Each year when Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around, my family and I get a bit nostalgic. We start talking about the family and friends we’ve spent time with, the special little somethings our parents did for us and the ones we’ve done for our own children. Not too far down memory lane we venture off into stories about food. It’s a critical element of our celebration so whatever we choose to prepare, we do so with a lot of care and tons of love.
There are obviously some favorites around the table like seafood dressing, sweet potato soufflé, and my husband’s smoked ham. We’ve been known to start our shopping lists early and begin doing the prep work for our meals days in advance. It’s exhausting but well worth the effort when the chatter of family and friends is silenced at the dinner table by mouthfuls of well-seasoned, fresh entrees, sides and dessert.
Because of the effort it takes to make this happen, I’m typically open to time and money saving tips when it comes to buying groceries and meal preparation and thought it would be a good experience to participate in an opportunity offered by Sprouts Farmers Market to review one of their fully prepared meals. The store is fairly new to the Atlanta market and is growing in its presence here. They promote making healthier eating and life choices with a good selection of fresh, natural and organic foods and products in store and healthy living resources on their website.
There were four meal options available at the store where I chose to shop. They were Natural Turkey (the one I chose), Spiral Sliced Ham, USDA Choice Boneless Rib Roast and Boneless Turkey Breast. The meal came conveniently packaged in one box. Inside my box was a Fully Cooked Whole Turkey, individual trays of Mashed Potatoes, Cornbread Stuffing and Broccoli Au Gratin, containers of Home-style Gravy and Cranberry Sauce and a package of Hawaiian Dinner Rolls. It all sounded like the making of a great meal.
At home, we removed the contents of the box and found that there were no prep instructions for the turkey. I remembered seeing them on the Sprouts website so that was my save for making sure I prepared the bird properly. Instructions for the trays and containers were found on the bottom and sides respectively.
After preparing the meal which took about two and a half hours, I sat down with my family to enjoy it. Imagine an entire turkey dinner in such a short amount of time. The turkey was reheated in an oven bag surrounded by a lightly seasoned broth which was fine on its own but it could be kicked up a notch for a more distinct flavor profile if desired.
The seasoning included sea salt, cane sugar and dried orange pulp. A few snips in the oven bag near the turkey breast allowed steam to escape as the turkey roasted and the broth helped to add some flavor and keep it moist. For those who love the aromatics of thyme and rosemary, you could ease a couple springs into those snips.
When it came to the side dishes, the Broccoli Au Gratin was our favorite flavorwise but it was a bit thin as opposed to creamy. Stirring in some cooked rice before reheating it entirely could help even things out a bit.
The Cornbread Stuffing and Whipped Mashed Potatoes were also good. If you’re the garlic butter type, try stirring a little into the mashed potatoes with a touch of black pepper.
The fully prepared Natural Turkey Meal is a convenient alternative to doing it yourself. If you lean more toward the lighter side of seasoning, enjoy it as-is. If you’d like to make it your own, taste first, then go to town with your own variety of seasoning. Also, feel free to use your own serving platters to make your dinner service pretty and festive.
To order a meal of your own, visit the Sprouts website. You’ll need to place your order 48 hours in advance and can do so now through December 29th.
To learn more about Sprouts Farmers Market
Disclosure: The fully prepared Natural Turkey Meal was generously provided by Sprouts Farmers Market. All opinions in this post are based on my own personal experience. You can view my full Disclosure Policy here.