Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Good Food Made Simple- Steel Cut Oat Meal and Eggs from Your Freezer!

Breakfast is one of those things to me.  I know it's good for me, I know it's the right way to start my day, but I get really bored with it.  I've never been a cereal for breakfast person, and I refuse to get up early to make myself a proper breakfast before work, so I am constantly searching for good things to eat at my desk while I plow through my morning.  More often then not, I settle on a whole wheat sandwich thin, spread with peanut butter and dotted with banana slices.  It has good nutrients, gives me energy for the morning ahead, and is pretty convenient for the office.  I store my peanut butter at my desk, and just cart in a sandwich thin and a banana each day.  Easy.  

Now, to be fair, there are some in my office who go through the intricate work of bringing in egg beaters, an appropriate sized microwaveable container, English muffins, cheese, meats etc and make their own egg sandwiches.  To be honest- this seems like a lot of work to me. I'll be honest- I don't want to fuss with breakfast.  I want to sip my coffee in peace, I want to eat fast, and I want to return to whatever it is I'm working on for the day.  Quick. Simple.  So, when I was invited to a breakfast event showcasing a new company Good Food Made Simple, held at Stir in the South End a few weeks ago, I was intrigued to see what their offerings would be.  

As an aside, Stir, a Barbara Lynch venture where she holds cooking classes, and has an awesome wall for a book store, is a beautiful space, and I was thrilled to get to spend some time there.  Good Food Made Simple is a recently started company that concentrates on creating a product that is made with minimal ingredients, uses simplistic packaging, and is easy to prepare.  Their sweet spot is in the frozen food aisle, as all of their offerings are frozen, and they are pledging to take on the aisle, forcing their counterparts to re-examine the ingredients they use.  

Good Food Made Simple offered us samples both of their Oatmeal, offered in four different varieties- Natural Steel Cut, Steel Cut with Fruit and Berries, Steel Cut prepared with Vermont Maple Syrup, and Rolled Oats flavored with Cinnamon and Brown Sugar, as well as their egg patties, offered in both egg white and natural egg.  

Steel Cut Oatmeal, due to the way that it is processed, is said to retain more of its natural nutrients than rolled oats, however, due to its unique preparation, it can take about 40 minutes for preparation.  Now 40 minutes may not seem like a long time generally speaking, but on a busy work morning, or when trying to get the kids ready for school (I'd imagine) those are precious minutes that you just don't have.  Good Food Made Simple gives all of that time back to you, by making kettles of the oatmeal and then flash freezing them into individually wrapped pucks that can be tossed into the microwave for just a few minutes and breakfast is served.  

I tested these out at work last week (I do not own a microwave at home which nixes these as a quick, nutritious weekend option for me), and found them to be filling, but delicious.  At Stir one of the chefs there topped the samples with beautiful additions like Marscapone Cheese, Fresh Berries, Golden Raising and beautiful nuts and dried fruits, my toppings at work were much simpler- sticking solely to my banana.  However both ways, with the creative additions from Stir, and with a simple banana, these bowls of piping hot oatmeal stuck to my ribs and definitely fueled me for the day.  Their texture was perfect- the steel cut of the oats gave them a lovely mouth feel without that gummy vibe that oatmeal can get.    

However the real beauty of Good Food Made Simple is the limited ingredient list- every ingredient is a real food, not a chemical, and where possible ingredients are kept basic.  Their Natural Steel Cut Oatmeal contains oats, water and salt.  That's it.  Their others contain purely natural ingredients, and all are listed legibly, in a readable font size, on the front of their box.  

At Stir, and at work, we moved on from Oatmeal to Egg Patties.  I'll be honest here- the idea of these kind of wigged me out.  I don't know what it is about eggs, but I have difficulty with them.  I love them, but I can't think about them for long or I lose my appetite for them.  The idea of frozen, patty shaped, eggs similarly make me a little a nervous.  Putting all of my own weird concerns aside, and pressed forth to try the amazing egg sandwiches that were being made for us in the Stir kitchen.  Buttered, toasted bread, aged Prosciutto, avocado, arugula pesto, oven roasted tomatoes -all these lovely ingredients came together to create two different sandwiches.  My qualms of frozen egg patties were immediately eliminated when these gorgeous sandwiches were set before me.  The eggs, microwaved for just a minute or so, were light and fluffy, defying my concerns that they would take on the properties of a rubber ball.  

Here at the office these have proven to be a much simpler breakfast sandwich solution than the egg white, microwave container make shift situation.  Paired with a whole wheat sandwich thin, a slice of Jarlsberg Cheese and a pile of fresh arugula my breakfast has been light, healthy and delicious-with enough protein to keep me going long past lunch.  

I really enjoyed the products that Good Food Made Simple sampled for us.  I loved them in Stir under the well trained chef hands, but I also loved them at work, where in a pinch I threw them together.  My toppings were not as decadent or well planned, but the quality of the product shone through that and rewarded me with a tasty and satisfying meal.  These are being sold on a national scale- please check your local grocery stores for them and keep your eye out for new products as well!    


Michelle Collins said...

I am a HUGE breakfast person - it's great to know there are some good-for-you, quick options like these available!

Jen said...

Thanks for the tip! I usually stick to Greek yogurt mixed with granola, topped with blueberries (in season). It works well at home, and with a tiny bit of prep, it's easy enough to bring into the office as well.

Jen said...

I'm with you, I go for simple for breakfast. I keep my chocolate PB in my desk, bring a mini WW bagel and a banana for breakfast almost every day!

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