Why Choose Frozen Foods?
Frozen foods has a negative connotation that they are not as healthy or nutritious compared to fresh foods. This stems from the fact that frozen foods tend to be higher in salt and added fats, which many products do; however, can be included in a meal that provides nutrient density.
Nutrient density is a term that describes food choices that provides higher nutrient content compared to the amount of calories. For example (see above image) – one medium apple provides approximately 95 calories, but in addition a high source of fiber at 4.4 grams and 14% of your Vitamin C needs.
To incorporate a not-so-nutrient dense item such as frozen foods, consider your side options. Prepare frozen popcorn shrimp and use as a substitute for a spring mix salad with parmesan cheese, tomatoes, and onions with a light balsamic dressing.
Another example is incorporating frozen popcorn shrimp into taco night – use whole grain corn tortilla; toppings can include vinegar-based broccoli slaw, a side of guacamole with blue corn tortilla chips.
Both of these examples provide a meal high in fiber and antioxidants to support healthy cholesterol levels and gut regularity.
It is Okay to Make Meals Easy
Using frozen foods can be helpful to provide a simple solution for meals of busy families; this means more times spent together!
September is National Family Meals month. The goal of the Family Meals Movement is to encourage families to enjoy more meals together using items purchased at the grocery store and prepared at home. In doing so, families receive many health and social benefits.
With children heading back to school, many families find their schedules quite busy. Enjoying family meals together can be a great way to catch up on how the school day went. According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, children who have frequent meals with their families are likely to do better in school, have a closer relationship with parents and siblings, resist negative peer pressure, are less likely to try drugs or alcohol at an earlier age and less likely to develop disordered eating behaviors. Of course, there are also nutritional benefits of eating family meals together – research shows that family meals improve fruit and vegetable consumption! This month, challenge you and your family to eat at least 5 meals (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) a week together.
Popcorn Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw
- 1 package (18 ounce) SeaPak Popcorn Shrimp
- 1 cup cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium jalapeno, chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 12 small good quality corn tortillas
- Handful of coleslaw
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spread the popcorn shrimp on a large baking sheet and cook according to package directions.
- Place the cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, mayonnaise, sour cream, vegetable oil, lime juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until combined and smooth.
- Warm the tortillas in the microwave or over the stove burners until just slightly charred around the edges. Top with a little coleslaw and 5 or so shrimp. Drizzle with the cilantro lime sauce.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!