One of the benefits of being a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher is that from time to time you get opportunities to try new products (ones that aren’t even on the market yet) through their Tastemaker program. In the interest of full disclosure, I did receive the products gratis – despite that, I reviewed the products on their own merits. I was lucky enough to be able to try these products before they were released in stores, but they are widely available in most grocery stores right now.
I tend to shy away from most convenience foods, with steam-in-bag veggies being a notable exception. My diet, in recent months, has been extremely protein-heavy. Although I prefer my produce fresh, seasonal, and local, these bags are a great compromise. So I was extremely excited to receive a box with four bags of Birds Eye Chef’s Favorites – just add a protein entrée to any of them, and you have a complete meal.
I think I was most excited about trying the Primavera Risotto. I love a good risotto, and although there’s really no replicating the real thing, this was a nice compromise – nice and creamy, good herby flavor profile.
It went beautifully with some pan-sauteed salmon. I’d definitely buy this one again, based on flavor and ease of preparation. Timing was spot-on, too. Both the risotto and the fish were done at around the same time.
I was psyched to see that they had a creamed spinach – spinach has been a favorite vegetable of mine for as long as I can remember, and this preparation was creamy without being overly rich. A nice compromise.
I served this as part of an entire meal along with a pan-sauteed steak and the steamable mushroom risotto.
I have to admit, I wasn’t too crazy about the mushroom risotto, and I’m usually a big fan. I’m not sure if it was a texture thing or a flavor thing, or a combination of both. Maybe I’m too used to the “real” version to accept a substitute. Still, I don’t believe I’ll be buying this one again.
I did enjoy the addition of green beans to the risotto, which added fresh veggie flavor and a nice crisp texture.
Which may explain why my favorite of the four was the Roasted Red Potatoes and Green Beans. A lovely creamy garlic sauce lightly coated the “just right” green beans and potato chunks.
This was an absolutely perfect dinner with some sautéed salmon. I actually enjoyed it so much that I’ve had it a few times in the month since I wrote this review.
Overall, I liked these enough that I’ll be purchasing them regularly, especially in the winter when the Ohio growing season is a distant memory. They seem to be a decent value for the price.
I’m curious to know if you’ve tried these yet. If so, what did you think? What are YOUR favorite convenience foods?