this post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx on behalf of Healthy Choice, who provided me their Power Bowls free of charge for review. all opinions contained within are my own. as always, thank you for allowing me to partner with brands to bring you wholesome recipes, nutrition information & products you might like!
As an RD, I would be completely crazy to believe that everyone looking to improve their nutrition is going to prepare all their meals from scratch. While it’s absolutely wonderful to prepare as many dishes as you can from scratch, it’s certainly not always feasible.
I’ve always been a proponent of making changes that work for YOU and YOUR lifestyle. And even for me, as a Registered Dietitian, that sometimes includes frozen meals! Frozen meals get a bad rep, but they can actually be a perfectly reasonable choice when you’re short on time or frankly, just don’t feel like cooking for yourself!
Here are my main tips when buying frozen meals:
- Look for Dishes that Contain a Nutrients Mix: Ideally you want a dish that will combine a few different macronutrient groups (the more the better if you’re not planning to add anything to the dish). Try to find something that will provide some protein, grain and vegetable. From there, it’s easy to just add a piece of fruit and make a complete meal!
- Look for Low or Moderate Sodium: One of the biggest drawbacks of pre-packaged foods is that they can often be sodium bombs. Ideally you can find options that have 400 mg of sodium or less per serving (slightly higher can be okay if you have no issues with high sodium levels and you’re careful with your intake the remainder of the day)
- Be Wary of Crazy Ingredients: When you’re buying frozen meals, there will always been some ingredients added in to help preserve flavor and texture. That said, when the ingredient list is a mile long and you find you can’t pronounce (let alone recognize) half of them, put it back on the shelf and reach for something else! I like to aim for 15 ingredients or less.
- Choose Dishes You Wouldn’t Make: When I’m buying a frozen meal, I like to choose things that I wouldn’t be able to just throw together myself. I like to try new flavor combinations that I’ve never worked with before – it keeps things fun & interesting even if I’m not cooking myself!
- Make it Your Own: Frozen meals aren’t tailored specifically to you, so feel free to add additional items to make it work for YOU and YOUR dietary needs! For example, if you have an egg scramble bowl, add a piece or two of whole grain toast and some fruit to ensure it will hold you over and meet your specific needs.
Healthy Choice recently launched two lines, Morning Power Bowls, as well as Vegan and Vegetarian Power Bowls, to provide health-conscious, time-starved consumers with quick, nutrient-dense additions to meal time and I was able to try them out!
Each morning bowl contains leafy greens, proteins and a mix of ancient grains & steel cut oats. I was provided the Turkey Sausage & Egg White Scramble morning power bowl which combines turkey sausage with egg whites and vegetables, all served on top of steel cut oats, farro, buckwheat and red quinoa with a creamy avocado sauce.
Overall I thought this breakfast power bowl was good. The mix of flavors were pleasing and I felt it held up well to heating process. The sausage remained tender without getting chewy & overcooked which was a big plus for me. It was a little salty for my taste and too low in calories for what I require so I had to add fruit and two slices of toast in order to have it hold me over. My husband on the other hand, absolutely loved it. We even bought a few more for him to have as a quick breakfast option during the week!
The other bowl I was provided was Mango Edamame Power Bowl which combines edamame, mango & vegetables served on top of brown & red rice, red quinoa and black barley with red wine vinaigrette topped with dried cherries & sunflower seeds.
I really liked this bowl. I thought the combination of flavors was great with the sweetness from the mango and dried cherries playing well against the more salty edamame, grains & sunflower seeds. Speaking of salt, I didn’t find this one to be too salty, but just right and I liked that it offered up varying textures. It held up well to the heating process and overall was a yummy veggie bowl!
I also love that they Healthy Choice made the bowls from a plant-based fiber that is recyclable – I think it goes to show just how much thought went into the making of these.
You can shop these bowls in your local grocery store or via Instacart here!1