February 21, 2013

Thursday Giveaway: Whole Foods Organic Meals & $25 Gift Card

whole foods gnocchi

Today I am thrilled to be offering up a Whole Foods Market Gift Card as a giveaway. The reason? I recently had the pleasure of enjoying their new Whole Foods Organic Frozen meals and I think you all need to go out and try some yourself. I usually don’t buy tons of frozen foods, but I am not opposed to a shortcut here and there. I love the general Whole Foods philosophy of cooking with real ingredients so if I do take shortcuts it is usually from that store. Of course, there is no better time for a shortcut then with a new baby in the house. It made perfect sense to give some of their easy to prepare frozen meals a try this month. Here is what we tried and liked:

Classic Margherita Pizza: Pizza is one of our favorites! The nice thing about the Whole Foods pizza is that there were real tomatoes on top. The cheese was also true shredded mozzarella. I know this because it melted and bubbled up in the oven. I find so many cheeses on frozen pizzas don’t really melt (fake!), but this cheese did. It is the perfect size for one adult or two children. I even baked it on the same sheet as the spanikopita – a bonus since it is so convenient to prepare two things at once. This pizza crisped up beautifully in our oven. I would highly recommend it for an easy lunch or light dinner. It is also great for kids.

Gnocchi Sorrentino: This awesome gnocchi dish came in a freezer bag. To cook it I simply heated it the skillet for ten minutes. The gnocchi was chewy and light. The marinara tasted incredibly fresh and it made the perfect lunch for two.

Chicken & Vegetable Potstickers: I find potstickers tricky since I try to stay away from heavily fried foods. A lot of frozen potstickers require reheating in vats of oil, or being steamed through which causes them to fall apart. However, the whole package of frozen potstickers only required two teaspoons of oil for cooking on the stovetop. I let them warm over low heat so that the skins crisped up and the filling heated through. We were thrilled that they didn’t come apart one bit and were hot all the way to the very center. I served them with a simple dish of warm low-sodium soy sauce for dipping. I can envision serving these as appetizers at small gatherings or to accompany a dinner of Asian-inspired foods.

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Chicken Fried Rice: Once again – I so rarely eat fried rice because the take-out version is so oily and fatty. I was even hesitant to pick-up the Whole Foods version since I was fairly certain it would not be the best food to help me toward my pregnancy weight-loss goal. However, the directions said it only required one tablespoon or less of light cooking oil to prepare so I decided to give it a shot. Luckily, as the package stated, it really was a cinch to prepare in the skillet and it was not at all oily or fatty. The rice cooked through beautifully and it was filled with fresh carrots, peas, chicken, and scrambled egg. Next time I need to itch my fried rice craving I am reaching for this – not dialing take-out!

Spanakopita: I almost didn’t select these to try since, well, aren’t they the quintessential frozen appetizer that are never as good as you want them to be? However, since my husband loves them I bought them anyway and am so glad I did. They are stuffed full of fresh spinach and the blend of cheese inside are rich and creamy. The filo stayed nice and crisp in the oven – there was not a oily sheet in sight! We also found them to be a nice size for an appetizer. All too often I find Spanakopita to be enormous or way too small with only a single measly leaf of spinach inside.  These were just the right two-bite size. I can honestly say these are the only frozen Spanakopita I will ever buy again.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Lava Cakes: What kind of person would I be if I didn’t test out the desserts?! Given to that I am a bit of a lava cake feign I decided to try these first. They were fully baked to begin with, I just needed to reheat them in the oven for 10 minutes to warm them up. We loved how the cookie truly tasted fresh baked and there was not a hint of anything artificial. The molten chocolate in the center was perfectly melted and spilled out onto our plates when the cake was cut in half. We served ours with vanilla ice cream to cut the richness of the cake. It made a wonderfully decadent dessert. I can see serving these at casual dinner parties or to kids for a special treat!

Whole Foods Gift Card

To enter to win a $25 gift card to Whole Foods so you can try these foods yourself!:

1) Leave a comment telling me which one of their new frozen foods you would like to try.

2) Contest runs from February 21st at 7:00am ET through February 28th at 7:00am ET. Winner will be announced in the March 1st newsletter! (be sure to subscribe!)