As much as I love cooking, there are some nights where whipping up an entire meal is a chore instead of a fun experience. It is so tempting to just order pizza or some other delivery on these nights, but I end up not enjoying it as much as a home cooked meal. So I was really excited when the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program gave me the chance to try Birds Eye’s new line of microwave-steamed veggies, which are ready to eat in minutes.
The vegetables steam right in the bag, and can go straight from the freezer into the microwave (they can also be cooked on the stove top). While cooking in the microwave, the bags puff up to steam the vegetables in about five minutes, depending on which bag you are cooking.
- Lightly Sauced Primavera Vegetable Risotto: a creamy risotto, with sweet green peas and tender carrots, with light notes of Parmesan cheese.
- Lightly Sauced Mushroom & Green Bean Risotto: made with savory mushrooms and cut green beans.
- Lightly Sauced Creamed Spinach
- Lightly Sauced Roasted Red Potatoes & Green Beans with Parmesan Olive Oil Sauce: whole green beans and roasted baby red potatoes, lightly tossed in a Parmesan cheese and olive oil sauce.
I enjoyed all four, but my favorites were the risottos. I love risotto, and make it quite often. But it is a good half hour process, so it is pretty time consuming. In a pinch, these risottos are a yummy side dish, or even a complete meal.
The mushroom and green bean risotto was creamy and delicious. The green beans still maintained their crunch which worked well with the creaminess of the rice and mushrooms.
|Mushroom & Green Bean Risotto|
The Primavera Vegetable Risotto was also really creamy. The peas and carrots still had a wonderful fresh taste to them. I actually ended up adding a bit more Parmesan cheese (hey, it was the only thing in my fridge. I might as well use it!)
The creamed spinach was so yummy! It’s a versatile side dish and would be great with steak, pork chops, or (as I used to eat it as a kid), with macaroni and cheese.
The Roasted Red Potatoes and Green Beans were another huge time saver. Making potatoes is another pretty long process, so it was so nice to have roasted red potatoes in just minutes. I think I would have enjoyed these more without the cheesy sauce, but they were still tasty. I ate this with a simple sauteed chicken, but would also work well with salmon, other fish, or honestly any kind of meat.
Each bag is retailed in a range of $2.69 – $3.09 per item, so they are also an affordable option for dinner. The timing I received these could not have been better. Coming off of vacation, I had literally nothing in my fridge (ok, I had some Parmesan cheese, but that doesn’t make a meal!) so the Chef Favorites were my go-to sides. I only had to worry about cooking up a quick protein to accompany the dish. I’d suggest purchasing a few of these bags at a time so that you always have some around for convenience. These four Chef’s Favorites will be in stores in September; look for them in the freezer section.