How many times has your lunch consisted of boring leftovers, unhealthy fast food or the mac and cheese you made for your kids?
As a work-from-home mom, I use my daughter’s early afternoon naptime as prime working time. Rarely do I take time to eat a real meal for lunch. Hunger usually catches up with me later in the day and I ravenously consume whatever snacks I find in the pantry. Afterward, I feel bad about my choices and vow to eat healthy and plan my meals tomorrow. But the cycle just continues.
Maybe, like my fellow Tampa Bay Moms Blog contributor Karimah, you cooked a healthy dinner for your family the night before with grand plans to make the leftovers last for a couple of days. (Let’s face it, cooking every night is a bit unrealistic.) But then your spouse ate EVERYTHING.
Yeah, we’ve all been there.
Enter Eat Fresco
Started by Tampa Bay area mom Tracy Povolny, and her husband Rob, who both wanted better, easier meal choices for their busy family, Eat Fresco is the fresh, healthy and locally-made alternative to pricey takeout, high-sodium, processed, frozen entrees and meals that require you to cook.
A Tour of The Tampa Eat Fresco Kitchen
Tampa Bay Moms Blog contributors Karimah, Nina and I recently had the opportunity to tour Eat Fresco’s commercial kitchen in Tampa. This brand-new facility is state of the art and unlike the direct-to-consumer meal delivery companies and restaurants, the Eat Fresco facility is USDA inspected daily. We saw firsthand the quality and passion that goes into every Eat Fresco meal.
These meals are never frozen and contain natural and organic ingredients – only high-quality ingredients that Tracy felt comfortable feeding to her own young son. They are low in sodium and sugar and contain no artificial ingredients, added preservatives, hormones or antibiotics. And while they aren’t frozen meals, you don’t have to eat them right away if your lunch or dinner plans change. An innovative vacuum seal keeps the food fresh in the fridge for two weeks.
When you’re in need of that quick lunch or dinner, pop your Eat Fresco meal in the microwave and that innovative seal helps it steam, heating it evenly in just two minutes. Don’t worry, the packaging is BPA free but there are heating instructions for the conventional oven if you prefer.
Currently, Eat Fresco offers eight unique and flavorful entrees that are high in protein and low in sodium. Designed to accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions, Eat Fresco offers several meals that are gluten free. A few are milk free, and some are nut and soy free as well. Each Eat Fresco meal is under 500 calories and with choices like Balsamic Glazed Grilled Salmon and Cuban Inspired Pork Loin, these aren’t your average healthy, prepared meals.
Conveniently available in a number of grocery and natural food stores throughout Florida, no special trip to another store or weekly delivery subscription is required. Pick up a few Eat Fresco entrees while doing your regular grocery shopping. Keep them in your fridge for those busy days when your typical lunch might have only consisted of the crackers you found wedged between your car seats.
Now if only Publix would give in to my begging for this delicious Caribbean Style Jerk Chicken (with yummy grilled pineapple and island rice with just the right amount of spice) to be available in my neighborhood Publix store in Lutz in addition to their Greenwise Market in South Tampa.
Pretty, pretty please (with no added sugar on top)?
Karimah’s Take on Eat Fresco
“Overall, I was very impressed with my Eat Fresco meals. Tracy provided us with samples at their facility as well as all eight entrees to take home. After heating, I had some trouble removing the plastic seal, but scissors will take care of that.
I was a nice wife and shared some of the meals with my husband. He took them to work to enjoy on his lunch break. We are both trying to eat healthier and lose weight so these meals were perfect for us. We both agreed that the portion size was perfect and we felt full after each meal.”
Eat Fresco Favorites
The Turkey Breast and Quinoa Medley was delicious. I’m not usually a fan of quinoa and was skeptical about tasting this meal. I’m glad I gave it a try because I was so impressed with the flavors of this entrée. The quinoa was cooked perfectly and was well seasoned.
My husband also enjoyed the Turkey Breast and Quinoa Medley. He is trying to figure out how to recreate it because his quinoa does not turn out as delicious. We both enjoyed the kale and sweet potato in the quinoa medley. The turkey breast was juicy, which surprised me. Turkey breast is usually dry and I avoid it, even during Thanksgiving. All in all, this meal is ranked at the top compared to the other entrees, in our opinion.
My husband was also very impressed with Eat Fresco’s vegetarian option, the Tuscan Vegetable Pasta. The portion size was perfect for him. The flavor was great and the pasta was al dente. He enjoyed the tender vegetables and felt it did not need additional seasoning.
I would definitely recommend purchasing Eat Fresco meals the next time you’re grocery shopping at Publix Greenwise Market or one of the other Florida natural foods stores that carry them. It’s a healthy, affordable and portable meal that is full of flavor. It’s great for busy parents who need a break from cooking. My husband looked forward to trying something different every day at work for his lunch. It also was nice not having to worry about preparing extra meals and wasting food.
Which Eat Fresco meal would you like to try?