Monday, October 3, 2011

Bertolli Meal Soups, and a Giveaway!

If you have read A Boston Food Diary for any length of time, you've probably realized that I enjoy challenging myself in the kitchen.  I appreciate taking the long roads to get to the end result, slicing and dicing my way through a pile of ingredients to make the perfect dish.  I bake cookies from scratch for no particular reason (your welcome co- workers), I try my hand at pastries just to see if I can, I make pasta from scratch because its better and I rarely take too much help on week night meals.  I realize however, that my way of living is not the norm.  That today so many of us are balancing careers, families, social obligations, charitable work etc- and it is difficult to find the time to whip up a nutritious meal all of the time.  Perhaps you get it done 5 nights a week but there are two rogue evenings there where the kids practice runs late, work runs over, errands need running and dinner seems insurmountable.  Sure, on these types of nights eating out or take out is an option, but lets be honest- eating out isn't the healthiest option, and it can be darn expensive.   Enter that pesky frozen food aisle at the grocery store.

I have often banished the frozen food aisle, but a few weeks ago Bertolli asked me to give their new line of frozen Meal Soups a try.  To be frank, in my head I scoffed a bit.  But then I sat down and did some research- the flavors sounded good, loaded with vegetables, beans and lean chicken.  I checked out the nutritional label- sodium wasn't astronomical as I had anticipated, and fat and calories seemed in check as well.  I gave them a try on a day when I was cooking up a storm for the week but didn't want to break my stride to make lunch.  I poured the contents of a Bertolli Soup bag into a pot on my stove, added a cup of water and set the heat on medium high.  A few minutes later a pot of soup was boiling on the stove- and it smelled good!  I followed the directions, covered it, and let it simmer for a bit longer. 

Later, I sat down, skeptical, but hopeful, and dug my spoon into my bowl full of soup.  I had chosen the Chicken Minestrone, and I can say that it was loaded with beans, yellow zucchini, spinach and tons of other veggies with large chunks of chicken.  The broth was a rich tomato base, and it was full of flavor, not salt.  I was really blown away by how tasty this soup is- I was anticipating a salt laden broth, with just a few pieces of unidentifiable vegetables and a scant trace of chicken.  I was thoroughly incorrectly.  I also anticipated that the "serves two" on the bag was a farce- but I ate a single bowl, paired with a piece of fresh bread, and was full with over half of the pot left for another meal! 

Bertolli has definitely nailed this dish, and I'm excited to try the other flavors.  I did have some sticker shock when I checked the price on the frozen meal (my grocery store had it at $8.39) but when I realized that it really is a filling meal for two people, a bit over $4.00 didn't seem too astronomical, especially taking into account the amount of veggies that were present.

Bertolli, understandably, is really excited about the launch of their soup collection and asked me to host a give away for them to help spread the word!  I have a beautiful bread basket, silver ladle, refrigerated grocery bag and coupons for you to try out the soup collection all to give away! 

To enter- please leave a comment on this post telling me how you solve your "busy night" meal issues whether it be a stock pile of home made frozen food you grab from your freezer, take out, or something from the grocery store!  For additional entries- Tweet "@Bostonfooddiary Enter me to win the #Bertolli giveaway" and/or leave the same message on my Facebook page!  All entries due in by Friday, October 7, at 11:59 pm EST.  I'll announce the winner on Monday, October 10, 2011.


Karen D said...

It depends on the season...fall and winter I cook a pot of soup, chili or sauce on Sundays and toss the leftovers in the freezer for those busy nights. In the spring and summers I cut up raw veggies on Sundays and usually make a big pot of wheat berries or/or couscous and mix and match them with different dressings and seasonings through out the week.

EricaThomas said...

I'd normally make some type of pasta dish!

Brooke said...

I usually pull together a Hash, I slice a few potatoes really thin and start them frying in a pan with a little bit of oil and butter and then I add any type of meat and vegetables I have on hand, add different spices or herbs and you have a different easy and quick meal everytime!
Our favorites are sausage, garlic and green beans, and chicken, corn, and rotel.

Julie said...

I like to throw chicken in the crock pot. Usually I can find recipes that call for fewer than 5 ingredients. Tonight it was BBQ chicken!

Anonymous said...

I bake a quick fresh or frozen pizza when I'm pressed for time :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

I left a Facebook Wall comment

Julie said...

I keep taco makings on hand...fry up hamburger and freeze it etc.

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