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Aug 13, 2013 06:19 PM

Palatable frozen foods

I cook dinner most nights, which I mostly enjoy doing. But sometimes I'm just not really up for it, and would like the option to pull out a TV dinner and toss it in the oven. The problem, of course, is that TV dinners suck from both a taste and nutrition standpoint.

Any ideas for some palatable frozen foods that are fairly widely available? I don't have a Trader Joe's or Costco nearby. Even if it's not the best meal I ever had, something reasonably decent would be fine.

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  1. can you make homemade frozen meals? and just pull it out when you need to? If not some SandraLee dinners as we call them that dont totally suck are
    Tiger Tiger- Butter chicken simmer sauce- it isnt frozen but it is very quick
    Artisan Bistro- is really good
    Amy's- are good
    Cedar Lane- are good

    6 Replies
    1. re: girloftheworld

      Any particular meals that you'd recommend? I thought about asking for advice on homemade frozen, but that's a topic for another board.

      1. re: JonParker

        Check out Freezer Burns for informative and fun reviews. I'm another one who keeps frozen (Ore-Ida, one of the few brands I'm loyal to) fries on hand. I also have good frozen breaded fish (Trident) for "don't feel like cooking" fish and chips nights.

        1. re: JonParker

          Artisan Bistro-- I like all of them except the beef ones because they use grass fed beef..and i dont like grass fed beef..I love the morrocan chicken the best

          Cedar lane- The ministrone soup and wrap and the lasanga

          Amys- the Indian dishes are great

          1. re: girloftheworld

            Where, dear girl, do you buy these things? Supermarket ? WF ?

            1. re: C. Hamster

              Sprouts(all three)
              Whole foods(all three)
              Central Market ( all three)
              Sun Harvest foods ( all three)

              H.E.B: Has Amy's and cedar lane( but it is a local store)

        2. re: girloftheworld

          I concur completely with girl of the world. For some suggestions this is what I tend to do. I prefer to make things that do NOT require microwave heating. I'm sorry but the microwave just changes the consistency of most meals. So along these lines are things I will do;

          Baking pan dishes, eggplant parm, lasagna, baked ziti.
          Pre-cook and freeze chicken cutlets either fried or grilled.
          Soups, pea soup holds up very well, just but into a bowl in the oven or stove top.
          Mac-n-cheese. (make varieties freeze then put in the oven)
          Chicken pot pie
          Sausage peppers and onions

          To name a few.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I'll second this one -- their meals have come a *very* long way since they were first introduced, and I keep a few in the freezer at work for days I forget my lunch or can't get out ( and the restaurant pickins in the work neighborhood are pretty dire)

            They'll never be gourmet, but they're pretty tasty when you're out of time/money/giveadamn/energy.

            Much as we'd all like to convince ourselves otherwise, and much as we'd all *prefer* to do otherwise, there are just times when you just don't give a shit for any of a number of reasons...and these allow you to eat something that resembles actual food (an at least moderately *healthy* food) without feeling like you're committing culinary suicide.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I like the Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers better than their frozen dinners.
              Also P.F. Chang and Wanchai Ferry make ok Asian meals.

            2. I'm with you--I enjoy cooking, but sometimes I just want to throw something in the oven and be done with it. So, I keep a bag of Ore-Ida tater tots in the freezer, and lately have been buying Barber stuffed chicken breasts for those nights I don't want to fuss. I loved them as a kiddo and still love them as a kiddo in an adult suit. The broccoli and cheese ones are new to me and yummy, and the chicken Kiev is my very favorite.


              Keep bags of your favorite frozen veggies on hand and you're good to go. By the way, truffle oil drizzled over tater tots is pretty damned delish!

              2 Replies
              1. re: kattyeyes

                I had forgotten about the Barber chicken breasts. Good call. I used to love those. The chicken Kiev was also my favorite. Thanks for reminding me.

                1. re: JonParker

                  :) I was pleasantly surprised to find I hadn't outgrown them. Enjoy!

              2. If you want frozen prepared foods, I assume you are willing to eat meals with high salt content. In that case, the Marie Callender line of pot pies is quite tasty. They require an hour in the oven - microwave won't do. Some of the other MC meals can be nuked. It's been many years since I had one so I can't remember what the choices are.

                1 Reply
                1. re: greygarious

                  I have a friend who eats them regularly, but I've never tried them. I don't mind waiting an hour -- in fact, I really hate using the microwave for anything.

                  I'll give them a shot. Thanks!

                2. That's a tuff one...Micalenas (spelling)in a green box.they are .99 cents. Get 4 to 6 and mix it up. Frozen prepared food is usually too salty for me.(Hungry Man). But these are O.K. I usually eat 2.

                  1 Reply