Woman taking out frozen meal from microwave

How Bad Is Frozen Food For You?

What Exactly Is Frozen Food?

It’s morning. You give a nice big yawn, stretch out a bit, take a look at your phone’s clock, and that’s when you realize…

You’re late for work.

It happens to the best of us. You brush your teeth, throw on the least wrinkly dress shirt, and then rush to the kitchen.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for right now, you’re concentrating on getting to that 9:00 AM meeting.

You scour the fridge for any potential lunch options, but you realize that your kids split the leftovers and ran off before you can catch them. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the cold cuts just expired, the lettuce is looking a little rotten, and you’re getting sick of canned soup.

So…now what?

You decide to quickly scan the freezer, and lo and behold, there’s one frozen meal left; Roasted Turkey and gravy with green beans, sweet cranberries, and slivered almonds. You give an uninterested glance at it. It’s not much, but it will get the job done. So you unenthusiastically grab it and run out the door.

But why do you feel uneasy with your choice? Is frozen food really THAT bad?

Well, let’s check it out.

Calories In Frozen Food

The thing with frozen food is you’re paying for the convenience, so it’s to be expected that it’s not the healthiest option. The nutritional value and calories found in frozen food can vary differently. But you may be surprised to learn that not all of it is so dissimilar. For example, your average frozen pizza comes very close nutritionally to a pie from your favorite pizzeria. Still a lot of calories (approximately 2,000), but hey, not as bad as you thought. And if a frozen food product uses words like “organic” or “authentic”, you shouldn’t believe it most of the time. Also, the amount of saturated fat and sodium found in some of these meals can be quite high. Like half of your day’s calories kinda high. Always take a look at the nutrition facts found on the food’s label.

Serving Sizes

To the untrained eye, a majority of frozen meals appear to have small serving sizes. But don’t let the packaging fool you; most of the time, they contain 2 serving sizes. Those nutritional numbers can be surprising. A basic pasta meal, like fettuccine Alfredo, can hit 600 calories, over 10 grams of saturated fat, and far too much sodium for anyone’s daily intake. And it becomes even more tempting when it’s branded from a chain restaurant. We know you’re looking at that Cheese Manicotti from Boston Market.

Healthier Choices

But what about the frozen foods and meals that claim to have healthier choices? Is that legitimate?

In moderation, yes.

For example, if you were to go for a low-fat option like a Zucchini Noodle Pasta, that would only contain 260-300 calories. But only if you eat one.

In a 2013 study at the University of Georgia, fresh and frozen blueberries, strawberries, broccoli, and other vegetables were purchased from six different markets. The nutrition levels were analyzed between the frozen and fresh produce upon purchasing and after 5 days in a refrigerator. It appeared that the nutrient levels on the day of purchase between both product sets were similar. The difference being that after 5 days, the fresh produce lost significant vitamin content.

So What’s The Verdict?

It’s not that complicated, folks. The frozen-food section in a supermarket sometimes seems taboo, but it’s all about making smart decisions. Just take a second to read the nutrition facts on each product’s label, and you’ll be good to go!

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Food & Beer: A Pairing Guide

Beer. It’s great. We all know that. And food is even better…depending on who you ask, that is.

But the combination? It can be Heavenly.

Here’s a brief guide on some decent food and beer pairing options:

FoodAndBeerPairingGuide

But don’t let this stop you from enjoying any combination of your choosing! We have found that most beer/food combinations are successful, especially depending on how much beer has already been consumed.

Funniest Yelp Reviews Featured Image

Funny Yelp Reviews Of Chain Restaurants

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Yelp can be host to some great help and insightful perspectives on local cuisine. It can also showcase some funny reviews. Here’s a look at some funny Yelp reviews of chain restaurants:

Chipotle

“I feel like this review is more than a little pointless (are people really interested in opinions about the Chipotle on Broadway?) but I also think that Chipotle itself is pointless…so…double jeopardy. Or something.

I don’t get it. Its not Mexican food, its not fancy food, its just…just…I don’t get it. It never tastes as good as I want it to, and it bothers me that everyone else seems to like it except for me. Why? What do I not understand? The chips are too salty and the guac is too oniony. The only thing I like is their black beans, and I can make black beans. One extra point for having Barq’s root beer in their fountain thingy.” — Linds R., Chicago

Denny’s

“‘Kuluina pirya il quel!’…. ‘KULUINA PIRYA IL QUEL!!!!’….. ‘IL QUEL!!!!!’*… I expected a band of just and fair elves from Middle Earth to save me and chant this as I walked into Denny’s that morning, which is decked out in Hobbit specials this November and December in anticipation of the new Hobbit movie coming out, but alas I was not saved and walked to my doom at Denny’s which apparently is now the equivalent of Mordor.

Up to that day, I had not been at a Denny’s for years, but I liked the small-town breakfast diner atmosphere. What I especially liked were the Hobbit specials. I am a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings franchise, so I was able to picture myself in a modern Miami-esque shire waiting for Bilbo Baggins, Sam, and Frodo to magically appear…. Mmmm.. Shire sausage! Pumpkin pancakes! Lemon poppy seed French toast! I had a sudden craving for comfort food and decided to build my own grand slam, made up of all these premium 49 cents extra items.

Our food came out in about 20 minutes, which seemed to be a long wait time for Denny’s, but while we were eating, one of their workers came to our part of the diner and screamed, ‘DOES ANYONE DRIVE A GRAY HONDA CIVIC?!’. I thought Rohan was being attacked by the way she was screaming. My friend blushed, raised her hand, and went out the front door to move her car. I could tell she was a tad bit embarrassed.

BTW, for those who do not speak Elvish, ‘Kuluyina pirya il quel!’ translates into ‘Orange juice not good!’ It was all right, but for the price we paid, it was honestly highway robbery.” — Keith P. Miami

Olive Garden

“Weird. This place is just weird. Like parallel universe weird.

Adults were served before kids. Entrees came before soup. Supposedly ‘bottomless’ salad and soup was never refilled. Trainee disappeared but other people we’d never seen before kept coming by just to ‘check and see if everything is alright.’

No. Everything is not alright.

One of four kids got wrong meal — which took an eternity to remedy while we all waited.

One of four kids got the right meal but half the portion of the other three and no side dish. No, no, no.

Then there was a bizarre mystery meatball which no one ordered but was placed on our table and sat there through our entire meal without inquiry.

And let’s be honest about the breadsticks, people. Not that good. There, I said it. Not that good. Maybe if you live on Pillsbury pop-n-fresh, this might be a step up but really — not worth the hullabaloo.” — J.P., Los Angeles

Red Lobster

“Every time I see their TV commercials I’m ready to dip my TV in butter but then reality sets in: My TV would probably taste better. Frozen tiny crustaceans add up to a low-grade, high-priced seafood meal. When I was married I asked my ex-wife to do me a favor: Every time I craved Red Lobster I asked her to remind me how awful the place is. Thanks to her I’ll remember forever.” — Dan R., New York

And our personal favorite:

Rodizio Grill

“I like meat. They serve it here. I can have a lot of it. It is good. They also serve things I don’t like. I don’t have to eat those. Ham good. Ham better with pineapple. Vegetarians should call PETA. PETA should go get more chicks to pose naked in their ads. After I eat here I club girl over head and yell ooga. I am all that is man.” — Rick L., Denver

yelp review of rodizio grill denver colorado

This may not count as a “chain”, but we’re still laughing about it.

Gordon Ramsay Ultimate Steak Sandwich

How To Cook The Ultimate Steak Sandwich

Steak can be such a wonderful thing. And with so many different cuts of meat and methods of preparation, there are endless possibilities; London Broil, Beef Wellington, Surf & Turf, or perhaps just a simple sandwich. Master Chef Gordon Ramsay takes it one step further and demonstrates how to cook the ultimate Steak sandwich:

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

Serves 4–6

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.
  2. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan until hot and add a glug of oil. Grind a generous amount of salt and pepper onto a board and roll the fillet in the seasoning. Fry over a high heat for 1–2 minutes on each side until gently coloured all over, including the ends. Add the garlic and thyme sprigs, heat for a minute, then sit the beef on top of them. Add a couple of knobs of butter, spooning it over the steak to baste.
  3. Place the beef in the preheated oven and roast for 15–17 minutes until rare or medium rare. It should feel springy when pressed. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes, basting now and again with the juices from the pan.
  4. Meanwhile, make the relish. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and chillies and fry over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the tomatoes, then season and cook for 6–8 minutes until the tomatoes are beginning to collapse. Add the vinegar and stew down over a medium heat for about 6 minutes until reduced to a rough relish consistency. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil and season well. Tip into a serving bowl and set aside.
  5. Combine the ingredients for the mustard mayonnaise. Season, then spoon into a serving bowl and set aside.
  6. To make the toast, heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Drizzle the sliced ciabatta with the olive oil, season and then griddle for 1–2 minutes until golden on both sides. Repeat until all the bread is toasted and then place on a serving platter.
  7. To serve, thickly slice the rested fillet of beef, place on a platter and put on the table with the toast, mayonnaise, relish and lettuce leaves to be assembled by your guests.

Recipe courtesy of GordonRamsey.com

Plate with fork, knife, and rose

Valentine’s Day Marketing Tips

Valentine’s Day can be a special day. It can also bring on unnecessary stress. Everyone wants to make this day special, and the pressure of finding the perfect way, or place, to spend the evening can be a little tricky. It’s estimated that an average of $143 is spent on dinner during Valentine’s Day, with a total of $19 billion being spent. With these statistics, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the biggest days in the restaurant industry. It can certainly be difficult to stand out amongst the competition, but here are some ways you can attract couples this Valentine’s Day!

Offer Early Reservation Specials

Reserving the perfect time can be tricky. Offering early reservation specials can be a great way to relieve stress and entice customers. For example, you can offer one free drink or dessert if a customer books their reservation prior to a date you set. And this will give you a decent headcount to work off of. A win-win!

Valentine’s Day Menu

Because there will be an abundance of meal orders being placed, you may want to simplify your menu for the sake of your customers and your chef. Keeping the menu at a fixed promotional price may also entice more couples to come and stay. Crafting Valentine’s themed dishes and drinks is a fun way to spice things up. For example, you could create heart-shaped deserts or offer fine crystal champagne flutes. Offering pairing suggestions to your guests encourages additional wine and beverage purchases as well.

All About The Little Things

As a society, we tend to gravitate towards the little things; Positive actions, compliments, the last cookie from the cookie jar. And you can help personalize your customer’s experience with little things of your own! Flowers, name cards, and even proposal packages can turn an evening from special into…even more special! Asking guests about personal preferences during the booking process can help you greatly. This makes the process a bit more simple and allows for a much more enhanced dining experience.

Social Media Promotion

Time to get the word out! Giving a glimpse into your Valentine’s Day experience will show diners what to expect and drum up some excitement. Give a behind-the-scenes look at the menu, drinks, and flowers. Use plenty of red coloration and warmth, showcasing your restaurant as the place to be this Valentine’s Day! And remember; angles are everything.

Drone delivering pizza

Food Delivery By Drones?

We live in the age of technology and progression. And with that comes exciting new advancements in various industries, including Foodservice.

I’m sure you’re aware of what flying drones are. They’ve really taken over…in drones.

Picture this; You just walked into your house upon completing your brutal 9-5 + 1.5-hour commute. It was especially rough today because Karen from billing accidentally left out a 0 while importing your sales order, and someone ate your leftover meatloaf that you CLEARLY labeled with your name. You drop your keys on the floor and walk towards the kitchen. You open the fridge and freezer, and then it hits you like a freight train; You forgot to defrost the chicken. And you can practically play hockey with that ground beef. You’re starving at this point, and you’ve already eaten enough Lean Cuisine meals to kill a horse. So naturally, you’re left with one reasonable option…

…have you not figured it out yet? It’s take-out. Delivery. Direct to your door. The good grub.

Well, sure. You COULD go out and get something, but you’re already tired. And if you already had prior knowledge of this, you would have picked food up on the way home. So it’s time to pick up that laptop, tablet, or phone and get orderin’.

But you’re not alone. Not by a long shot. In 2015, reports showed that an estimated 2.5 Million online food orders were placed daily.

Let that soak in for a second.

2.5 Million.

That’s a whole lotta chow, and that’s not counting call-ins to those restaurants. And we’re willing to bet that number has at least doubled since then. With the convenience of mobile food ordering, it’s hard to resist the urge. Restaurateurs have quickly taken notice to the growing trend, and have tailored their delivery services accordingly.

So, what does this have to do with drones?

Due to the increasingly high food delivery demands restaurant owners face, they need all the help they can get. And since drones are designed to cover wide distances at relatively fast speeds, this seems like a logical choice for delivery purposes. In fact, big faces in business such as Uber are already working on food-delivery programs involving drones. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY.

Let’s weight the pros and cons of drone delivery:

The Pros of Drone Delivery

  • Customers want their food yesterday. Offering a drone delivery service that gets this done in a speedy fashion will boost customer satisfaction and overall efficiency.
  • You won’t need to spend thousands on your marketing. The drones will speak for themselves. Everyone will view you as a progressive and advanced company.
  • Considering that a majority of food deliveries aren’t huge to begin with, this will not significantly impact your drone’s carrying ability. You also won’t have to worry nearly as much about resources when traveling to a customer’s location.
  • There will be less of a need for drivers, reducing your cost and freeing up employees to handle other important tasks. Keeping your restaurant running smoothly is always priority, and with the addition of drone delivery, it will be much simpler.

Similar to everything in life, there are its cons:

The Cons of Drone Delivery

  • Drones come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. For the most part, however, they can be relatively pricey. And seeing as how you need the drone to support heavier weight, a larger model may be needed.
  • Bigger companies have the necessary resources readily available to test out the drone’s stability, weight limitations, and distance coverage. Smaller businesses may not be able to swing this as easily.
  • Since this technology is relatively new, usage and regulations are still being developed. Any laws that apply to the flying of drones must be carefully observed. A good deal of research prior to the purchase of one would be beneficial.
  • Minor and major malfunctions can easily create a hassle on something so new and advanced. Technical problems can result in costly repairs and downtime.

It’s clear that we’re headed towards fully integrated drone delivery services. What now seems like a dream will soon become a reality and a normal business practice. Experimenting with drone technology now can help you plan for a new type of customer service experience.