The following guide was written by Heinen’s partner Alex Miles.
National Frozen Food Month is our kind of holiday! Why? Because we love celebrating foods that make life easier. Whether it’s work, school, sports, travel or family time, your breakfast to dinnertime schedule can get pretty hectic and planning healthy meals isn’t always in the cards. Frozen foods offer a great way to reduce prep time while feeding hungry loved ones something they’ll enjoy.
Not Your Typical Frozen Food
Frozen foods tend to get a bad rap, but Heinen’s serves up far better than your average TV dinner. Like every other department, our Frozen Foods team puts quality first. You don’t need to sacrifice flavor or nutrition when it comes to a pre-made meal. We offer plenty of healthy options, including everything from frozen entrees, sides, pizzas and flatbreads to countless plant-based alternatives and more.
In honor of March’s National Frozen Food Month, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite frozen food brands and their most delicious products. We can’t wait to see how you incorporate them into your weekly meal rotation.
Family-owned Amy’s Kitchen – started by Rachel and Andy Berliner – began their business journey as new parents (to daughter Amy) looking for easy, ready-made meals at a natural grocery store. When they couldn’t find anything organic, vegetarian or vegan, they decided to craft their own quality frozen foods. They started with hearty, organic pot pie but quickly expanded to an assortment of non-GMO and gluten-free products that includes burritos, bowls, pizzas, soups and more.
Today, our customers can’t fill their freezers fast enough with Amy’s Kitchen foods. One of our top-sellers, the Cheddar Cheese, Bean & Rice Burrito, is perfect for kids or adults who prefer simple ingredients including organic pinto beans, rice, cheese and a mild-Mexican-style sauce wrapped in an organic tortilla. Another Amy’s Kitchen favorite is the Cheese Enchilada, featuring organic corn tortillas filled with a blend of cheeses, olives, peppers and enchilada sauce. When you don’t have time for your favorite Mexican restaurant, this enchilada is the next best thing!
If you’re craving Italian, the Margherita Pizza will have you counting down every second until the oven timer rings. Based on the original Pizza Napoletana in Italy, this product’s thin, hand-stretched crust is topped with a slowly simmered sauce (made from organic tomatoes and seasonings), mozzarella cheese, Parmesan and basil. It’s what the Italians call “Delizioso!”
Hanover Frozen Vegetables
Like Heinen’s and Amy’s Kitchen, Hanover Foods is a family-owned brand that offers an excellent assortment of frozen vegetables to compliment any entrée. Founded back in 1924, Hanover has built a network of farmers to help source a variety of natural, Grade A produce including Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, peas and potatoes, to name a few.
What we love most about Hanover frozen veggies is that they’re easy to make in their steam-in-bag packaging. When you’re pinched for time, quickly heat up their Mexican-Style Street Corn in the microwave or on the stovetop. Ideal for summer cookouts or weeknight dinners, the perfectly seasoned corn is low in sugar yet full of flavor. We also can’t get enough of Hanover’s Asian Stir Fry-Style Riced Cauliflower, especially as a gluten-free alternative to regular rice. It tastes great solo but can be paired with a protein like chicken, beef or shrimp and other veggies for a wholesome meal.
Named after the family’s trusty dog, Red’s was founded in 2009 by Mike Adair after “crushing” a homemade burrito made by his wife, Paige. Determined to share her amazing burritos with the world, Mike launched the brand with a commitment to utilizing non-GMO, organic and antibiotic-free ingredients whenever possible. Red’s also practices small-batch cooking and hand rolls every burrito to preserve healthy nutrients for the best frozen food experience.
The quality of a Red’s burrito can be tasted from the initial bite. The Turkey Sausage Egg and Three Cheese Burrito is made with turkey, organic eggs and an assortment of cheeses, giving you a guilt-free breakfast – or breakfast-for-dinner – option. Another customer favorite is Red’s Chicken & Cheddar Enchiladas, filled with antibiotic-free chicken, white cheddar cheese and enchilada sauce. Take this meal to work for a quick lunch or warm it up on evenings when your agenda calls for nothing but relaxing with a yummy meal.
Doctors and frozen foods aren’t the likeliest of pairs, but that’s exactly what happened with Dr. Praeger’s. Founded in 1994 by two heart surgeons, Dr. Praeger’s provides nutritious, delicious and ready-to-eat frozen food products. We love this brand because, like Heinen’s, they value nurturing the well-being of families through sensible, low-stress meals and support a number of community-based organizations.
For kids, Dr. Praeger’s Plant Protein Chick’n Tenders are packed with 14 grams of plant protein power. Fresh peas, veggies and avocado oil make up this vegan and gluten-free alternative to the typical meat-based tenders. They’re so good, even adults will be sneaking them off of the little one’s plate.
Another meatless option is Dr. Praeger’s Cauliflower Burger, consisting of fresh cauliflower plus zucchini, kale, brown rice and quinoa. They taste so close to a regular burger that you’ll do a double take at the ingredient list. Best of all, when you purchase these nourishing cauliflower burgers, Dr. Praeger’s will donate a percentage of the sales to Farmer’s Against Hunger, a nonprofit that helps farmers and wholesalers share surplus produce with people in need.
Deep Indian Kitchen
Whether you already love Indian food or enjoy trying different ethnic varieties, look no further than Deep Indian Kitchen. Launched by an Indian-American family on a mission to share the best of India with the world, Deep Indian Kitchen uses traditional family recipes for every frozen meal or snack. They incorporate the freshest ingredients, including whole spices, and avoid artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Most importantly, they donate a percentage of proceeds to their Deepkiran Foundation, which works to give underprivileged Indian children access to school and school supplies.
It’s so hard to pick a favorite, but their authentic Chicken Tikka Masala (Entrée), served with a side of cumin basmati rice, rises to the top of our list. This dish is “all about the sauce” which simmers for hours as it turns into a rich, creamy topping for the antibiotic-free chicken breast. One bite is all it takes to transport you right into India.
Deep Indian Kitchen also handcrafts healthy appetizers, including the Potato & Pea Samosas. Just like some pizzas or pies are “all about the crust,” the same goes for this delicious dish which features a flaky pastry crust filled with potatoes, peas and spices. The samosas also come with a tamarind mint chutney dipping sauce that’s so good the brand says it’ll have you “licking your plate.” (We promise, we won’t tell!)
Looking for other nutritious staples from our freezer aisle? Check out our website for the latest product info and availability.