In part 4 of my Favorite Things from Expo West, I’m featuring ready-made meals and snacks. I don’t know about you but I have to have a stash of this kind of stuff in my freezer in pantry for my hungry family.
I’m not always up to cooking and I think it’s better to have healthy foods on hand — otherwise, they end up ordering pizza or picking up junk at convenience stores.
Meals & Snacks
Blake’s All Natural Foods
I love Blake’s All Natural Foods! It’s a family business they’ve run for four generations in a New England farmhouse that was built in the 1700s.
We are crazy about Blake’s organic chicken pot pies, shepherd’s pies, and mac & cheese. I discovered them at ExpoWest back in 2009.
I buy them and stick them in the freezer for those nights that I just don’t feel like cooking. Then, instead of ordering a pizza, we have a nutritious meal.
I also like to buy these and throw them in a cooler for road trips (or find them at the local Whole Foods). Instead of eating out every night when we’re vacationing in Palm Springs, we can just heat up some pot pies or shepherd’s pies in the oven. Not only does it save us a lot of money, but it is much easier and healthier than eating out at low-quality restaurants.
Kelly the Kitchen Kop tasted their brand new Upside Down Chicken & Waffle pie and she agrees — it’s the bomb!
Of course, their frozen meals are not perfect. The chicken pot pies are made with white flour instead of whole wheat and they do contain a little bit of soybean oil (although there is palm oil in the crust, which I like). They have natural products and organic, and the organic ones (which I buy) have organic soybean oil. Hopefully they’ll consider switching to real butter at some point but in the meantime, this is not a dealbreaker for me.
I wrote to them a few years ago about the soybean oil and the president of the company wrote back:
“Regarding the soybean oil, I am aware of the issues associated with soy and our intention is to replace it with another oil. We are struggling to find the ideal replacement that delivers the nutritional benefits with a cost that allows us to maintain (not raise) our prices. I’m optimistic that we will find a solution…”
All that said, the number one ingredient in their chicken pot pie is REAL chicken broth. No MSG or other chemical additives — just real food!
Where to Find Blake’s All Natural Foods
Blake’s frozen meals can be found across the country in most Whole Foods Market stores as well as in Market Basket, Hannaford, Wegman’s, Shaw’s, Roche Bros and many other fine natural food stores, Co-ops and grocery stores around the country.
They are in the process of developing our online shopping cart. Check back soon.
One of the things I love most about ExpoWest is that it is a tasting extravaganza. You literally eat your way across the floor.
You do kind of get tired of all the snacky foods after a while though — bits of cheese and tastes of yogurt, granola bars, cookies, chocolate, etc. Eventually you kind of get tired of all the snick-snacks and are hankering for more of a meal.
It was just around lunchtime that we stopped at the Marukome Miso booth. They had an awesome miso soup bar.
I had the BEST bowl of MSG-free miso soup with green onions, natto, rice and kimchi. Right after that I stumbled onto an organic sake (Japanese rice wine) booth which hit the spot (but I’ll cover that in tomorrow’s post on ExpoWest drinks).
I think Kelly the Kitchen Kop finally agreed to try the miso soup but refused to try the sake. I gotta tell you, it’s like pulling teeth with Kelly. She fights me on every single new food I try to introduce to her.
But you know what? It was worth the effort because now she totally loves foie gras and sushi.
Where to Find Marukome Miso
Good Health Natural Foods
Say hello to my favorite potato chips of all time: Good Health Natural Foods.
I discovered the Good Health Natural Foods potato chips via the Weston A. Price Foundation. They list their olive oil chips in their annual shopping guide. I visited the Good Health Natural Foods a few years ago at my first ExpoWest conference.
I am so excited that they are introducing a new flavor — my FAVORITE — Sea Salt and Vinegar. YAY!
I also loved the Maple Chipotle Sweet Potato Chips. Just like eating sweet potatoes with bacon and maple syrup. Look for these flavors to show up in stores in the next few months.
Where to Find Good Health Natural Foods
You can also [easyazon-link asin=”B001CX1D5U” locale=”us”]buy them on Amazon[/easyazon-link]. That’s what I do — by the case!
We love Seasnax in our home. My husband is gluten-free so we always keep these on hand. I also love the fact that they are chock-full of iodine, magnesium and other minerals.
There are other brands of seaweed snacks on the market but Seasnax uses olive oil instead of canola oil, and they season the seaweed with real sea salt.
Where to Find Seasnax
Another favorite snack in our household: Tanka Products.
They sell delicious beef jerky snacks made from buffalo and cranberries.
On the Tanka Products website it reads:
We are Oglala Lakotas on the Pine Ridge Reservation, SD, with a deep commitment to helping the People, the Buffalo and Mother Earth. We look forward to providing you with the very best foods that are sustainably grown by Native American producers, minimally processed with care and respect, to help you feed mind, body and spirit.
To “Be Tanka” means to live your best life: in harmony with your spirit and with the earth. We created Tanka products to help you do just that.
Where to Find Tanka Bar
What About You?
Do you buy any of these products? What are some of your favorites? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Check Back Tomorrow
On Monday I’ll be posting more of my favorite things from ExpoWest 2012 in part 5 of the series — check back!