Whole Foods Freezer Tips & Tricks

wholefoods 365 logo

With the school year upon us, time, patience and creativity will ultimately become our adversaries in the kitchen.  Wouldn’t we love to serve our families fresh, delicious homemade meals every night? Often we’ll find ourselves short on time and ideas.

Don’t fret.  You can make the freezer your secret weapon this back-to-school season.

If you live near a Whole Foods Market, (if you don’t you can still use these idea starters for your meals) you’re in luck.  I’m not sure a week goes by without a visit to the market.With a visit to Whole Foods Market, where I’ve discovered my freezer’s potential by planning healthy, flavorful meals in advance and I love the 365 Everyday Value® products.  You can fill your freezer (and pantry) without emptying your pocketbook. With value prices every day of the year, it’s just become easier for you to stock on on some of the best products without sacrificing your wallet!

Here are some suggestions:

Breakfast
You can start the day off right by getting your fruits and veggies first thing in the morning.  Prepare a great breakfast with the 365 Everyday Value® line of organic frozen fruits and veggies— all free of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. Create an easy morning smoothie, or simply defrost some frozen fruit and toss in your yogurt or oatmeal.

Lunch and Dinner
When it comes to lunch and dinner planning, high-quality meals can be arranged simply and quickly with the proper preparation.
Whole Foods Market leads the industry in seafood sustainability, and the freezer section is no exception. The retailer’s expanding selection of frozen items conveniently offers shoppers high-quality seafood with exceptional value:
·      Whole Catch® Fillets are available in Sockeye Salmon, Mahi Mahi, Turbot and Monkfish. The fillets are all wild caught, vacuum-packed and flash frozen, so home cooks can make as much as they need and save the rest for another meal. Try this Easy Teriyaki Salmon Rice Bowl for dinner in a flash.
·      Whole Catch® Crunchy & Peppery Popcorn Shrimp is great finger food to make seafood fun for the whole family.
·      365 Everyday Value® Lightly Breaded Calamari is great on its own with cocktail sauce, or use it to make this Crispy Calamari Lettuce Wraps for lunch or a light dinner.

Another easy go-to freezer staple is Whole Foods Market’s frozen meat, which is not only a great value, but is also in convenient freezer-ready vacuum packs to avoid spoilage. Plus, all meat sold in Whole Foods Market’s meat case has been raised on a vegetarian diet without antibiotics or added hormones. Some specific frozen options include:
·      Nature’s Rancher Ready-to-Cook Chicken Burgers are a great weeknight meal option. Serve with seasonal vegetables or add 365 Everyday Value® Organic Frozen Sweet Yellow Corn atop your burger.
·      Nature’s Rancher Hot Dogs are a favorite for the whole family. If you want to spice it up for the adults, use with this Homemade Fennel Mustard recipe.
·      365 Everyday Value® Meatless Burgers are the perfect option for the vegan or vegetarian at your dinner table. A good source of fiber and protein, these vegan burgers have no cholesterol or saturated fat—making them a healthy meal option for the whole family.
·      Nature’s Rancher USDA Certified Black Angus Beef Burgers are a great option for family meals or even a quick tailgate because they’re pre-grilled to perfection and frozen to lock in flavor. Just heat and eat!

And last, but certainly not least, are the grains and vegetables! 365 Everyday Value® frozen organic vegetables are frozen at the peak of freshness and are a fraction of the cost. You cook veggies with 365 Everyday Value® Organic Brown Rice for a quick and nutritious dinner.

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated by Whole Foods Market to write this post.  I am a HUGE fan of Whole Foods and their 365 brands of products and simply wanted to share my experiences.

 

 

Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Meat

Stuffed zucchini halves.

Our garden is so overgrown, it’s quite embarrassing.

It looks as though it hasn’t been maintained for months, and it has.  But, underneath the crowded jungle of green leaves, I recently discovered two massive zucchinis. For whatever reason, every summer we grow JUMBO zucchinis—the kind that could win an award at a local farmer’s contest.

zucchiniThis year’s bounty

In fact, last year our largest zucchini measured 23 inches.

zucchini

We love zucchini prepared any way: fried, sautéed, shredded, roasted. But, our favorite dish celebrating zucchini?

Zucchini boats stuffed with meat.

Believe it or not, it’s a tasty dish that’s quite filling. You’ll be surprised at how much flavor the zucchini substitute adds and how you won’t miss the pasta.

We eat this dish year round, and you should too.

Try it for yourself.  The appeal factor alone will get your picky eaters to raise an eyebrow and try the “boat”.

Enjoy.

 

Giveaway: $150 Amazon.com Gift Card

Believe it or not, even though I live in NYC and am within walking distance to many housewares stores, I still continue to purchase many of my kitchen appliances on Amazon.com.

I find the site very easy to navigate and use.  Whatever item you’re seeking, with a simple keyword search, you’ll receive myriad suggestions with product pictures and amazing consumer reviews as well. When I was purchasing my slow cooker for a writing project, I spent days reading the candid consumer reviews and rating systems before I made my personal selection.  Not to mention, Amazon.com offers suggestions for other related items to purchase (because why wouldn’t they want consumers to BUY MORE) so I was able to bundle my slow cooker with a handy cook book that’s been put to almost as much use as the appliance.  I’ve also purchased my cooking utensils, blenders, panini makers, and pots and pans on the site as well.

As a longtime fan of the site, I’m pleased to offer one lucky reader a chance to win a $100 gift card to explore all that Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer, has to offer.

So, what are you waiting for?  Enter to win now:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Summer Fruit Dips

I’m amazed that some of my friends have kids who have already gone back to school. To me, summer is finally in full bloom.  Due to the harsh winter, none of our flowers even showed signs of budding until the end of July.  The corn stalks are finally as high as high as an elephants’ eye.  The farmer’s stands are BURSTING with a plethora of colorful fruits and veggies that it’s hard not to stop and simply take in their visual beauty and splendor.

From August through Labor Day, my kitchen is usually stocked with  fresh fruits and vegetables  so I can make a quick, light, refreshing summer recipe on the fly.  For instance, last night, for dessert, my son asked for fruit salad.  This has never been requested before so I jumped at the opportunity.

Simply cutting up a variety of fruits:  apples, pears, strawberries, and bananas, and serving them with a homemade fruit dip (that literally took five minutes to prepare) was the the perfect answer to his request.  Not to mention, we enjoyed it this am for breakfast too.

Time to enhance the flavor of fresh, ripe fruits to give them the added attention they deserve.

Enjoy.

 cherryfruitdip

photo courtesy of P&G Everyday

fruit dip

 

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