Here we are in the middle of February, in the season where nothing is growing outdoors, our root cellars are stodgy with potatoes and turnips and winter squash and summer seems both a long time ago and a long time away. So when a product comes along with the name “Summer Fresh” we take notice; there are two things we like about that name!
Recognizing a need to make fresh, gourmet salads available in supermarkets, Susan Niczowski started her business with her mother in 1991 in Woodbridge, Ontario and hasn’t looked back; by 2012 Summer Fresh Salads was raking in a hundred million a year and had become Canada’s leading brand of fresh prepared foods like hummus, dips and salads, and now has a library of over 2,000 products distributed all across North America.
And now, twenty-five years after starting the business they’re getting in on the “Heat & Eat” trend, adding six vegetarian meals in a bowl that are ready to eat after two minutes in the microwave. Of course if you want to embellish the dinners with your favourite meats, you are welcome to do so, but it might be gilding the lily, as the meals are nutritionally complete on their own, with much of the protein coming from beans, quinoa, rice, mixed grains and lentils. With many options naturally gluten free, lactose free and kosher, these one bowl wonders are the perfect way to marry convenience and good health while observing the year of the pulse!
If you have tried some of the heat and eat options out there, you know many of them leave a lot to be desired, in terms of health, imagination and taste. But the Summer Fresh line are fresh, not frozen, and are flavourful, authentic and delicious. With a nod to the culinary diversity reflecting the City of Toronto, and indeed all of Canada, dishes like Thai Curry with Basmati Rice, Indian Lentil with Quinoa, Vegetable Basil Pesto with Couscous, Szechuan Tofu with Basmati Rice, Rustic Bean & Tomato Couscous and Chick Pea Curry with Quinoa all are guaranteed to get your pulse racing. Get it?