Walnut sauce? If you doubled the portions, stuck it on a plate, you could charge $16 at a bistro. I'm also seriously digging Kashi's Chicken Florentine (I find their other flavors to be lack luster) and I've tried reheating a Bertolli skillet meal (Chicken, Garlic, Asparagus and Cherry Tomato) in a pint container, much to my disdain; the stuff is more like soup than a pasta meal. Phew its good to know I'm not alone.
LOL! NellyNel, back in college i used to do something similar -it was a frozen Healthy Choice (i think) Oriental Chicken entrée that had rice instead of noodles...and about halfway through the extended cooking time i would douse it with rice wine vinegar to boost the flavor & encourage even more caramelization.
Note: the website is heateatreview.com (no "AND" in the URL).
And I've taken to picking up a few frozen items at local supermarkets to bring in to work for lunch if I haven't made anything at home that has leftovers OR don't want to venture out into the cold to the cafeteria in the other building (where I usually just a wrap sandwich) or drive to get something. Recent favorites:
Stouffer's Lasagna with Meat Sauce (individual size)
Stouffer's French Bread Pizza with 3 Meats
Nancy's Quiche Lorraine
I've seen Amy's pretty much at every store in my city and we don't have anything nearly so high end as Whole Foods here. Lots of times it's not necessarily placed with the other frozen dinners so it can be harder to find. At my Super Target it is by the frozen fish and at my other grocery store it is in the appetizer area.
I love gourmet, great ingredients ... everything, however, I just posted a similar blog to hoping that there are others out there at times who at times, like campbells soup, boxed food and take short cuts when necessary. Yes ... I do have some boxed frozen dinners. I have a couple of boston market, not too bad and a couple of stouffers ...
Not my favorite but you get home at midnight, dead tired, didn't get to the store and don't want to cook, heck yeah. A nice piece of lasagna and frozen peas. Certainly not gourmet but better than a Micky D's Burger ... So I don't feel too bad.
I try to get a few better quality meals or smaller portions but they are fine for me. I'm not picky. Besides there are quite a few out there that are actually pretty good and not too bad health wise.