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Online grocer FreshDirect has rolled out its first line of vegetarian 4-Minute Meals, created in partnership with food publisher EatingWell and coming in under 500 calories each.
FreshDirect said the EatingWell line combines bold flavor with portion-controlled protein, grains, and vegetables for well-balanced, microwavable meals.
"Our customers continually let us know that they are interested in healthy meals and request more vegetarian options," said FreshDirect corporate nutritionist Eileen Vider in a statement. "EatingWell is known for simple, healthful recipes that taste great and that are in line with our nutritional parameters. Because their Test Kitchen and staff nutritionist adhere to high standards for recipe testing and nutrition information, we knew that we had a good partner." Eating Well publishes a magazine and books, and also operates a Web site.
The exclusive multicultural menu includes Hoppin' John with Vegetarian Chorizo (Vegan), for $7.99; Indian-Spiced Lentil & Quinoa Ragout with Roasted Vegetables (Vegan), for $8.99; Portobello Mushroom Ravioli with Three-Tomato Sauce, for $6.99; Tofu & Shiitake Lo Mein with Coconut-Peanut Sauce, for $8.99; and Black Bean & Hominy Succotash with Barbecued Portobello Mushrooms, for $7.99.
As with other 4-Minute Meal lines, including Smart & Simple and the recent Tabla Indian-inspired entrees, the packaging features a valve designed to steam the meal, allowing for a variety of raw ingredients to cook together at the same time. The meals don't need to be thawed before being placed in a microwave.
FreshDirect serves most of Manhattan and locations in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx, as well as parts of New Jersey and Westchester and Nassau counties.