Thursday, October 11, 2012

Another Progresso Recipe Starters Review

EDITS: Ok so I should also mention that I'm a BzzAgent which means I get stuff for free to try it out and review it. 

We had to try another can of Recipe Starters! This time I searched Progresso's website and found this recipe. Seemed easy and something that my whole family would enjoy.

It called for a can of Creamy Parmesan Basil, chicken, cheese filled ravioli, half and half and bacon. Mmmm, bacon.

I changed it up a little by using fresh chicken and cutting it up into chunks. I also used a 25 oz bag of ravioli instead of just 9 oz. And I made fresh bacon for the top cause it's so much better than any other bacon.

I got the chicken cooking and put the ravioli in a pot of boiling water to help defrost the ravioli. I also cheated and cooked my bacon in the fridge  microwave. Wow sleep deprivation is really hitting me hard. Don't tell my husband cause I'm not sure what he'd think about that.

Out of all the Recipe Starters we have tried, this one is my favorite. It's like an alfredo sauce. It was pretty runny in the can so you'd want to thicken it up. The recipe called for half and half to help thicken it. Since I discovered how much better my coffee tastes with half and half instead of milk, we usually have plenty of half and half on hand. 

The smell once the sauce was poured into the hot skillet was amazing. It was full of fragrant basil and sharp parmesan. My mouth was watering just waiting for dinner. 

This meal took me less than 30 minutes to make, which was bad for Mike cause he had just called his dad 5 minutes before it was finished. The girls waited patiently for him to finish up so we could say the blessing before our meal. 

Grace was a little grumpy today. 

Everyone loved it! Next time I'd add some broccoli to get some veggies in, but this is definitely something we'll make again and Progresso Recipe Starters make for a quick, easy meal!

And I have to post just one more of the kiddos :)

Smartfood Selects Snacks

BzzAgent strikes again! This time I was selected for the Smartfood Selects campaign. I was extremely excited for this one. My friend Cassie had brought the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Chips to VBS one day and they were pretty good. 

My kit came last week and here's what I got:

I also got a coupon for $1 off any Smartfood Selects item.

We opened the Sour Cream and Onion Puffed Corn right away. 

If you've never had Puffed Corn before it's basically like a Cheese Puff. Fluffy and air filled and squishes when you eat them. These ones had no cheese flavor, but they had Sour Cream and Onion flavor. The flavor was definitely there. Tasted just like Sour Cream & Onions chips. They are bite sized which is also nice. I'm not really a fan of puffed corn though. My husband liked them and so did the the girls. The bag lasted about a day. The only thing I didn't like is that the product is marketed as natural. To me, that means that all the ingredients should be something I can pronounce and aren't "chemical" sounding. 

The first ingredient is Enriched Corn Meal which contains Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate and Riboflavin. Basically a lot of stuff that I have no clue what it is. There is also Maltodextrin, Dextrose, Tapioca Dextrin and Gum Arabic. These ingredients don't seem very "Natural" to me. If I was looking for a 100% Natural product, I'd want something that did not have any processed products.

Next I tried the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Multigrain Popped Chips

I had tried these before and liked them, as did Mercy. They're a nice snack to satisfy a sweet tooth. There's a very good buttery flavor to them, almost like you're eating cinnamon toast. And I have this slight obsession with brown sugar, so that's always a good thing when you can find something that includes it :)

As far as ingredients go, this one looks much better than the Puffed Corn. The only thing "chemical" was Maltodextrin and Gum Acacia. I had to Google Maltodextrin and it's a food additive. It's supposedly easily digestible and it's mostly used in sodas and candy. So I'm assuming it is used to help with the sweetness of these chips. 

If I had to choose between the two, I'd go with the chips over the puffed corn. Both on "naturalness" and taste.

Lastly, I got a bag of Garlic Tomato Basil Hummus Popped Chips. 

These went into Mike's lunch. He hasn't told me if he liked them or not, so I'm going to guess they were ok. 

With my $1 off coupon I went in search of other flavors. Smartfood Selects also offers popcorn and I wanted to try it out. It's in the "Healthfood" section of Smith's and our SMP (Smith's Marketplace) only had 1 type of popcorn: Buffalo Cheddar. And I didn't realize it was Buffalo until I got home and Mike gave Grace a piece and she freaked out. She doesn't like spicy stuff.

I didn't snap any pics but it was pretty orange :) There definitely was some heat to it, but also a good cheddar flavor. Out of all the things we've tried, it was the most "Natural" with Maltodextrin being the only chemical ingredient. I would probably purchase the popcorn again if I had the chance. 

All in all, the Smartfood Selects tasted great. I'm not sure it'd be my number one choice, but if there was a good deal, I'd buy them again.