I recently picked up Smart Made Black Beans & Cheese over Cilantro-Lime Rice from the freezer section of the grocery store. Typically, I avoid the freezer aisle. While it offers many enticing items to save you time in the kitchen, typically your are sacrificing your health for the convenience. Most items are loaded with sodium and ingredients I can’t pronounce. But, the Smart Made line caught my eye and I’m always looking for good freezer options. I picked up the beans & rice bowl because it reminded me one of my kid’s favorite dinner meals: burrito bowls. I was stunned when I read the ingredients:
VEGETABLE BLEND (CORN, COOKED BLACK BEANS, ROASTED RED BELL PEPPERS, YELLOW BELL PEPPERS, ONIONS), SAUCE (WATER, TOMATO PASTE, BEAN PUREE, CILANTRO, CORNSTARCH, SALT, LIME JUICE CONCENTRATE, PAPRIKA, ROASTED GRANULATED GARLIC, ONION POWDER, SPICES), COOKED BROWN RICE (WATER, BROWN RICE), LOW MOISTURE PART-SKIM MOZZARELLA CHEESE (MILK, NON-FAT MILK, CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES), GREEN ONIONS. CONTAINS: MILK.
It sounded like a meal I could have made in my own kitchen and thrown in the freezer. So, I gave it a try. I was satisfied with the quantity and quality of the ingredients. I added a little salsa, sliced avocado and crushed tortilla chips to up the flavor a bit and make it my own.
Since then, I have checked out the ingredients of more of the Smart Made line of foods. I can recommend some of the products to you as a great alternative when you are pinched for time an need a quick meal. However, keep an eye on the ingredient list. A few of the meat products contain the dreaded “natural flavor” and some extracts I am not comfortable with. But, so far, the vegetarian meal options seem to be great real-food choices!
I received this product for free as a part of the My Magazine Sharing Network. All opinions are my own.