Sunday, December 16, 2012

Contessa World Cuisine - Review

A few weeks ago, a PR agency contacted me and asked if I'd like to try some very quick and gluten-free frozen skillet meals. I'm always looking for faster ways to do dinner during the week, so I accepted the offer. The agency sent me some coupons so that I could try out the products, and I headed to Walmart (the only grocery that carried these products near me) to check it out.

I had never heard of this brand before, so, if you're a newbie to this brand like me, here is some background. The Contessa World Cuisine meals have no MSG, no trans-fats, no artificial colors or flavors, and no preservatives. They are also minimally processed. There are 18 different varieties of Contessa World Cuisine frozen skillet meals, and some of them are gluten-free. The ones that are gluten-free are:

Chicken Fried Rice
Shrimp Fried Rice

My Walmart didn't carry the Paella (which was a shame because I really wanted to try that one) so I went with the Chicken Fried Rice and Jambalaya. Now, the Chicken Fried Rice said "gluten-free" right on the front of the package. The Jambalaya did not. I was told by the PR folks that the Jambalaya was gluten-free, and there didn't seem to be anything terrible in the ingredients list, but if you're going to label some of your gluten-free products as "gluten-free", then why not just label all of the gluten-free products? It makes things so much easier for shoppers!

As for taste, the Chicken Fried Rice was very good. The Jambalaya was good but a bit spicy. But that's the Cajun way, right?

As for cooking, it was really easy. But I do have a bit of advice: choose a LARGE skillet or just use a saucepot. I kept spilling the contents over the sides of my skillet and making a mess. These meals are for two people, but boy, they sure do pack a lot of food in those bags! It took me about 10 minutes to cook the Chicken Fried Rice and about 15 minutes to do the Jambalaya because I had to thaw the sauce packet in warm water first.

Not bad for a weeknight meal! Usually our weeknight meals take about 30 minutes to prep and cook, so being able to come home and whip up a meal in less than 15 minutes without really having to do ANY work is so nice!

These are available in the frozen food section of Walmart, Meijer, Publix, Food Lion, Giant Eagle, Schnuck's, Hannaford Bros., and others. Each Contessa World Cuisine frozen skillet meal retails between $7.99 and $8.99 depending on the retailer. (I actually think it was about $6 at my Walmart.)

Has reading this whetted your appetite? Want to try some of the Contessa World Cuisine frozen skillet meals for yourself? I've got a limited number of coupons to give away, so if you're interested, let me know! First come, first served!

1 comment:

  1. I fixed the Contessa Orange Chicken tonight for my husband and myself and we were pleasantly surprised with the flavor and quality of he vegetables. I added a little cooked chicken I had left over and a little chicken broth to the final mix. Frankly, we are in our eighties and a little persnickety about our food not made "from scratch", but I intend to try some other flavors along with another package of the Orange Chicken.