Saturday, March 23, 2013

ConAgra Frozen Food (review)

We don't eat a lot of frozen foods around here. It has been ingrained in my head that frozen foods are heavily processed and not fresh. Well, I'm here to tell you that is not always the case and that is not the case with ConAgra Foods like Healthy Choice and Marie Callender's (I hear the applause of many time-crunched mothers thanking me for this information). Great news just in time for National Frozen Food Month (March - hurry before it's over!).

Healthy Choice and Marie Callender's meals are made with fresh ingredients - fresh vegetables and fresh meats. They give you access to foods year-round that you can't always find fresh in certain seasons. The vegetables are picked right at the peak of freshness and go from farm to freezer in 24 hours - allowing you to have fresh vegetables year-round. How great is that?

So I tried the Healthy Choice 100% Natural Portabella Marsala Pasta. My mushrooms didn't taste frozen or old; they tasted peak, like what I would get at a restaurant (I've never cooked on my own with mushrooms so possibly what you could make at home, too).

cheesy pose, maybe, but the smile is real. I was happy with the price, the quickness, the taste of this food. It really hit the spot that day.
We hear often that frozen foods are gross, uninspired, cardboard-tasting. I've eaten some like that so I understand the misconception. These ConAgra foods are not like that - many are chef-created meals. Healthy Choice uses ingredients inspired by chefs, like apples instead of sugar for tart sweetness or wine instead of salt. I don't cook like a chef, but I'll tell you that my Portabella Marsala Pasta tasted like something I would get if I ordered outside my home - and it was under $4. I believe our store even had it on sale for 2 for $6 - so $3! That's a cheap meal!

Don't those mushrooms look great? I'm not 100% sure how they compare to fresh but they're much better-tasting than canned.
 Usually when we use frozen foods, they are mostly vegetables (and french fries). I love that my eyes have been opened to a semi-frugal (depending on your budget) way to feed my family maybe when I don't have as much time to spend cooking. I was really surprised at the price of these foods. I always thought Marie Callender's were really expensive - which meant out of my budget; but they really aren't. I can't go out with my family and spend $3-4 per person and feed them. On nights that I don't want to cook, this is a wonderful, fast option. Sometimes I want to go out to eat but it's not in our budget. That doesn't mean that I have to cook now. I really would like to implement what I've learned about Healthy Choice and Marie Callender's by using their foods from time to time in my menu planning. Growing up we used to have pot pies or freezer meal nights - now I can do that with healthier options!



If you've been a reader or friend of mine, you know I'm concerned with my weight. I've lost so much, I don't want to gain it back. If you've ever heard that frozen foods aren't good for your weight or healthy eating, that's wrong too. Not always! Watch what you eat for sure, but Healthy Choice and Marie Callender's are wonderful options for calorie counting people. A lot of us don't have time to cook every day; these meals are portion-control options that are yummy. Portion-control is half the battle with watching what you eat! Frozen foods like these ConAgra brands take the guess work out of it. The two brands have more than 80 meals with less than 400 calories. I haven't been calorie counting long but I know that's amazing. The Healthy Choice Four Cheese Ziti Mariana has 310 calories; that's room left over for a great salad or even dessert. Comfort food that's healthy; strange!

I do recommend putting the meal into another container. They look small in their plastic containers but once I put mine in a bowl, it looked like a good-sized portion. Just a little tip from me to you.

I wish I could cook something this fancy.
I still highly recommend that you watch what you take into your body. Not every meal is going to be right for you that day but there are so many options with Healthy Choice and Marie Callender's. And we, as moms and dads, love options!


ConAgra Foods frozen meals give families access to real ingredients like crunchy, freshly cut vegetables, homemade pasta and ripe fruit year-round. Just like most people blanch veggies before freezing them – ConAgra Foods does too – to help preserve color, texture and keep them fresh!
Give it a try sometime! Marie Callender’s hearty pot pies are filled with tender meat, freshly cut vegetables and Marie’s authentic golden, flaky crust. And Healthy Choice recipes use chef-inspired ingredients like, apples instead of sugar for tart sweetness and a splash of red wine for a punch of flavor instead of added salt.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ConAgra Foods.

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