Maybe you don't venture into the frozen food section unless it's 100 degrees outside. But I do! Along with frozen fruit and
vegetables, I keep my freezer stocked with a handful of carefully curated convenience foods to turn into an easy dinner. Fish
sticks, potstickers, veggie burgers, mozzarella sticks, meatballs and hash browns are among my favorites.
I'm all for cooking from scratch—I do it for a living! But sometimes I just don't have time for that. I have a preschooler
who demands dinner immediately upon arrival at home. If I'm feeling less than inspired by what I planned for dinner that
night, I grab a box or bag from the freezer and transform it into a healthy meal. And you can too. Armed with some shopping
advice and the tasty recipes to transform these staples, you may find yourself in the freezer aisle more often.
1. Frozen Meatballs
What to look for: Pick one with less than 450 mg of sodium per serving and skip brands with added sugar.
Our Favorites: Bove's Italian Style (beef) and Al Fresco Italian Style (chicken)
2. Frozen Veggie Burgers
What to look for: Shoot for 200 mg or less of sodium per patty. Skip any with added sugar. You may choose to avoid caramel
color—it contains a compound that can cause cancer, but it's used in such small quantities it shouldn't be a health concern.
Our Favorite: Sunshine Burgers Black Bean South West
3. Frozen Potstickers
What to look for: Look for a brand that has 600 mg or less of sodium per serving.
Our Favorites: Annie Chun's (chicken & vegetable) and Chef One (vegetable)
4. Frozen Hash Browns
What to look for: You may see disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate (also called sodium acid pyrophosphate) in the ingredient
list. It's a common, safe food additive that prevents the potatoes from browning and reduces acrylamide formation (a
carcinogen created during frying). Opt for unseasoned ones and save 200-300 mg of sodium per serving.
Our Favorites: Cascadian Farms and Ore-Ida
5. Frozen Fish Sticks
What to look for: Most are made with pollock, which is a sustainable choice if it's Marine Stewardship Council certified
(look for the blue label or contact the manufacturer). Try to avoid added sugar (or make sure it's as close to the end of the
ingredient list as possible). Go for one with 300 mg or less of sodium per serving.
Our Favorites: Kidfresh Fun-tastic and Dr. Praeger's Lightly Breaded
6. Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
What to look for: Opt for a brand that has added sugars as close to the end of the ingredient list as possible. Aim for less
than 250 mg of sodium per serving.
Our Favorite: Alexia Mozzarella Stix with Olive Oil & Italian Herbs