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Frozen Food is on the decline – Give me an AMEN! From Chef Marian!

According to The Specialty Food News, which does articles for people in the food industry, Frozen Food is on the decline!  “Frozen meal sales dropped 3 percent to $8.92 billion from 2009 through 2013, according to data from Euromonitor International”.

I personally think there are 3 factors:

  1. We have become a ‘foodie’ nation, and it’s now ‘in’ to eat well.
  2. There are a ton of leaders setting the example. Even our President and his wife look trim and healthy.
  3. There is a consciousness that has grown organically (no pun intended), to steer us to the concept that Food is Your Best Medicine.

I was at the Del Mar Fairgrounds yesterday, teaching people that Food is Your Best Medicine – my theme on stage for the 4 times I taught and am teaching healthy cooking. And for those of you who showed up, I thank you (and the recipe for the vegan burrito will post here tomorrow).

I made this fabulous and easy Veggie Sandwich that contains Tomatoes, Slivered Red Onions and Avocados. (The bread was crusted with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, cooked in olive oil to release the lycopene in the tomatoes). You will find that recipe in either of my Cookbooks. And not only did everyone get to sample the deliciousness, but because I do want you to know the benefits of what you are eating, here’s what I talked about:

  • Onions – heals infections and inflammations – bee sting? No epi pen with you? Stick a half an onion on it!
  • Avocados – How to Peel green flesh just under the skin is valuable. Nick and peel. Monounsaturated fatty acid, it has also been shown to help lower our risk of heart disease.
  • Tomatoes – Lycopene with olive oil (the olive oil helps activate the lycopene) – The good: This food is low in Sodium, and very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Manganese.


I am at the Fair 4 times this summer. Next Tuesday is the last show and we’re doing a Vegan Lasagna Cookoff!

Didn’t make it to my shows? No worries. There will be bits and pieces on my YouTube Channel in a couple of weeks!

But let’s get back to what’s going on in America right now. Let’s continue quoting the Specialty Food News:

“The availability of pre-chopped fresh vegetables and other prepared meal components in the grocery stores and short recipes touted by celebrity chefs have contributed to the decline in frozen goods”.  Well, yeeaah. That makes sense to me. People are doing the ‘grab and go’ thing. There’s even a small market chain that has nothing but pre-chopped fresh veggies. And they have been around for years. I think we’ve gone from ‘fast food nation’ to “Foodie Nation”. I have almost 500 people on San Diego Foodies, a group I created to be my audience for videos, to go eat with me Restaurant Week, to eat with me when I plan ‘tastings’ at Restaurants and to attend all the Cooking Classes and Events I create! (If you are not already a member, I welcome you to join me)! But that’s demonstrates my point. People are joining groups to cook and eat and many times it’s in other people’s homes. Fresh food being cooked instead of frozen!

It seems like the media is flush with stories about the frozen food industry taking a dive. Here’s what The Wall Street Journal has to say:

“Fast-casual chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill and supermarkets offering prepared meals also play a role in the decrease of frozen food sales. 

We all have noticed that fast food chains are offering healthier options. And instead of buying frozen foods, many people go to the market and get a chicken, already prepared. So what’s wrong with that?

Nothing. It’s probably better than eating the junk at fast food restaurants. But here’s the rub: When you go to a fast food restaurant, and I use the word restaurant loosely here (lol), you may order a salad, but then rationalize a sugared drink, because you’ve done well with the meal. Sugar = inflammation. Not good as a regular thing in your diet. So you see? It can be tricky.

Another problem that has come into the press recently is that many of the ‘meat’ dishes are only 20% meat and the rest fillers. Remember the old commercial “Where’s the beef”? Well, it isn’t in your hamburger at these restaurants. lol. YES! It is laughable.

And what do you do if you have ‘special’ needs? I have a client I cook for and she can’t have iodized salt. Any idea how many things have salt in them? Maybe we should talk about what doesn’t! lol

Anyway, I’m making Chicken Cordon Bleu for her tomorrow. I usually caramelize onions and mushrooms and add bread crumbs and cheese for the inside of the ‘chicken roll up’. But in her case? I have to get gluten free bread and make my own breadcrumbs, caramel only onions because she doesn’t eat mushrooms and then she can actually eat Chicken Cordon Bleu! (It helps that I don’t deep fry it either, like in the restaurants). I always want to save the fat from oil – remember, it’s 100 calories per teaspoon – and instead use those calories for actual food!

I’d like to end this by saying I am really grateful that California especially is in a healthier state. I’m glad the frozen food industry is losing it’s power. Glad we’re not feeding our kids frozen TV dinners, something I grew up on. And glad to have you reading these blogs I create to help remind you to eat fresh!

Happy Eating,

Chef Marian

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