Over the years we’ve gotten a lot of questions about frozen food. Things like, “Is it good for you?” or people questioning the quality of the ingredients that are in it. Yes, it’s hard to believe that some people have the misconception that frozen food is something other than simply real food, that’s frozen. So, this past weekend I traveled to Solon, Ohio to visit Stouffer’s to see what they’re really all about.
If you recognize these boxes, then you probably already know that they belong to Stouffer’s, a division of Nestlé Prepared Foods. This is the same company that makes Hot Pockets and Lean Cuisine meals, too!
Stouffer’s test kitchen was absolutely incredible! Individual stations for each chef, plentiful fresh ingredients and a great team of experienced chefs with a genuine passion for creating delicious and nutritious meals that are convenient for all of us!
Plus, their test kitchen works closely with Chavanne Hanson, Wellness Champion (what a neat title, eh?). She’s a registered dietician and nutrition expert who makes sure that every dish delivers on both delicious taste and thoughtful nutrition. (Sounds good to me!)
I also got to meet with Steve Warner who is Head of North American Procurement, or as I like saying, the head honcho in charge of getting all the best ingredients. He told me that shopping for Stouffer’s is a lot like the grocery shopping each of us do, but on a much, much, much bigger scale! He’s always on the lookout for the best value in prices and quality… except he’s looking for stuff by the trainload!
After visiting the test kitchen, I got to learn a lot about what goes on in what they like to call their Big Kitchen. (That’s right, no factory here!) Their Big Kitchen sees a ton of fresh ingredients every single day, including tomatoes that were picked just HOURS before making their way to Stouffer’s, and into that yummy marinara sauce we all know and love!
Here are some things I learned that I thought you guys might enjoy:
- Stouffer’s likes to boast that the only preservative they use is flash freezing, which is a pretty neat process that basically locks in all of the flavors without having to add in any extras!
- Everything is homemade and put together by real people. No robots here! That means, that layered lasagna you love so much was actually placed there by an employee who even takes the time to carefully tuck the noodles around the edges, so you don’t have to deal with those burnt pieces!
- Stouffer’s has a team made up of some of the top chefs in the country, whose job it is to discover new trends and find creative ways to bring them to you!
By the way, I know a lot of us tend to think that there is more salt in frozen foods, but I learned that Stouffer’s has actually tested this theory by asking folks to create their own versions of some of their meals at home. The results? We tend to cook with a lot more salt at home because most of us don’t really measure everything out!
I don’t know about you, but by the time I finished meeting with everyone, and learning about the way things work, I found that frozen food really is just…Real Food. Frozen.
Stouffer’s was so happy we came to visit them that they wanted to share some of their special VIP coupons with twelve (12) lucky readers!
All you have to do is let us know what your favorite frozen entrees are in the comments below for a chance to win!
Giveaway Rules: Coupons are valid on any Stouffer’s or Lean Cuisine items (up to 18oz), with a max value of $4.19. Giveaway is open and offered only to legal residents of the forty-eight (48) continental United States and the District of Columbia. Only one entry per person. Readers must comment on the blog for a chance to be entered. Open from May 9, 2014 at 3pm EST to May 16, 2014 at 2: 59pm EST. Twelve (12) winners will be selected at random using a Random Generator. Winners will be notified on the blog, as well as by email.
EDIT: Giveaway is now CLOSED. We’ve used a Random Generator to choose our winners:
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