Warm up winter with Marie Callender’s Pot Pies

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Even though there has been not much of a ‘white’ winter as of yet this year, it’s still been cold and damp – the kind of weather where all you want to do is snuggle under a warm blanket with a cup of hot cocoa and something hot to eat. Comfort food, pretty much. My idea of comfort food usually involves chocolate, and isn’t necessarily especially good for you. But comfort food doesn’t always have to be unhealthy – it can be hot, hearty and wholesome, especially when you serve up Marie Callender’s Pot Pies.

What they are:

potpies1Marie Callender’s Pot Pies come in seven varieties (Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Creamy Mushroom Chicken, Creamy Parmesan Chicken, Honey Roasted Chicken, and Cheesy Chicken), all filled with, “juicy meat, tender vegetables and a signature golden, flaky crust made from scratch”. Made with no preservatives, they’re a great way to warm up the family after a day of playing in the snow and cold. Marie Callender’s is a brand that’s all about sharing good food made with wholesome ingredients:

In the 1940’s, Marie sold the family car to finance her first pie and coffee shop. Shortly thereafter, that single pie and coffee shop grew into a chain of restaurants nationwide.

Today, Marie’s passion for slowing down to savor a homemade meal is especially relevant. Life seems more fast-paced than ever, and eating has become another task to be checked off our lists. We rush through lunch between conference calls and consume dinner in front of the television.

Somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten the pleasure and comfort of a good, sit-down meal. Now, more than ever, it’s time to put on the brakes, slow down, and savor the comforts of a great meal. It’s the Marie Callender’s difference.

Courtesy of Marie Callender’s and The Motherhood, I recently had the opportunity to try out the Marie Callender’s Pot Pies to review them.

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Here’s my take on them:

I bought two varieties of the Marie Callender’s Pot Pies to try – the Turkey Pot Pie and the Chicken Pot Pie. I really had never had pot pies before, strangely enough – they weren’t something that my mom ever made and my husband doesn’t like them so I haven’t really had a reason to make them. So I was very curious to see what I would think. I picked a night where we’d made an early dinner for the kids and then my husband and I each fended for ourselves later on – being a cold, dreary evening, I was excited to have the chance to have a hot, wholesome meal that would be ready in minutes with minimal effort on my part.

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There are two ways to cook the pot pies – you can use a microwave (if yours is 1100 watts or higher) or a conventional oven. Our microwave is pretty strong, so I chose to microwave mine. The instructions said 9-1/2 to 10-1/2 minutes – I split the difference and put it in for an even 10 minutes. It was definitely enough time – in fact, it may have been slightly too long, as the pot pie spilled out a little bit over the top, but it tasted perfectly fine. More than fine, in fact – it was absolutely delicious. My favorite parts were the flaky crust and the bits of turkey – but the veggies hit the spot too. Normally, I’m not a fan of peas, but I can eat them in a meal like this where they’re mixed in with other vegetables that I do like. So eating this type of meal is helpful for me because it gets me to eat veggies that I don’t otherwise force myself to eat. I only wish I could get the kids to eat more of them this way – my next challenge will be getting them to try the pot pies. The fact that it looks like a pie and they have to break it open to eat it makes it more fun and kind of a challenge – something that might have the potential to get them to try it easier than other foods. I’m really hoping that’ll be the case, anyway!

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One of my coldest memories from last winter was the snowstorm that hit in February, resulting in a snow day for the kids. While my husband tackled the driveway with a shovel and a borrowed snow blower, the kids played and played in the back yard and had a snowball fight with the neighbors. After a trip to Urgent Care for stitches for my youngest daughter (thankfully she waited to fall and cut her head after the driveway was completely cleared), we were all cold and definitely in need of a hot meal. I don’t remember now specifically what we ate that night, but I do know that was probably something quick and easy like a frozen dinner.  And healthy options aren’t all that easy to find usually, when it comes to frozen meals. I think I definitely need to keep a few Marie Callender’s pot pies on hand this year – hopefully no more trips to Urgent Care will be necessary, but having a hot, healthy meal for when my family is cold, wet and hungry definitely will be.

The bottom line:

I love the idea of a self-contained meal like this, with meat and veggies all mixed together in a delicious sauce that makes a hot, filling dinner (or lunch) quickly and easily. And one that’s healthier than other choices out there – the fact that there are no preservatives in this meal definitely appeals to me. I can’t wait to try the other variety that I bought – and to see what some of the others taste like this winter too.

Where can you find them?:

Marie Callender’s Pot Pies can be found in grocery stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $2.10-$2.99. You can use the product locator on their website at http://www.mariecallendersmeals.com to find a location near you. I was disappointed to find that they don’t carry them at my usual store (Meijer – although they did have other Marie Callender’s frozen meals there), but there were a few locations nearby that did have them – I purchased mine at a local Target. Marie Callender’s product lines include Complete Meals, One-Dish Entrées, Fresh Flavor Steamers, Fresh Mixers, Multi-serve Bakes, Pot Pies, small Fruit Pies and Dessert Pies & Cobblers.

This post courtesy of: Marie Callender’s and The Motherhood, who provided full value coupons for the product(s) for review. Although this is a compensated post, all opinions given here are solely my own or those of my family, as always.