In an effort to be healthy, environmentally friendly and save a little money I usually try to make most of our meals myself. However, there are still those days when I am too tired, ill, or just in a rush and having a prepackaged meal to eat is the easiest thing to do. That’s where Contessa Green Cuisine comes in.
What is Green Cuisine?
Contessa’s slogan is “Eat Responsibly” and they strive to help people do just that by operating out of one of the world’s first LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certified frozen food manufacturing plants. The Contessa Green Cuisine plant uses a solar panel array that reduces their carbon dioxide emissions, a water heating system that runs on the waste heat created from their refrigeration compressors, a special loading dock design that reduces the amount of lost refrigerated air and energy, and variating motors that allow them to minimize energy use. These are just some of the ways that Contessa’s Green Cuisine plant strives to be more environmentally sound.
Contessa believes environmental responsibility isn’t a choice. It’s a necessity. Our goal is to continue to find new ways to take care of the environment in every area of our business, for the long-term sustainability of mankind.
It is not just their manufacturing practices that have made Contessa Green Cuisine an environmentally friendly food choice. To combat over-fishing Green Cuisine chooses to use Aquaculture for their shrimp and seafood. This sustainable method of harvesting their own seafood means they do not have to tap into the wild supply, does not harm the ocean floors from netting, and prevents other animals from being trapped in the netting process. In fact Green Cuisine loves ocean dwelling animals, such as sea turtles which they have actively supported the process of bringing back from the brink of extinction. Contessa also helps the environment by using recycled materials and soy inks for their packaging. They were awarded the Environment & Energy Achievement Award by The American Forest & Paper Association in 2007 for their recycling practices.
OK, so we know that Contessa Green Cuisine is a great environmental choice for a quick meal, but how does it taste? I tried the 10 minute heat and serve Beef Stir-Fry on my family of picky eaters. At first I was only barely hopeful that it would be a hit. My kids can be very nervous when it comes to new food, and their father is one of the pickiest eaters know. The single bag serves 3 adults, though it split evenly between two adults and two children, and it full of mixed vegetables, small beef pieces, and a package of sauce. The bag promised great taste in just 10 minutes, though it may take a little longer when you have a kitchen full of curious eaters wondering what you are about to serve them. Thaw the sauce in hot water for 30 seconds, fry the meat and vegetables for 7-8 minutes, then add the sauce and stir until hot. Serve it over cooked rice and you have a quick complete meal.
The reviews of how well it tasted were mixed. My oldest took one bite and declared it inedible, though the toddler ate his with gusto and gave it two thumbs up. My partner complains that it has too many vegetables in large pieces, and the meat was small and scarce. For me it was great, the vegetables were fresh tasting and the sauce was light. It is definitely not the type of meal that everyone will like, but for 10 minutes and a cost of less than $10 it was certainly worth it for me. On the green and healthy scale Contessa Green Cuisine definitely gets an A+. In being a quick, low cost meal that I don’t feel guilty feeding the family I’m going to give them a solid B+.
I am definitely recommending buying Contessa Green Cuisine prepackaged meals for when you need to make something quick, simple, and good.