Sunday, October 19, 2008

Valley Fresh Steamers

The below mentioned product was purchased by me for my personal use. I am not being monetarily paid for this review. I will give my honest opinion and thoughts regarding said product anyway.

Yesterday while doing my grocery shopping, I was perusing the frozen food isle, looking for anything that might be different from the ordinary stuff I cook around here. I tried some Stauffer's Chicken Enchiladas one night because we were in a hurry and it was basically a frozen meal in a pan. Can you say GROSS? Disgusting? I'd rather eat dry rice cakes while walking through the Sahara desert looking for water. Seriously.

While debating on a frozen pizza for parent/teacher night, I saw the Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers. There were a couple kinds but I opted for the Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower & Cheese Sauce. The package claims it is 45 calories per serving (YES!) and low in fat (double YES!)

I followed the simple directions on the back of the bag: DO NOT TEAR OR CUT BAG! Microwave on high for 5 to 7 ½ minutes (I went 8 minutes just to be on the safe side). Let stand one minute. Tear bag at notch and empty into serving dish.

Two things jumped out at me. First, the big red tabs on either side of the bag that say “CAUTION: HOT STEAM.” I have experienced Caution: Hot Steam before and it isn’t pretty. Not at all. I seem to recall it hurt like hell too and required many nights of not doing my own dishes before it healed. Yes, I remember. I do.

So, after letting the bag stand for one minute, I carefully grabbed and tried to tear where it says TEAR HERE which happens to be just below the CAUTION: HOT STEAM tabs. Now, grabbing the bag from the bottom was not possible because that is where all the freshly steamed hot cheesy vegetables were. I couldn’t even hold it in my hand there. I tried to hold the top between the CAUTION: HOT STEAM tabs while tearing on the TEAR HERE pre-cut notch and that wasn’t working either. I had to hold the bag by the CAUTION: HOT STEAM tab, while tearing at the TEAR HERE notch. The CAUTION: HOT STEAM area actually has HOT STEAM coming out!!!! Aside from being hot, it was also wet, making my hand slip. I have two different spots on my left hand that had just enough CAUTION: HOT STEAM to understand they didn’t want to grip there any more.

When I finally wised up and got out the scissors, I poured said Valley Fresh Steamers into my serving bowl. I wasn’t disappointed. I just wasn’t really impressed either.

Now, the vegetables seemed to be small, dwarf like veggies. The cheese, looking more like an orange sauce than cheese. The taste? Meh.

Would I buy them again? Yes and this is why: I’ve tried frozen veggies with cheese sauce before and one of two things happens. Either the water from the frozen veggie creates a cheese soupy consistency or the veggies are mushy and gross and mostly the stem of the broccoli or cauliflower. This was not the case here. The veggies were still crisp, the cheese, while not really melted cheese like I wanted, it wasn’t a watery, soupy grossness either. Most of all, I would buy this because there were florets on the broccoli and cauliflower and because the dramas actually ate it and asked for seconds. I cannot pass up food that has that effect.

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