Jena DeMoss: Frozen foods challenge

Published 6:03 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Build a balanced plate with convenient ingredients right from the frozen department. Aim to combine a protein, a grain, a vegetable and a fruit at most meals for a variety of nutrients. Frozen foods are a big help for planning highly nutritious meals with a low level of difficulty. For a fun challenge, let’s walk through what a meal prepared from all frozen food products might look like.

When shopping in the frozen department, it can be helpful to compare nutrition labels. Keep in mind things like protein and fiber will help you feel full and satiated; we want these nutrients to be higher while keeping saturated fat and sodium levels lower. Glance at the ingredient list to look for anything added. The frozen department is filled with vegetables, fruits and grains like brown rice that have nothing else added to them. You can prepare an entire meal in minutes utilizing products entirely from the frozen department.

Here are a Hy-Vee dietitian’s top picks in the frozen department across various food groups:

1. Start by picking meat, seafood or something plant-based that provides a good source of protein.

• Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken breast strips

• Trident Alaska salmon burgers

• MorningStar Farms black bean burgers

2. Next pair it with a whole grain that is a good source of fiber, or choose a frozen meal that already combines both protein and a whole grain.

• Birds Eye whole grain brown rice

• Healthy Choice beef and broccoli

• Then add a vegetable as a side to fill half your plate.

• Birds Eye Steamfresh Asian Medley

• Birds Eye Steamfresh riced cauliflower

• Hy-Vee broccoli florets

3. Next add fruit to your plate – or glass, with a smoothie.

• Hy-Vee unsweetened red raspberries

• Frozen avocado chunks

4.  Finish the meal with a satisfying sweet treat if you desire.

• Hy-Vee vanilla ice cream cups

• Tru Fru Nature’s cherries frozen fresh in white and dark chocolate

Challenge accomplished! Try this chicken wrap recipe paired with a fruit smoothie garnished with a few Tru Fru dark chocolate cherries for a delicious meal quick to come together all from the frozen department.

Asian Chicken Wraps

Serves 8 (1 wrap each)

All you need

• 1 (10.8 oz) package Birds Eye Steamfresh Asian Medley

• 1 (10 oz) package Birds Eye Steamfresh riced cauliflower

• 1 cup Hy-Vee whole lightly salted cashews

• 2 tsp sesame seeds

• 24 strips frozen Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken breast strips

• ½ cup Hy-Vee sweet and sour sauce

• 1 (16 oz) pkg Hy-Vee fajita-size flour tortillas

All you do

1. Heat Asian medley and riced cauliflower according to package directions. 2. Combine vegetables, cashews, and sesame seeds in a large bowl; set aside.

3. Heat chicken strips in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through (165 degrees). Toss with sweet and sour sauce.

To assemble each wrap, place ½ cup vegetable mixture in center of tortilla. 4. Top with 3 chicken strips. Fold one side in and wrap.

Recipe source:

Recipe source:

For more shopping tips and recipe ideas, visit to connect with your Hy-Vee dietitian.