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-   -   Atkins Frozen Meal Copy Cat Thread (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/low-carb-recipe-help-suggestions/792704-atkins-frozen-meal-copy-cat-thread.html)

MsWoods 01-03-2013 07:57 AM

Atkins Frozen Meal Copy Cat Thread
 
This thread is dedicated to trying to re-create the new Atkins Frozen Cuisine Meals. A bunch of us that like the meals thought it would be fun so here we are!

LindaSue 01-03-2013 10:12 AM

Are they that good that they're worth trying to copy? The three that I tried weren't all that great.

MsWoods 01-03-2013 10:53 AM

I liked the ones i've tried so far except the breakfast one with chorizo. Some of us in the main forum that have been talking in a thread and we like them but just for fun we thought about trying to reproduce them and freeze them.

I really like the chicken pot pie one.

NorthernNisse 01-03-2013 11:05 AM

So funny, because I was just going to start a thread about this. I have tried all of them and I would rate them as okay. The one that I really like is the Italian Sausage Primavera. It is different than any of my low carb meals. Unfortunately, I threw the box out and now the shelves are cleared out at the store. Anyone have this one at home?

Italian Sausage cut diagonally. Trader Joes has a fabulous Italian Sausage for about $3.50 for 5. Fry them up crispy.

Add cauliflower and veggies...easy enough.

It's the sauce that is SOOOOOO good and I need to recreate. It's pink Italian sauce with a little kick. Maybe a little cheesy?

If I could recreate the sauce, I would have another favorite meal!

judytab 01-03-2013 11:11 AM

I think it might be fun to try to duplicate them to make them better! Of course, I haven't found any or tried them, so I'll have to wait on that. But I often freeze portioned leftover meat dishes anyway and later just heat them up with a serving of frozen veggies.

NorthernNisse 01-03-2013 11:14 AM

I just found the ingredients for the Italian Sausage Sauce. Now to figure out how to make it. I'm not very good at sauces. Anyone? It also doesn't list the specific spices.

Ingredients

Italian Sausage (Pork, Water, Spices, Salt, Paprika, Garlic Powder), Cauliflower, Water Green Beans, Green Bell Pepper, Spinach, Onion, Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Contains Less than 2% of the Following: Parmesan and Romano Cheese Blend (Parmesan Cheese [Pasteurized Skim Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Romano Cheese [Pasteurized Part Skim Cow's Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes]), Cream, Canola Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Whey Protein Concentrate, Modified Food Starch, Resistant Maltodextrin, Salt, Flavorings, Xanthan Gum, Soy Lecithin, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate.

MsWoods 01-03-2013 11:26 AM

I'm wondering if you could look at the ingredient list on the back of the box and figure the sauce out from that.

Edit: Sorry I had my post box open and got busy and you got ahead of me lol.

MsWoods 01-03-2013 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NorthernNisse (Post 16168707)
I just found the ingredients for the Italian Sausage Sauce. Now to figure out how to make it. I'm not very good at sauces. Anyone? It also doesn't list the specific spices.

Ingredients

Italian Sausage (Pork, Water, Spices, Salt, Paprika, Garlic Powder), Cauliflower, Water Green Beans, Green Bell Pepper, Spinach, Onion, Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Contains Less than 2% of the Following: Parmesan and Romano Cheese Blend (Parmesan Cheese [Pasteurized Skim Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Romano Cheese [Pasteurized Part Skim Cow's Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes]), Cream, Canola Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Whey Protein Concentrate, Modified Food Starch, Resistant Maltodextrin, Salt, Flavorings, Xanthan Gum, Soy Lecithin, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate.

If I had to venture to guess this would be the sauce.

NorthernNisse 01-03-2013 11:49 AM

I'm right there with you. Now for amounts of cream, cheeses, red wine vinegar, oil? and spices. I don't have a clue.

rosethorns 01-03-2013 12:08 PM

I haven't even looked at these. I'd love to see what you come up with.

MsWoods 01-03-2013 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NorthernNisse (Post 16168792)
I'm right there with you. Now for amounts of cream, cheeses, red wine vinegar, oil? and spices. I don't have a clue.

I doubt it would be much of any of them. I could probably figure it out. I've only tasted the Italian Sausage Primavera once. I didn't think it was super great but it was ok.

metqa 01-03-2013 03:07 PM

Hey MsWoods, I'm glad you started the thread. I have an irrational fear of non starters, as my threads often become. :o


Quote:

Originally Posted by LindaSue (Post 16168545)
Are they that good that they're worth trying to copy? The three that I tried weren't all that great.

Not really in the sense of compared to home meals, but it's the combinations and such that I'm interested in "copying". Things that seem to keep well in the freezer and thaw up and cook easily, that aren't soups, stews and casseroles.

It's because I notice that their veggies tend to stay crisp tender while mine thaw soggy, that I figured that I would need to cook the veggies for freezing and thawing instead of cooking them for now-eating.

So instead of just packing leftovers, I'm thinking toward the purpose of cooking the meal specifically to be frozen and thawed later and tasting fresh like a made now meal. It's more like inspiration to do at home what they do in the food factory.

I know many of Your meals are already freezer safe meals so a lot of meal ideas can be got from there, but your 5 star recipes are so good I don't WANT to freeze them for later!


I just bought a chuck roast to bake, and some fresh broccoli crowns and portabello mushrooms.

NorthernNisse 01-03-2013 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MsWoods (Post 16168847)
I doubt it would be much of any of them. I could probably figure it out. I've only tasted the Italian Sausage Primavera once. I didn't think it was super great but it was ok.

I'm hoping LindaSue will come around. She can probably come close to a sauce recipe just using her head. :clap:

NorthernNisse 01-03-2013 05:17 PM

My opinion, just for the record...

I liked:
Italian Sausage Primavera...but would like to create an even better version.
Farmhouse Scramble...good, but much too easy to make myself much better.
Crustless Chicken Pot Pie...if they could have only come up with a low carb crust!

Didn't care for:
Chicken Alfredo
Beef Merlot
Meatloaf
Turkey and gravy...boring

HATED:
Tex Mex Scrambled Eggs

I probably won't buy these again, but had to try them. Yes, it was pricey, but now I know.

Years ago, Atkins had a frozen personal pan pizza that was very very good. I would love it if they would reintroduce that!

Barbo 01-03-2013 06:22 PM

Atkins Frozen Meals
 
Out here on the West Coast, we are the last to get anything new.

I was at three markets today looking for them.

Chocolate Rose 01-03-2013 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barbo (Post 16169830)
Out here on the West Coast, we are the last to get anything new.

I was at three markets today looking for them.

I'm up in WA and our Walmart has had them since before Christmas. I haven't looked anywhere else for them.

NorthernNisse 01-03-2013 07:49 PM

I live out in rural suburbia and I had to drive into the inner city Walmarts to get them. They didn't make it easy nor the date of January 2 as promised.

LindaSue 01-04-2013 07:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barbo (Post 16169830)
Out here on the West Coast, we are the last to get anything new.

I was at three markets today looking for them.

They're currently only available at Walmart stores but other stores should start getting them sometime this month. My Walmart finally got them in this week and they were already sold out of a few of the flavors.

I did notice that their veggies were very crisp after being frozen AND microwaved. I recall that they were actually a little too crisp in one of the meals I tried in last month. I'm guessing that they just blanch them a little before freezing them rather than actually cooking them all the way.

NorthernNisse, I did see that sausage primavera one at the store but didn't look closely at the sauce. Maybe it's basically an Alfredo sauce with a little wine vinegar and roasted red peppers added to it.

Ginaaaaaa 01-04-2013 08:13 AM

I've tried the turkey, green beans and gravy, chicken Alfredo and beef merlot. I thought they were all pretty good as far as being frozen meals. They're great for quick lunches or dinners.

I think it would be easy to make homemade frozen dinners like these meals. I would cook the meats then add already frozen veggies and make a homemade sauce for them. Alfedo sauce, turkey gravy and beef gravy are all easy to make and I'm sure we could find sauce recipes on here or other low carb recipe sites.

I guess the reason for frozen dinners is convenience, so for me, if I did make up the frozen meals it would be more like once a month cooking.

LowCarbRachel 01-04-2013 09:35 AM

I would love some recipes to make my own frozen meals that I could easily take to work for lunch. I don't want to spend a lot of time cooking or cleaning, but I prefer real homemade food without preservatives. And of course, it has to taste good.

So, I'm watching this thread for ideas of homemade frozen meals that I can make. They don't have to be exactly the ones that are being sold by Atkins, just something that I could grab out of the freezer on the way to work and heat up at lunch.

Ginaaaaaa 01-04-2013 09:40 AM

LindaSue has a lot of recipes on her site that can be frozen.

Idreamofweightloss 01-04-2013 12:12 PM

I just had the beef merlot for lunch and I thought it was good. I think it would be easy to copy though I would need the help of a more expeienced cook. I do want the fat content to be a little lower.

metqa 01-04-2013 12:18 PM

Something that occurred to me, while looking at storage containers, is that for the meal to be quick and convenient, it will have to be shallow enough in the dish to heat up quickly. One problem I have when I freeze portions from casseroles and soups is that it takes 7 minutes just to thaw it from frozen, then there is still a lump of frozen in the middle. the store bought freezer meals are very flat and not thick cuts of any meat or veggies.

Also, I notices that the sauce often covers the meat, I wonder if that is to keep frost burn from changing it's texture and taste. I tried that this past weekend with leftover turkey and bread dressing and greens. I put the gravy over the turkey instead of the dressing that it was intended for, and the greens were already wet, and froze it solid for a week, inside a quart sized baggy. First problem upon reheating was the frozen center lump, but since I reused a SmartOnes container it was thin enough to heat up eventually. The turkey reheated in the gravy, and the dressing wasn't soggy from reheating under the gravy. the greens actually took the longest to thaw. then I spooned the gravy over the dressing and it was just fine. So the wet stuff protects the things most likely to be damaged by Freezburn.

So, we have so far:
-Blanched veggies for crisp when reheated freshness
-Thin slices of meat and veggies and thin layer of food overall for quick, even heating.
-Use sauces to cover meats, Leave veggies loose or lightly seasoned to stir into sauce after cooking, unless it's a soup or stew obviously. :rolleyes: :laugh:

kalatraza 01-05-2013 07:03 AM

Thinking back to an episode of one of those cooking shows (maybe it was top chef). They had an episode sponsored by a company that makes frozen dinners and a one of the food engineers from the company talked about some of the success factors for frozen meals. I remember he said that sauces should be frozen separately from the main ingredients (in small disc-shapes or something else that lends itself to the quick thaw). Seems like the reason was that the sauces require less cooking time and re-heating everything else when bathed in sauce resulted in a "boiled" meal texture and overcooked sauce.

That doesn't solve the freezer burn issue, though, like the suggestion above. Maybe you do a little of both -- a thin layer of sauce over the meat and then frozen sauce disks for the rest.

Interesting discussion here. I'd never really thought about why I hate leftovers that have been frozen-texture is definitely an issue. Will have to think more about the fact that I usually am not just defrosting a meal in the microwave and re-heating it (who has time for that?) -- I am usually nuking it hot and fast, which means, oops, cooking it again.

kalatraza 01-05-2013 07:09 AM

On another note, can anyone recommend sauce recipes that they know freeze very well? I have many recipes that have a sauce component, but not so many that are literally just for the sauce and don't require you to make an entire dish to end up having a great sauce.

Thinking it would be completely fantastic to have a modular system to make frozen meals for my work lunches. A few key sauces to be made in bulk -- a "cream" sauce, a tomato, a mushroom, a cheese -- and a few key proteins -- say, pork shoulder, boneless chicken thighs, chuck roast -- and the veggies -- for me it'll be whatever I can buy already frozen, lol -- and the whole thing could get pretty fun!

. . . runs off to research affordable, very flat frozen meal containers.

:)

metqa 01-05-2013 08:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kalatraza (Post 16172949)
On another note, can anyone recommend sauce recipes that they know freeze very well? I have many recipes that have a sauce component, but not so many that are literally just for the sauce and don't require you to make an entire dish to end up having a great sauce.

Thinking it would be completely fantastic to have a modular system to make frozen meals for my work lunches. A few key sauces to be made in bulk -- a "cream" sauce, a tomato, a mushroom, a cheese -- and a few key proteins -- say, pork shoulder, boneless chicken thighs, chuck roast -- and the veggies -- for me it'll be whatever I can buy already frozen, lol -- and the whole thing could get pretty fun!

. . . runs off to research affordable, very flat frozen meal containers.


:)

i was searching yesterday with no luck yet. try the dollar stores, and get your friens and coworkers to save their frozen meal containers for re-use . my mom had dozens but when I told her my plan, she decided to keep them for herself!:hyst:

rosethorns 01-05-2013 08:36 AM

The dollar stores has 1 1/2 inch high with 4 compartments that would work, with a lid.I got 6 of them this summer. I checked a couple of days ago and they still have them.

metqa 01-05-2013 09:09 AM

was it Dollar Tree cause I saw nothing like that at my Big Dollar Tree, but there are Dollar Generals and Family Dollar stores also...which store did you find this?

metqa 01-05-2013 10:17 AM

Another thing to consider when choosing meals is the "office acceptability" of the food.
It won't matter as much if you are using them as a quick meal at home but if you plan to take these to the office, ... Has anyone noticed the general acceptance of the meat and veggie choices, how common they are? I doubt,... No, I KNOW that there would be complaints if I heated up a bowl of cabbage sausage soup in the work kitchen. People don't like the smell of cabbage, even though it's a great low calorie food and delicious. Same for my kimchi fried cauliflower or my Golden Cauliflower Curry Soup. Most people are downright rude about having to smell exotic ( ie. Non American typical) spices. Mexican, Yes! Indian, Ewww. Italian, Yes! Korean, Ewww. So unfortunately many of my favorite Non Typical meals would not be welcome in the office ( I had coworkers 'tattle' on me to my supervisor about my "hygeine" because they couldn't understand the smell of the curry soup I'd had for lunch before our road trip, after that I got assigned solo trips and was able to make more trips and more money, haha) anyway...

I think if you have a meal set that is potentially "ethnic", it should be specified : For Home Use Only :hyst:
.... I don't know if you can even freeze kimchee....:confused:

metqa 01-05-2013 10:31 AM

For example, No Shrimp Paste Recipes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXvFD...ayer_embedded#!


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