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Showing posts with the label freezer

Fit & Active Turkey Sausage Frozen Sandwiches (Aldi)

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I clearly stole this image. Credit: Aldi US I love me some breakfast sandwiches, and it had been a while since I had purchased any from Aldi.  I used to get them to eat as a snack before work, but stopped because they’re so full of cholesterol and sodium. They’re also kind of pricey…I feel like it’s probably a lot cheaper to just buy the ingredients separately, and make them yourself, something that I now want to do. I actually saw these in the freezer case right as we were getting ready to get into the line, and decided they would make a good little snack to eat at home, or for a night that I wasn’t hungry and just wanted a light dinner.  The “Fit & Active” part did make me pause for a little while--that is Aldi’s “healthy” line, and while I realize these still aren’t great for you, I was afraid the little changes they made (egg white, turkey sausage) would make them taste terrible. Boy was I mistaken.  Everything on this sandwich is pretty darn tasty, especially the turkey sausag

Eat! Homestyle Kickin' Chicken Alfredo (Dollar Tree)

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Run far, far away. Dollar Tree is honestly the worst place in the world to realize that you're hungry. There are some good options, but not that many...and even a majority of the “best”, or most filling options are, well, not all that great. It was with this mindset that I decided to try Kickin' Chicken Alfredo, an addition to their “Eat! Homestyle” line that I had not seen before. To be perfectly frank, I didn't really have high hopes for this, even from the outset. Alfredo is a delicious, decadent sauce that just doesn't seem to be replicated well in any frozen product, much less one that has to be sold for a dollar (which means it has to be manufactured for even less than that). The main reason, is that a vast majority of them use half and half as a cheaper substitute for the “heavy whipping cream” typically found in real alfredo sauces...and Eat's version is no different. The half and half basically waters it down, which makes it much less thick, which then tend

Kirkwood Parmesan Garlic Encrusted Chicken Tenders (Aldi)

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An under-the-radar gem. It had been a while since I tried these things, but even though we didn’t have a whole lot of money, I decided to spend the extra couple of bucks to get these over their (pretty solid) chicken nuggets.  Hey, a guy can only eat the same things for so long before he gets tired of them, you know?  The last time I got these it was easily over a year ago (quite possibly two), but I’ve always remembered the taste…and if you know me at all, you know my memory is absolutely godawful.  But did they live up to my high expectations? One thing I want to mention before we get too far into the review, is that these are NOT COOKED.  In other words, they are raw.  In yet more words, unlike their chicken nuggets, these are not made to be tossed in the microwave for a “quick meal”; you have to cook them in the oven, lest you want to risk getting seriously sick. So if you're looking for something quick that you can just nuke and eat, you should probably get something else. The

Specially Selected Stone Baked Mushroom, Mascarpone and Authentic Italian Cheese Pizza (Aldi)

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Mushrooms aside, this "imported" pizza has a unique flavor all its own. I'm not even going to try to remember what lead me to even consider this pizza. Actually, I guess I will: my wife loves mascarpone, but hates mushrooms. I don't really care for either of those things all that much, but I guess I just figured my wife might be interested in taking off the mushrooms and eating the rest. She wasn't, but if she was, the mushrooms are large, and don't take up a whole lot of surface space—they'd be real easy to pick off, especially before baking. The texture is actually a big plus. Well, not so much the mushrooms (which we'll get into more in the next paragraph), but the rest of the pizza features an enticing interplay between the soft, crispy crust; the hardened Italian cheese on top; and the rich, creamy “sauce” that must just be mascarpone. I'd compare the texture to a breakfast pizza, as the sauce is—at the risk of making it sound disgusting—more

Donut Time Frozen Glazed Donuts (Dollar Tree)

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What's the time? Donut Time! Oooooh shit, these are my jam (for all you older folk, that means these are something that I like a lot)! I don't even know what company makes the frozen glazed donuts that have been around for years (and I can't seem to find them anywhere), but I have always loved them. I first tired them as a kid, many years ago, before forgetting all about them as an adult (mainly due to their apparently spotty availability). Then one day they popped up in Aldi's ad, leading me on a delicious trip down memory lane. The nostalgia didn't last long, however, because I promptly forgot all about them again soon after downing the whole package...and have never even stumbled on them since. I don't know what it is about them, but I'd put the taste on a close plan with Krispy Kreme's donuts; that's right, I said it, and I mean every word: frozen donuts have a taste that's similar to some of the most famous glazed donuts in the entire U.S.,

Specially Selected Sweet Mustard, Kale and Bacon Frozen Pizza (Aldi)

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  Don't be put off by the ingredients...this is a tasty little pizza. My mind sometimes works in odd ways. For example, I think most people who would see a pizza in a store's advertisement consisting of sweet mustard, bacon, potatoes, kale, and mozzarella would probably sour their nose at the idea, maybe make a gagging noise out loud, vow never to try it, and move on. I pretty much did all of those things, but with one big difference: I wanted to try it. It honestly sounded gross to me too, but I guess I'm more of an...”optimist” (at least as far as food is concerned): Unless the combination is completely disgusting (like all of those shitty “tastes like Thanksgiving dinner” novelty items, like “turkey and stuffing” potato chips, or “mashed potatoes and gravy” soda pop), I like to approach it more from a “I don't see how this could work...but let's see if it does” kind of angle. (I guess that's not really that optimistic after all, because I'm not completel

Mama Cozzi's Hot Honey BBQ Recipe Chicken Frozen Pizza (Aldi)

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A weird misfire that's a couple tweaks short of brilliance. I'm not quite sure why, but this is one of those products that I just knew I instantly had to try the moment I saw it appear in an Aldi ad. I mean, honey and pepperoni? With a "hot" thrown in there for good measure? That just sounded like a combination so weird that it just had to work, and while I wasn't too pleased with the pretzel crust (is that still a fad?), I was willing to put that aside to give it a shot. I'm generally a fan of the sweet and sour combo, but then adding some heat to it? Sign me up! Well, all thanks to this damn virus sweeping the nation, my wife has declared herself the lone representative from our house that's “allowed” to go to the store. Part of this is her willingness to wear a mask and gloves (which I would feel too stupid to do), but also because I've long been practicing the art of social distancing, and try not to leave the house anyway; thus, it just make

Deutsche Kuche Garlic Sage Spatzle (Aldi)

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This one engaged in a culture war with my tastebuds...and lost. I enjoy some of Aldi’s Deutsche Kuche products, which, for the uninitiated and uninformed, is the brand name applied to their German-made food products. However, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m also pretty terrified of a lot of them. Like marzipan, for example, which doesn’t look appetizing no matter how hungry I am when I go there. Or their chocolate dominoes, which I neglected to read about before digging in and discovering a soft chewy center with a flavor that should never ever pair up with chocolate. Ever. Their garlic sage spetzle actually hit me in a weird mood: I had just started a new medication, which was affecting my appetite. And if you know anything about me, nothing affects my appetite. So here I was, walking up and down the aisles of Aldi, doing the weekly grocery shopping alone for the first time in a very long time (my wife was at home, sick), with a stomach that just wasn’t having any of

Larry the Cable Guy Git-R-Done Grub Biscuits and Gravy Frozen Meal (Dollar Tree)

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Of course I didn't get my own pic of this, so here's one is shamelessly stolen from the internet (credit: Kill Pretty Magazine ) Well it’s just not an official trip to a dollar or closeout store if there isn’t at least one Larry the Cable Guy-branded product…a number that will continue to go up as his star value deservedly decreases, and people grow up to realize he’s nothing more than a hack who’s pretending to be someone he isn’t. But hey, it must have been a great ride, making millions by duping people for so long, right? Anyway, I knew that there was a good chance I would hate this product, which is precisely why I bought it. These were available from Dollar Tree (curiously, only in the biscuits and gravy flavor), and I was actually pretty hungry. Not so hungry that these were actually appealing to me, but hungry enough that I would be willing to shove it down my throat. Sadly, this happened right after I got home. The prep work is easy: throw it in the microwave for ab

Season's Choice Black Pepper Fries (Aldi)

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Have had this damn thing in my queue for months, but they haven't offered it since I tried it, so fuck it: here's the only image of it I can find on the internet, courtesy of Nutrionix , just so I can publish the damn thing. Well we already tried (and enjoyed) the black pepper onion rings that were offered by Season’s Choice a couple of months ago, so naturally it’s time to turn our attention to their Black Pepper Fries, available as a Special Buy at Aldi stores nationwide. True to form, these are what they suggest they are: French fries sprinkled with a black pepper seasoning. Wow, how unique! Let’s see what I thought of them!  First of all, I don’t know if it was sheer luck, or just their outer coating, but I tend to undercook fries in the oven. Even when I cook them well, they never turn out as crispy as I like. These, just like the extra-crunchy onion rings, came out just perfect from the oven - they weren‘t burnt, but had a nice bit of added crunch. The black pepper

Breakfast Best Sausage Breakfast Bowl (Aldi)

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If you can take the health hit, these are tasty little bowls. And I stress: "little". Sadly, there was a time when I ate Breakfast Best's Sausage Bowls pretty frequently: It was about a decade ago now (!) when I first started a new job working at a high-end clothes retailer. Since it was a pretty early shift (it started at 6 a.m.) I would bring these to work with me to eat during my break, simply because it was quick (ready in under three minutes), cheap (under $2), and gave me a little pick-me-up, considering it was often the first thing I would eat most days. A lot has changed in the years since then (though, ironically, I still work at that exact same place). For example, as a hereditary benefactor of my mother's high cholesterol, I now try to really limit the amount that I take in, and the 255mg present in each sausage bowl just isn't a good fit with that equation. There's also, unsurprisingly, equally-ridiculous amounts of sodium and fat to go along

Specially Selected Roasted Vegetable Bistro Style Flatbread (Aldi)

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If "boring" is your thing, this delivers it in spades. Let's start this one off with a very uninteresting story: we had actually gotten this one before, and found ourselves underwhelmed on virtually all fronts. But what happens when you send your wife to Aldi, and she thinks she's getting the mozzarella and tomato flatbread? She ends up not paying attention and casually throwing this one into the cart! She was so disgusted with herself that she adamantly refused to even re-try another piece, which meant I had the honors of forcing it all down again by myself. Even though I'm a meat-eater by trade, I actually enjoy vegetarian dishes from time-to-time, but this one kind of gets everything wrong for me. For starters, I feel like vegetarian dishes especially need some sort of “kick”, or standout flavor, to get my tastebuds excited and hopping. This one delivers a crap-ton of uninteresting and underflavored vegetables just as they are, in all their underflavo

Whole & Simple Mediterranean Style Scrambled Egg White Bowl (Aldi)

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Yay! The return of actual flavor! I already took a look at the Salsa Verde Breakfast Bowl, and hated every goddamned minute of it, so now we turn our attention to the other variety available in the same special buy cycle - and with even lower expectations to boot. Those lowered expectations were obviously as a direct result of the previous dish, but also because this is the one I was least excited about to begin with. And a quick glance of the ingredients reminded me of why: No meat, nothing noteworthy that would seem to bring much flavor, and the same weird “whole grain” concoction of steel cut oats, spelt, buckwheat, and red quinoa that I swear actually sucked some of the flavor out of the breakfast burrito bowl—yeah, this was not headed down a great path. Well, would you believe me if I told you that this vegetarian option was loads better? Well, maybe “loads” is the incorrect term—it still seems like a lot of the flavor has been drained from each of the individual

Whole & Simple Salsa Verde Breakfast Burrito Bowl (Aldi)

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Just...don't. This story begins the way almost all of mine do: I was at Aldi, and I was in a bind. This time, my grocery trip was almost done and I was about to head to the line when I suddenly remembered that I was going to need some dinner items for the nights my wife was at work. I had made a quick stop and was running low on time, so I took the lazy way out –a trademark of mine--and decided to settle for something in the special buy freezer section. After a couple of passes, I noticed these Whole & Simple bowls, and noticeably perked up a bit: a salsa verde breakfast burrito bowl? Now that sounded promising! And into the cart it went. I’ve tried a couple Whole & Simple foods before in the past, and remembered liking them quite well, so despite the ultra-clean packaging—which seems to insinuate a food that’s too healthy to taste good—I wasn’t really all that nervous to give it a shot. Especially considering the salsa verde, which singlehandedly could provide en

Specially Selected Truffle Mac & Cheese Bites (Aldi)

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Overwhelming. I'm a fan of fried mac n' cheese, but those flavors usually don't translate very well to frozen varieties...case in point, Aldi's own Appetito's brand bites which, as you can tell from my review, leave a lot to be desired, despite an alluringly-affordable price tag. Even though I look at the ads every week, I'm pretty sure Specially Selected's Truffle Macaroni and Cheese Balls snuck under my radar, until I happened to see them inside the freezer at Aldi during a quick shopping trip. They also offer a mushroom arancini variety, and while those would probably be good, my wife isn't too keen on mushrooms; and from the way I had to rummage through a couple layers of bags to find this truffle kind, it seems she's not the only one to feel that way. (I took that as a sign that I made the right choice.) Prepwork is simple: toss these onto a baking sheet, and cook for 12 minutes at 425 degrees—that's it. There's no flipping require

Whole & Simple Korean Inspired Beef Grain Bowl (Aldi)

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Fantastic. Well, talk about something I wouldn’t typically get! This Whole & Simple grain bowl wouldn’t be a likely candidate for me for a number of reasons: for example, it’s Korean, and I’m not typically attracted to Korean food. It’s also a “grain bowl”, which usually means “a bunch of healthy shit thrown into a bowl without regard to texture or flavor that we can charge five times more for." And if there's something I'm going to pay more for, it's probably not going to be anything of nutritional substance. But then I read the box, and my mouth actually started to water a little bit. While it might be Korean (“inspired”, but still Korean), none of the ingredients would be out of place in American cuisine, which set my mind at ease. Each bowl contains brown rice, barley, red quinoa, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, kale, spinach, bamboo shoots, and sesame seeds…pretty much the same things you'd find in American "power bowls". I was already lea

Chef Ernesto Battered Mushrooms (Dollar Tree)

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These are pretty good for what they are...dollar-store mushrooms. (source: ChooseVeg ) I do not like mushrooms all that much, but I do like revisiting such foods every once in a while, just to see if (or how) my tastes have changed. In this case, my acceptance of mushrooms was precipitated by having a bowl of mushroom soup at a fancy restaurant a couple of years ago…the broth the soup was cooked in was so rich and creamy that even when I got to the huge chunks of mushroom at the bottom, I eagerly slurped them down like a homeless man at a soup kitchen.  A lot of people are turned off by the texture--mushrooms are, after all, often incredibly slimy--but that’s never really bothered me so much as the taste. I just do not like the earthiness, and don’t feel like it pairs well with many things. But then the alternative to a slimy mushroom, like the dry ones offered as a topping at many pizza chains, are too dry, and feel like the equivalent of eating wood shards. I first caught a gl

Fast Bites Frozen Cheeseburger (Dollar Tree)

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Kind of looks and tastes like a cheeseburger, but without the soul of a cheeseburger. I was inside Dollar Tree, looking for something quick and convenient, when I finally just opted to grab a Fast Bites cheeseburger. I’ve had a couple other items from their lineup before, and found them to be quite hit-or-miss, but for the price point, there’s not really any sort of heavy risk involved. After checking out Dollar Tree’s selection, I opted for their cheeseburger, which I’m not sure I’ve had before. As with everything in that line, prepwork is almost too easy: open one end of the packaging, pop on a microwave-safe plate (or paper towel, or whatever), and cook for 60 seconds. Once the minute is up, let it sit for a bit, because this sucker is going to be scalding hot—once it cools down a bit, it's ready to eat. I didn't bring any accouterments, so I instead had to scavenge around the breakroom at work for some kind of condiment that could liven this up a little bit—th