Cooking is like my kryptonite on my journey to healthy living. No matter how good my intentions or how hard I try, it is the one thing I can never seem to conquer completely. I’ve tried going cold turkey, deciding that we would stop eating out altogether. Needless to say, that lasted for only a few days. I’ve tried easing myself into it, but I allowed myself too much slack. At the end of the day, I’d like to eat more home-cooked, unpackaged food for my wallet AND for the planet, but I haven’t found the right combination of things that work for me yet.
So when Walmart offered to send myself and the other Walmart Moms a week worth of Marketside food to try, I admit I jumped at the chance.
Among the items we were able to try:
- Bags of salad
- Prepared pasta dishes
- Dips & sauces
The list reads like a menu at your favorite restaurant, and the options were honestly as tasty.
Of the 4 pizzas we received, we were only able to try one, because the others contained meat. I am VERY picky when it comes to the way my food looks, and I admit the cheese pizza didn’t look all the great when it came out of the oven. But when I tasted it, I couldn’t believe how good it was! There was some kind of herb infusion that made it really savory, and for just a few dollars, I can definitely say we’ll be buying these again.
The salads were really great as well! I normally prefer dark green salads because they have more nutrients and tend to be more flavorful, but these were still great. The croutons were buttery and delicious â€” and thankfully not too hard. I have sensitive teeth, and my daughter is getting ready to lose her first two teeth. (I was secretly sort of hoping the croutons would help with that, but alas, they were no help.) They all came with dressing as well, but I’m pretty picky about this (like everything else I eat), so we used our own dressings.
I think what I loved most about all the Marketside options is how versatile they all were. While we ate the pizza as a meal in itself, we used nearly all the other foods as part of a larger meal. We ate salads with leftovers from the night before or in addition to sandwiches for lunch. My husband used one of the Basil dips as the base for a sauce in which he cooked some salmon, and it was delicious! He actually used several of the dips as bases, some of them mixed with the pasta. Let’s just say he’s a much more experimental cook than I am. The man can really throw down in the kitchen, and the dips, vegetables, pasta and soup, which were already tasty, proved to be a great basis for experimentation.
While I’m not a fan of packaged and pre-prepared foods in theory, we do tend to eat a lot of it because our lifestyle is so incredibly busy. It’s nice to know that we can pick up Marketside options inexpensively and that they’ll taste more like something that came from a restaurant or from our own kitchen than something that came out of a freezer case.
Of course, there’s all that packaging to think about. Luckily, most of it is recyclable plastic. It’s Number 5, which can’t be recycled directly in our community. That means that we have to recycle it through Whole Foods’ Gimme 5 program or by mailing it directly to Preserve, which makes a whide variety of products from No. 5 plastic. Still, it can be recycled.
All in all, I know that the next time I see the Marketside logo on a product, I’ll be more inclined to buy it because we’ve had such a great experience taste testing them.
*Compensation and product has been provided by Walmart for my time and efforts to review the Marketside products. Opinions are 100% my own. Read what some of the other moms had to say about Marketside: Lori of My Wooden Spoon, Denise of Wholesome Mommy, Linsey of Lillepunkin, Lynnae of Freelance Homeschool Mom, Jen of Frugal Upstate, Melissa of Consumer Queen, and all the other moms!