Easy Weeknight: How Whole Foods Market Makes Gourmet in 10 Minutes

Hey You. Are you running hectic around the week already? I thought it would all end in December, that harriedness of here and there. But, stepping into–and out of–last week, I realized busy is just busy and that’s that. So there.

Which is why I’m formulating all sorts of fun, new twists on the Cheeky Kitchen approach to cooking and recipes, some of which I’ll start revealing this week. But, if you’re having one of those nights where making anything homemade simply wears you out, I’ve got a fun new stash for your freezer that will make you feel like you’re still feeding yourself (and your family) right, without any of the prep work, clean up, or stress. It’s also budget friendly. It’s also from Whole Foods Market.

I love you that much. You’re welcome.

So Whole Foods Market sent me a $25 gift card to go shopping in their freezer section for some of their new freezer meals. Holy Happiness. Just look at the new list of offerings available. I mean, those flavor combos? This is no traditional TV dinner line-up…

SAMOSAS:
· Whole Foods Market™ Tandoori Chicken Samosas
· Whole Foods Market™ Potato & Pea Samosas

EGG ROLLS:
· Whole Foods Market™ Vegetable Egg Rolls
· Whole Foods Market™ Chicken & Vegetable Egg Rolls

POTSTICKERS:
· Whole Foods Market™ Vegetable Potstickers
· Whole Foods Market™ Pork & Vegetable Potstickers

ITALIAN WOOD-FIRED PIZZAS:
· Whole Foods Market™ Wood-Fired Buffalo Mozzarella with Cherry Tomatoes
· Whole Foods Market™ Wood-Fired Margherita with Cherry Tomatoes
· Whole Foods Market™ Wood-Fired Stracchino and Arugula

SKILLET MEALS
ASIAN
· Whole Foods Market™ Broccoli & Beef
· Whole Foods Market™ General Tso’s Chicken
· Whole Foods Market™ Orange Chicken
· Whole Foods Market™ Sweet & Sour Chicken

ITALIAN
· Whole Foods Market™ Fettuccine Alfredo
· Whole Foods Market™ Fettuccine Alfredo con Funghi
· Whole Foods Market™ Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
· Whole Foods Market™ Gnocchi di Polenta with Peas & Kale
· Whole Foods Market™ Gnocchi Quattro Formaggi
· Whole Foods Market™ Penne all’Arrabbiata

MEAL STARTERS
· Whole Foods Market™ Chicken Fried Rice
· Whole Foods Market™ Vegetable Fried Rice
· Whole Foods Market™ Shrimp & Vegetable Stir Fry
· Whole Foods Market™ Stir Fry Vegetables

DESSERTS
· Whole Foods Market™ Caramel Apple Blossoms
· Whole Foods Market™ Chocolate Lava Cakes
· Whole Foods Market™ Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies
· Whole Foods Market™ Caramelized Panna Cotta

SIX INGREDIENT ICE CREAMS
· Whole Foods Market™ Chocolate Ice Cream
· Whole Foods Market™ Coffee Ice Cream
· Whole Foods Market™ Strawberry Ice Cream
· Whole Foods Market™ Vanilla Ice Cream

It was a boyfriend weekend, so filled a brown grocery bag of Italian eats and headed up to hang with Steve. I arrived at his casa
armed with the following after a quick run into the store, and a snappy swipe of my gift card:

  • Wood-Fired Stracchino and Arugula ($5.99)
  • Gnocchi alla Sorrentina ($3.99)
  • Caramelized Panna Cotta ($2.99)

In the middle of a lazy Saturday, we decided to pull them out and whip together a quick meal before we went errand-running. The pizza was tossed into the oven, the Gnocchi poured into a skillet on the stovetop, I was supposed to thaw the panna cotta in the fridge, but hadn’t been thinking far enough ahead, so zapped them in the microwave in 10 second spurts for about a minute. Worked perfectly.

Since we’d peeled a pomegranate the night before, we decided to toss a few fresh arils on our pizza just before serving. It proved a smart move.

Steve said the meal was “a good canvas” for a quick meal, and suggested shaved parmesan to oomph up the gnocchi. I agreed that a garnish of fresh basil woulda been welcome, as well. Something about fresh flavors, you know. We both felt gaga happy over the pomegranates, and liked the grainy crunch of coarse sea salt over our pizza. Definitely better than traditional freezer meals, not quite schnappy enough for company, we thought.

The panna cotta, on the other hand, we both enjoyed significantly more than expected. It was cool and perfectly sweet and creamy and that little splash of caramel sauce on top? Yeehaw. We tossed blackberries on our plates (because they look really nice in pictures, and because we had them in the fridge).

At the end of the meal, there was a single sliver of pizza left (I’m currently a carb bigot), and we felt quite contented with our early dinner nosh. For $12.97, two grownups were amply full. Which means I’d want to at least double the portions were I feeding my little people. And probably serve it with a tossed salad, as well.

All in all, I love knowing about the new Whole Foods Market freezer meals. I can see myself using them once or twice a month, filling the freezer so I have a few quick-pick items on hand for those days when I don’t wanna cook, but I still wanna eat fancy flavors.

Don’t think us food bloggers should have all the fun? Neither does Whole Foods Market! They’ve offered to give one Cheeky Kitchen reader a $25 gift card to shop in the freezer section and try out some of their fun, new entrees, sides, and desserts. To enter, just follow me on Facebook (or leave a note on your wall, inviting your friends over to Cheeky Kitchen to get in on the fun), then leave a comment and rock your body. Actually. You can just leave a comment. We’ll keep it easy. (But please do make an effort to get your rock on today. I high suggest an spontaneous dance session to Scream and Shout.)

You’re so cool.

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30 Responses to “Easy Weeknight: How Whole Foods Market Makes Gourmet in 10 Minutes”

  1. 1

    Kelley da Paz on January 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm Reply

    I’m just starting out with the plant-based diet thing. I can’t wait to read more about how to get my kids on board!

  2. 2

    Kelley da Paz on January 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm Reply

    I’m just getting started with the plant-based diet thing. I can’t wait to read more about how to get m kids on board!

  3. 3

    mangiabella on January 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm Reply

    GREAT review bella, I appreciate your candidness ~ so many great choices! Ok, don’t laugh, but I have never had gnocchi or panna cotta….I know, right?! Being all Italiana and everything you would think…but ’tis true. Now….off to get my rock on!

  4. 4

    Hannah on January 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm Reply

    Read your posts regularly and would love a shot at that Whole Foods gift card! ;)

  5. 5

    Lori Hoff on January 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm Reply

    This meal looks yummy – especially for a freezer meal!

  6. 6

    Amy on January 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm Reply

    Wow. So many great options!

  7. 7

    Ande b. on January 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm Reply

    Love Whole Foods. What a wonderful giveaway.

  8. 8

    Jenn on January 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm Reply

    Looks great, I would love to win.

  9. 9

    Jeff A on January 21, 2013 at 9:41 pm Reply

    I would love to win…I like just wandering around Whole Foods, exploring their array of products. It would be great to have $25 to play with! Thanks for the opportunity!

  10. 10

    Rana on January 21, 2013 at 9:42 pm Reply

    There’s a Canadian location not far from me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PICK ME! PICK ME!

    We got our rock on, it’s how we get the crazies out before our bedtime routine (I have three under 4, a Big Kid and one the way… it gets crazy).

  11. 11

    Holly F. on January 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm Reply

    Just found you via a friend on Facebook! This post is making me very hungry!

  12. 12

    Katie on January 22, 2013 at 7:18 am Reply

    I like you on facebook. I would love to win this. Whole Foods is the best! $25 would come in handy.

  13. 13

    Natalie on January 22, 2013 at 8:50 am Reply

    I love Whole Foods, but I normally don’t shop there because it can get pretty expensive. I already like you on Facebook. Thanks!

  14. 14

    Colleen on January 22, 2013 at 9:00 am Reply

    We just got a new Whole Foods in my area…now I don’t have to drive 30 min, only 15. Yay!

  15. 15

    Cheryl Newton on January 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm Reply

    I have never been to a Whole Foods. This would be my first time!

  16. 16

    Joni Trout on January 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm Reply

    I am always delighted when shopping at WFM’s!
    I look forward to trying soon. Another thing I like s that they
    Have quite a few product demos. It’s helpful knowing what things
    taste like before buying.

    Thanks! : ^)
    Joni

  17. 17

    rachel on January 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm Reply

    Thanks…now I’m hungry!!!

  18. 18

    Sue on January 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm Reply

    I subscribe to you via email and would love a Whole Foods gift card!

  19. 19

    Rosie on January 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm Reply

    Hello Brooke, I like u on Facebook and I shared Cheeky Kitchen with my friends on Facebook!! (I’m Rosie Riccio DeRensis on FB)

  20. 20

    Noble Pig - Cathy on January 22, 2013 at 4:55 pm Reply

    I’ll take a bite of everything!

  21. 21

    Sondra on January 22, 2013 at 5:20 pm Reply

    This is a real boon for busy, working moms. Sign me up. Sounds luscious

  22. 22

    Ttrockwood on January 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm Reply

    Looks like some great quick meal choices! I rarely buy frozen meals since they all have bizarre fake food ingredients but i trust the quality of whole food and would love to try these!

  23. 23

    Danielle T on January 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm Reply

    i love eating at whole foods! i try to shop there every once in a while for their produce!! yum

  24. 24

    Wild Orchid on January 25, 2013 at 8:20 am Reply

    I like you on FB — Wild Orchid
    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 @ gmail dot com

  25. 25

    Vera Khule on January 25, 2013 at 10:58 am Reply

    Whole Foods cannot be beat for gorgeous produce.

  26. 26

    Jessica on January 28, 2013 at 11:07 am Reply

    Mmm, gnocci.

  27. 27

    Teresa on January 29, 2013 at 12:34 am Reply

    So much fun at Whole Foods! =)

  28. 28

    Erika McCann on February 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm Reply

    Our family loves whole foods and my kids love the pizza!

  29. 29

    Marcie @ Flavor the Moments on February 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm Reply

    Whole Foods is one of my favorite places. It’s too pricey to do all of my shopping there, but I love getting their pre-made soup, which you can decide between a large container to take home or one serving. Their salad bar is out of this world, too. As for meals, I love grabbing a slab of ACME focaccia bread and making focaccia bread pizza. I could go on and on, so I’ll stop now!

  30. 30

    Zack Mathony on May 12, 2013 at 10:35 pm Reply

    Gourmet may describe a class of restaurant, cuisine, meal or ingredient of high quality, of special presentation, or high sophistication. In the United States, a 1980s gourmet food movement evolved from a long-term division between elitist (or “gourmet”) tastes and a populist aversion to fancy foods.,^

    My own, personal web site
    http://prettygoddess.com

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