I try to regularly cook from scratch, but there are many days when things just get too crazy busy (especially at this time of year!) and it’s hard to find the time to cook. That’s why I always enjoy discovering and shopping for convenient, good-for-you meal options to just pull out of the freezer and heat.
However, while frozen meals and convenience foods have been increasing in popularity, many of the popular options aren’t the most healthful – and are loaded with additives, preservatives, and low-quality proteins, not to mention fat and sodium.
That’s why I was happy to be invited to try out some meals from Artisan Bistro, a line of gluten free frozen meals, all containing a minimum of 70% organic ingredients. Plus, they can be found at stores I usually shop at, including Super Target and Cub Foods.
Here I found them in the frozen meals aisle at Super Target.
Artisan Bistro only uses super-premium, real food ingredients including free-range chicken, grass fed beef, and wild-caught sustainable fish. Varieties include:
- Wild Salmon – wild-caught Alaskan salmon, Japanica rice, broccoli, walnuts and dried cranberries
- Ginger Chicken – free-range chicken with brown rice, green beans, sugar snap peas, carrots and ginger puree.
- Thai Style Red Curry with Beef – grass-fed beef with brown rice, sweet potatoes, green beans, coconut milk, red bell pepper puree, turmeric and toasted sesame oil.
In addition to free-range and grass-fed proteins, the entrees also feature a variety of whole grains and legumes like quinoa, lentils and garbanzo beans, and farm-fresh, crisp vegetables. Currently, all entrees are gluten free and contain non-GMO ingredients.
The meals I tried were Wild Salmon with Pesto, Grass-Fed Beef with Mushroom Sauce, and the Roasted Poblano Chicken Meal for Two.
The Wild Salmon with Pesto and Grass-Fed Beef with Mushroom Sauce were individual meals that took around 40 minutes to cook in the oven (they’re also microwaveable). They smelled sooo good as I prepared them and turned out very flavorful and satisfying. I did add tartar sauce to the wild salmon just because personally I can’t eat fish without it, though it wasn’t necessary with the pesto. The fish was tender as was the beef, so they each made for a tasty meal that made me feel like I was eating take-out from a fancy restaurant!
The Roasted Poblano Chicken was quickest to prepare (all on the stove, which is the recommended method). It’s a meal for two with organic black beans, green beans and brown rice, so it makes a nice romantic meal for couples, or you can save half for leftovers. At a cost of $7.99 at Super Target for the meal for two, it’s definitely a more affordable option than dining out. A glass of wine or sparkling cider would go great with it (I’m a big milk drinker so I just had milk – it rounded out a very healthful dinner!).
Overall I loved all the Artisan Bistro meals I tried and am planning to try some more including the Citrus Cranberry Glazed Turkey. I think they make a great at-home meal anytime, and are an affordable alternative to eating out. My only complaint was the portion sizes – I thought they could all be bigger (calories were around 370). I just paired my meals with bread or salads to complete them (just like I would in a restaurant anyway!).
GET COUPONS AND TRY THEM OUT!
On their website, be sure to request a coupon for Artisan Bistro meals to save money!
Artisan Bistro meals are available in natural food stores and grocers throughout Minnesota including Target, Cub Foods, Hudson Country Market, Kowalski’s and more.