Wegmans Food Markets, Rochester, N.Y., says it is partnering with Contessa Premium Foods Inc., Los Angeles on a new private label line of frozen vegetable blends.

Sharing that news was Wegmans Senior Vice President of Consumer Affairs Mary Ellen Burris, who regularly writes about the retailer's activities involving food, health, reader questions and concerns.

In Burris' most recent column, she notes:

"Chances are your New Year’s resolutions include 'eat healthier' and perhaps specifically, eat more veggies. Among the things we’re offering to make this easier for you is a new line of frozen mixed vegetables called (appropriately enough) Special Blends.

We picked the most popular mixtures from our Chef’s Case in our Prepared Foods Dept, and from Wegmans Menu magazine pages and worked with the Contessa Premium Foods Company to replicate the flavors. This California partner produces our popular Travels of Asia frozen meals; they are proud of their designation as the first certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) frozen food manufacturing plant in the world.
 
The vegetables are flash-frozen at their peak of freshness, with less than two hours between harvest and processing. They are very tasty. My personal favorite: the Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Pine Nuts in an olive oil, garlic and herb sauce. A second favorite that everybody is raving about- Grilled Vegetables (fire-roasted eggplant, zucchini, peppers and onions).

Other blends include Ginger and Garlic Stir Fry, as well as Green Beans and Shallots in an olive oil, garlic and herb sauce. There’s even a blend of Wild, Brown and Red Rice with carrots, scallions and parsley. Sodium amounts range from 5 mg to 240 mg. per serving. Each bag weighs about one pound and costs $3.99."
 
Burris noted that the new offerings take just six to nine minutes to prepare from freezer to table.