Where to find: Trader Joe's
Why we like it: decent nutritional content, total comfort food
Why we don't like it: a lot of added sugar along with the mashed potatoes can send the sugar sensitive off the edge. Not really enough vegetables to be considered for a regular rotation in a healthy diet, ok for an occasional comfort meal.
I have very mixed feelings about this item, in the frozen food section of Trader Joe's. Originally, I was impressed by the decent nutritional stats for two Muffins; seemed like it might be a great "comfort food" meal--one serving is not really enough food, so I had two. After removing them from their plastic molds, I saw that there was not much spinach to be found. After microwaving (the package says you can "fancy them up" by fluffing the potatoes), the little molds looked just as they had frozen. Picture has fluffed and unfluffed potatoes. Needless to say these Muffins are not attractive like the box.
The flavor is very yummy and this shepherd-pie like meal is definite warm-your-belly fare. The turkey was almost as good as beef meatloaf, savory with ketchup; I really enjoyed it and kept saying "yum" as I ate it.
I was a little concerned about the potential for blood-sugar abuse in this meal, though. The mashed potatoes are very high on the glycemic scale, however often I can get away with eating this sort of thing just so long as I have a nice amount of protein and fat with it.
Alas, about an hour after eating my tasty muffins, I started to feel a blood sugar crash, and in examining the label more carefully I saw that the second ingredient is Ketchup, and the second ingredient of the Ketchup is Sugar. So, the deceivingly good carb count is not from Spinach (of which there was little) but from Sugar. Which explains my reaction.
This item is a good example of something that can be experimented with. Some people may be able to get away with eating it, along with added vegetables, but others might have too much of a reaction to the sugar to bother with it.
It's worth a try if you are burned out on "diet food" and want a little comfort. Sugar sensitive, beware!