Raise your hand if you like a hot lunch. Now raise your hand if you have a hot lunch every day. It requires a lot of planning, usually in the form of making enough dinner to have leftovers for the next day.
If you have a big family or, in my case, live with a very hungry boyfriend, leftover s don’t always happen. So what to do then? You reach for a handy-dandy soup or microwaveable meal. Most recently, I gave a few gluten-free heat-and-serve options a whirl offered by The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. It was all part of my ‘research’ for our “Thrill of the Choice” campaign going on over at our main NFCA website. Visit the Thrill of the Choice webpage.
These soups aren’t your standard chicken noodle. They come in a variety of flavors like Organic Creamy Acorn Squash and Mango Soup and Organic Creamy Potato Leek Soup, and they’re packaged in resealable cartons, not cans. I find that the cartons store nicely in the fridge, so you can eat what you want and save the rest for later. The soups don’t require any water or add-ins, but I like to beef mine up with some spinach (store a bag of prewashed leaves in the fridge). The leaves cook down as the soup heats, so you’re left with a nice texture and an extra punch of nutrients.
Gluten-Free Café® Frozen Entrees:
I’m pretty skeptical of entire meals that can be made at the push of a button, especially ones that involve gluten-free pasta. Nevertheless, I popped a Gluten-Free Café® Pasta Primavera in the microwave and zapped it for 3 minutes. Immediately, an enticing smell filled the office. Another 3 minutes, and it was ready.
The pasta is actually a rice noodle, so they get a little gummy after heating through. However, this didn’t deter from the flavor. The sauce was creamy and buttery, with plenty of veggies that added a soft crunch and freshness to the dish. I could actually taste the flavor of zucchini and green beans when I bit into the vegetables, which was a refreshing change to the floppy, shriveled vegetables I’ve found in other frozen entrees.
Now the real test: the nutrition facts. The bad news? 4.5g of saturated fat. The good news? The dish has 4g of protein, 4g of fiber, tons of vitamins, and a reasonable 260mg of sodium. Considering that I’ve seen sodium counts in the 600s on other microwavable foods, this is a big plus.
Overall, a great lunch option, especially when it means you can make your co-workers jealous by heating up something scrumptious. Imagine Soups and Gluten-Free Café entrees are available at grocery stores across the country. Visit GlutenFreeChoices.com to find a location near you.
NFCA is giving away a gluten-free prize pack from The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. valued at $100. Enter to win »