As part of a Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Birds Eye Steamfresh Chef’s Favorites, I was offered the opportunity to preview Birds Eye’s newest line of products – Steamfresh Chef’s Favorites, which will hit stores this September. They sent me four packages of their chef-inspired vegetable dishes to sample. There was the Lightly Sauced Creamed Spinach, Creamy Primavera Vegetable Risotto, Mushroom and Green Bean Risotto, and Roasted Red Potato and Green Beans.
Each product comes in a special microwavable steam bag that lets you prepare the dish in just a few minutes with the convenience of your microwave. Alternatively, cooking it on the stove top is just as easy.
I’m not stranger to Birds Eye Steamfresh products or frozen vegetables in general. I always prefer frozen over canned. Of course I opt for fresh vegetables whenever possible, but frozen foods do have their advantages. I normally purchase plain and simple, unseasoned frozen vegetables. Then, I would either steam them in the microwave or incorporate it in a recipe. After I heat them, I would either enjoy them as is, or season the vegetables with my choice of dressings.
I decided to heat up the Mushroom and Green Bean Risotto and Roasted Red Potato and Green Beans to try.
The risotto features cooked rice in a creamy sauce along with sliced mushroom and cut green bean. It’s prepared with a mushroom and soy sauce flavor in a chicken base. (Note: Not vegetarian) It has a nice creamy texture. There’s about two 2/3 cup servings in the bag. Each serving is about 170 calories.
The roasted red potatoes and green beans is prepared in a Parmesan olive oil sauce. The potatoes are cubed and roasted with skin on. The dish is also very creamy. There’s about two 1 cup servings in the bag, each with about 120 calories.
I was only able to sample a little bit of the two sides. They were not bad, especially for something frozen. Each dish highlighted its own flavors, and were not bland at all. The flavors seem to mostly come from all the cheese ingredients. I found myself enjoying the roasted potatoes and green beans more than the mushroom risotto.
However, I couldn’t really eat too much of it because of the dairy content in the products since I’m lactose intolerant. Although it says “lightly sauced,” the dishes are still very creamy. From looking at the ingredients lists, it appears to have a lot of dairy products with milk, cream, and/or butter appear multiple times on the list. I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn’t filled with all forms of cream and milk. I like my vegetable sides on the lighter side. Not a lactose intolerant friendly food, but surely suitable for many omnivores. Anyhow, they would make convenient side dishes to complement with many dishes. It takes less than 10 minutes from freezer to table.
About the other two packages left in the freezer. The Creamy Primavera Vegetable Risotto features cooked rice mixed with chunks of carrots and peas prepared in a Parmesan sauce. This risotto looks pretty simple. I’d imagine that it can easily go along with any choice of meat, fish, or vegetarian alternative. The Lightly Sauced Creamed Spinach can be handy for cooking other dishes as well. It could help you skip a few preparation steps while baking a tasty spinach pie or a savory quiche. Another idea that came across my mind was to use it as fillings for assembling spinach pierogies or dumplings.
Any way, these Chef’s Favorites will be available in September, so look out for them in the freezer section of your local grocery store.
Disclaimer: The product was provided to me as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program. No other compensation was received for this post. The post was written by LookyTasty and all opinions expressed are solely mine.