Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods Review

 



Dr. Praeger's is a family-owned company that started out in 1994, when two heart surgeons from New Jersey (Dr. Peter Praeger and Dr. Eric Somberg) bought-out Ungar’s Gefilte Fish. They expanded upon this company to include "sensible" frozen food products that fit a more heart-healthy lifestyle. Dr. Praeger's now operates out of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, in a 60,000 sq. foot building. Business stays close to home because all manufacturing, research and sales are conducted from this building. Dr. Praeger's markets their products to many major retailers nation-wide, including: Hannaford, Price Chopper, Trader Joe's, Costco, Whole Foods, etc. 

In my eyes, Dr. Praeger's is setting the new standard for frozen food. Frozen food often gets a bad reputation for being packed with sodium and unnatural ingredients. We usually think only of fresh food as being "healthy" -- but this is not true! Dr. Praeger's is committed to selling products which contain NO artificial ingredients, colors, or fillers...only ingredients that you can recognize when you read the label. All of their products are all-natural, trans-fat and saturated-fat free, low in cholesterol, and lacking preservatives. The best part? There is no compromise when it comes to taste. With Dr. Praeger's, "healthy" frozen food can become the staple dish for your next meal. You won't have a problem finding a product that you like, as they offer such a wide variety of appetizers and meals. There are even specially designed vegetable and fish dishes for the little ones! They have many gluten-free options for those of you who require them, and all of their products are certified kosher!

Dr. Praeger's has one of the largest selections of frozen food available in the healthy or natural section of my local grocery store (though we do not even carry their entire line of products). Here are all the great products they feature, broken down by category. Don't they sound delicious?

Appetizers/Snacks
  • Spinach Bites
  • Broccoli Bites
  • Sweet Potato Bites
  • Potato Bites
  • Burrito Bites
  •  California Veggie Balls
  • Falafel Flats 
  • Froat

 Fish
  • Lightly Breaded Fishies
  • Potato Crusted Fish Sticks (Gluten Free)
  •  Potato Crusted Fish Fillets (Gluten Free)
  • Lightly Breaded Fish Fillets
  • Lightly Breaded Fish Sticks
  • Potato Crusted Fishies (Gluten Free)
  • Minced Fish Sticks

   Kids
  •  Broccoli Littles
  • Potato Littles
  • Spinach Littles
  • Sweet Potato Littles
  • Pizza Bagel
  • Veggie Littles
Veggie Burgers/Pockets
  •  Bombay Veggie Burgers
  • California Veggie Burgers
  • California Veggie Pockets
  • Gluten Free California Veggie Burgers
  • Italian Veggie Burgers
  • Tex Mex Veggie Burgers
  • Tex Mex Veggie Pockets
  • Meatless All American Burger
  • Meatless Southwest Burger
Veggie Chicken/Sausage
  • Chickenless Patties 
  • Buffalo Chickenless Patties
  • Chickenless Nuggets
  • Buffalo Chickenless Nuggets
  • Meatless Sausage Patties
Veggie Pancakes
  • Broccoli Pancakes
  • Potato Pancakes
  • Spinach Pancakes
  • Sweet Potato Pancakes 

Dr. Praeger's was generous enough to offer me a whole stack of free product coupons so that I could choose any of their frozen goodies to test out and report back on. This week, I was able to work two of Dr. Praeger's products into my meals. I chose the popular California Veggie Burgers and the Spinach Pancakes. I decided to review these first, and as I use the rest of the coupons, I will come back and add pictures and my opinions of those as well!


 



California Veggie Burgers contain the following ingredients: Carrots, Onions, String Beans, Oat Bran, Soybeans, Zucchini, Peas, Broccoli, Corn, Soy Flakes, Spinach, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Red Peppers, Arrowroot, Corn Starch, Garlic, Corn Meal, Salt, Parsley, Black Pepper. They retail for approximately $4.99 per 4 piece box. 

They have only 110 calories per burger, 5g of fat, 13g of carbohydrates, and 250mg of sodium. Dr. Praeger's burgers are 2.75oz, which is much larger than many of the competitor brands. The California Veggie Burgers are vegan and a good source of fiber!

Instructions for cooking: 

"Broiling Instructions: Preheat oven to broil. Place frozen product on ungreased tray. Broil 8-10 minutes on each side or until heated through and well browned.
Grilling Instructions:  Place frozen product on a lightly greased grill tray or foil. Grill on each side until heated through and well browned."
 


 I made Dr. Praeger's California Veggie Burgers for lunch one day this week. I paired them asparagus that I bought at the local farmer's market, strawberries that I got from a neighbor, and some pickles. I used wheat bread as my "bun", and I put some ketchup on my burger as a condiment. I could tell right away that these veggie burgers were different from other brands that I have tried in the past. They are noticeably thicker, with a better consistency. Many veggie burgers are leathery when cooked, but these were very plump with all the vegetables. Instead of tasting like a cardboard box, they were rich and juicy with flavor. They contain the right amount of spices and the right combination of vegetables, in my opinion. I was proud to have created a simple meal that was so healthy, and low in calories. I feel like I would grill Dr. Praeger's burgers for an event, or I would have them often for lunch as a "sensible" substitute. Half the battle is finding healthy food that tastes good, so I was very pleased!


 


 

Spinach Pancakes include the following ingredients: Spinach, Potatoes, Onions, Egg Whites, Oat Bran, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Arrowroot, Salt, Garlic, Black Pepper. They retail for approximately $3.99 per 6 piece box.

The Spinach Pancakes have only 80 calories per serving (one pancake), 4g of fat, 9g of carbohydrates, and 190mg of sodium. 

Instructions for Cooking:


Cooking Instructions: Preheat oven to broil. Place on tray. Broil approximately 8 minutes on each side or until hot throughout and well browned.



Dr. Praeger's Spinach Pancakes make a great side dish to a healthy dinner, or an appetizer! I cooked the spinach pancakes along with asparagus, pulled pork, and some buttered penne pasta. I love potato pancakes and I love spinach, so I decided to try something new when I grabbed the spinach pancakes at the store. I was pleasantly surprised! They have the same consistency of a potato pancake, but they have their own unique flavor. I thought they tasted excellent by themselves, but also as a complement to this meal. Here is another way to get more vegetables on your plate, and to become full in the process. I would definitely give both of these products two thumbs up, and I am so excited to try more of the line when I use the rest of the coupons!

Interested in learning more about Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods? Check out the links below:


19 comments:

  1. Those veggie burgers look a lot better than the ones I used to eat when I was a vegetarian! Yum!

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  2. I've only had the spinach pancakes so far, but they were yummy!

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  3. Our Costco carried the burgers in this brand and they were okay. I'd really like to try the appetizers. They sound so good!

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  4. OOOH, these actually sound really yummy... when sometimes healthy food does not. I will have to see if they are available in Texas... thanks

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  5. We love Veggie Burgers here in my home. I have seen this brand but never tried them, now when I see them again I am going to purchase and try. I want to try the spinach pancakes too.

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  6. This looks delicious - I'm always looking for new, convenient foods I can pick up that fit in with our eating/diet goals.

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  7. I haven't been one to eat veggie burgers but since my son has PKU, I will probably be looking for some good meatless products that he can have. As long as it doesn't have a high amount of protein in it, he'll be okay.

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  8. love the review...this summer has been all about the veggie burgers for me THEY look delish!

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