Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lean Cuisine, you’re better than this!

First off—I’m back!! I know the blog has gone without an update for quite a while, but the past few months have been pretty hectic. Luckily, I’m back in a routine, so its time to get back to blogging.

Yesterday I tried what sounded like a trusty, old-fashioned LC, but unfortunately, it left me wanting more! I had the Alfredo Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli from the “Simple Favorites” Lean Cuisine collection. Well, “simple” was right… not so sure about “favorites” though.

This was one of the blandest frozen meals I have ever had… and if you read the blog, you know I’ve tried A LOT of frozen meals. There was no flavor at all from the alfredo! Such a disappointment.

Here’s the deal with alfredo in low-cal meals--- you KNOW its not going to be as good as what you would get at an amazing Italian restaurant like, ohh maybe Olive Garden, but you think even if its half as good, its still pretty darn good, right? Hard to mess something like that up… but LC somehow did! I’ve never had this lack of flavor in other pasta dishes from them, so it took me a little off guard. I know how much sodium is in these dishes already, so I rarely add salt, but this? It was lots of salt and pepper. And still! Not very enjoyable. I will say, the broccoli was tasty and the chicken was pretty good. But that’s about where the good ends. So sad, but I’ll stick to the trusty marinara sauce pasta dishes that I know and trust. Oh, and probably splurge for the good stuff at the OG once in a while ;)

The Facts:
Cal: 300 Fat: 6g Fiber: 3g Protein: 16g WWpoints: 6

Monday, October 25, 2010

Taste Bud: Stephanie and MorningStar

MorningStar Farms Chik'n Enchilada

I don't know about you, but I hardly ever find chicken that I can enjoy in the freezer aisle. To resolve this problem I often look to vegetarian options and avoid the meat all together.

Luckily, MorningStar Farms has a NEW line of complete meals, and they're just as healthy as other meals in this category!

I tried the Chik'n Enchilada as I am one of the world's biggest fans of Mexican cuisine. To take the place of real chicken MorningStar added tofu cut into chicken strip shapes, and then mixed it with corn, beans, and plenty of cheese inside a wheat tortilla and topped it with a delicious red sauce. On the side is brown rice mixed with veggies.

Overall I enjoyed the meal! I appreciated that I could eat every bite of the "chik'n" without any mystery pieces, and the other ingredients in the enchilada tasted fresh and crisp. Again, there was plenty of cheese included. Obviously there was not as much as you would get at a delicious Mexican eatery such as La Fogata, but then it wouldn't be healthy! The rice was tasty as well.

Two hours later and I'm still feeling pretty satisfied due to that protein and fiber. I think an apple will get me through to 5 p.m.

All in all I highly recommend trying one of these new MorningStar meals. There are a wide variety of flavors in your grocer's freezer.

The Facts:
Cals: 280 Fat: 7g Carbs: 47g Fiber: 6g Protein: 12g

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

More love for LightLife!

Ok, Ok, I know its been a while since my last post, but I just haven't had anything really worth writing about... until I found LightLife on sale at Giant Eagle! If you've read my previous posts, you know how much I enjoy this brand. And for me, a meat lover, to actually enjoy a vegetarian line is saying a lot. I'm working my way thru the entire line-up, and this time I tried the Asian Teriyaki.
Once again the sauce is served on the side with this dish. So you can add as little or as much as you like. I'm a "saucy" girl so I added it all because its delicious. What I love, love, love about this brand is the fresh veggies. Broccoli, carrots, peppers, edamame, and mushrooms PLUS pineapple to add a little zest. All of this is served on top of a hearty serving of whole grain rice. The edamame adds a little crunch/ texture. What amazes me about LightLife is how filling it is! Looking at the dish you really wouldnt' expect that it came from the freezer aisle.
If you haven't guessed, I'm giving this one a huge thumbs up! If you have these available at your local grocer, give them a try. Next up for me to try is the Zesty Mexican.. so I'll report back soon!

The Facts:
Cals:310 Fat:7g Protein:10g Fiber:7g WW points:I'm guessing around 5-6?
(note, these facts are including the sauce)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

LC disappoints: Roasted Garlic Chicken

Sorry its been so long! I've been sticking with meals I know I like, so not much to write about... until yesterday. I got a new (to me) Lean Cuisine that looked promising- Roasted Garlic Chicken. This looks like a classic dish but I had never seen it before, so I picked it up.
First off, it smelled really good, so I was hopeful. Then I peeled back the plastic cover and was immediately disappointed. Looked NOTHING like the picture! The creamed spinach looked pretty gross, and THAT was the highlight of the dish. The pieces of chicken were small, not very good quality basically swimming in a watery "garlic" sauce.
I managed to eat most of it (because I was starving) and then about an hour later I found myself starving again!! I thought, "how could I be hungry right now, I just ate an hour ago!". So I looked online and saw that the meal only has 170 calories and NO fiber- definitely not enough to fill you up for the afternoon.
So overall- don't buy this one! Yuck!

The Facts:
Cals:170 Fat:6g Fiber:0g Protein:19g WW points:4

Friday, June 25, 2010


Freezer Fans-- No updates for the next week as I'll be living it up in Mexico!! The diet goes out the window on these trips... guacamole, margs, and everything else under the hot Mexican sun is fair game this week! I'll try to balance it out by taking walks on the beach and dancing my buns off at the disco every night. =)

Want to be a TASTE BUD? Comment below on any great new dishes you try while I'm gone!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

NEW PRODUCT: Lean Cuisine Market Creations

I've been hearing about "something new" from Lean Cuisine for at least a month, but never saw anything on their website! Then the other day I finally found them at the grocery store.
LC Market Creations are in steam "pouches", at my grocer they were located with the rest of the meals. I decided to pick up the "Shanghai-Style Shrimp" selection. There were probably about 6-8 different meals, but at over $4 a piece, I decided to just pick up one.
These are definitely easy to make... literally take it from the freezer, and put it in the microwave. They take longer to cook than the traditional meals (mine took close to 8 minutes) but there is no stirring or rotating involved. One thing I don't like about these "bags" is that you can't check to see if the dish is finished cooking! I cooked mine for more than the full amount, and when I finally thought it was finished and poured the contents onto a plate, the shrimp still didn't look cooked, so I put it back in for 45 sec.
Now, to the taste... the sauce was spicy and delicious! It really had a kick to it- which is uncommon for these kind of dishes. The udon noodles were cooked perfectly and were also really good- and plentiful! The shrimp didn't taste fishy at all and had good texture- and with the sauce on them it was really enjoyable. Now, the best part- the veggies!! The snap peas tasted SO fresh! Not soggy at all, actually had a "snap" to them! Same with the carrots and red peppers. Definitely the highlight of the dish. Another nice thing was that there was a lot of the sauce- sometimes it seems like they skimp on it, but not in this one!
So overall, this meal was really delicious and satisfying. I will for sure try another variety of the Market Creations, but I won't be making them a regular thing. For one, the price is higher than the regular/ traditional LC's and pretty much taste the same... and the time to cook it would probably piss some co-workers off when there is a line at the microwave...
I would recommend giving one of these a try- and please comment on what you think! Worth the extra $1 or 2??

I can't find the nutritional info online, but I did find that this one is 4 WW points. I'll update the cals, protein tonight!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sale on Lean Cuisines = Lean Cuisine Fest 2010

As the title says, Lean Cuisines were on sale this week at my grocery store, so I decided to take advantage of the unbelievable prices and try some meals I don't normally pick up. Overall, it was a good week of meals! I left out my favorite of the week- Lemon Pepper Fish, which you can read about in an earlier post.

Angel Hair Pomodoro
Traditional, boring, not filling-- thats how I would describe this one. I had really never even seen this option at the store, so I thought I'd give it a try. The sauce was just ok (tomato chunks helped add some texture) and the pasta was a little sticky/ chewy. I did not feel satisfied after this dish, and I think we just have much better pasta options available! If this was 10 years ago and there were no options, I'm sure I would say great things about this dish, but come on! I need some flavor, some spice, something! Skip this one and pick up HC Lobster Ravioli or LC Chicken Carbonara if you're in an Italian mood.
The Facts:
Cals:250 Fat:5g Protein:8g Fiber:4g WWpoints:5

Chicken and Vegetables
OK, this title seems like the most generic, unexciting name of a dish you could ever have. But sometimes simplicity is good... and this one of those times! Fresh, flavorful veggies help make this one a winner. Broccoli, peppers, and squash along with the tasty pasta are really delicious-- and the light tomato sauce is a nice addition too! You know I'm not wild about chicken in LC dishes, this one isn't bad. Altogether, this was a good dish. The best? No, but solid. A good staple! I will say, if the veggies weren't so plentiful this dish would be a MISS, but their presence makes it worth recommending!
The Facts:
Cals:240 Fat:5g Protein:23g Fiber:3g WWpoints:5

Meatloaf and Whipped Potatoes
So, maybe if you have never had good meatloaf this would good, but I don't know if it would even work then. The taste, texture, lack of flavor in the meatloaf makes it not very enjoyable... the sauce its in is good, but not enough to make the dish delicious. Of course the potatoes help too!!
Skip this one-- although now I'm kind of motivated to find a GOOD version of this out there- check back for updates on that. But for now, walk past the meatloaf...
The Facts:
Cals:240 Fat:5g Protein:23g Fiber:3g WWpoints:5

Pesto Chicken w/ Bow Tie Pasta
YUM!!! I was warming this up for lunch at work and everyone that walked by commented on the smell! The pesto is really good, and the bow tie pasta is good at "holding" the sauce so you get delicious bites! The chicken also seems better than normal in this one. Another plus- the veggies! Asparagus, peas, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts are all featured and all help make this dish the best reviewed dish this week!!
The Facts:
Cals:340 Fat:9g Protein:23g Fiber:4g WWpoints:7

Note: I've heard rumors/ rumblings of a new Lean Cuisine that is featured in a steam bag! If you have tried this please let me know and you can be a Taste Bud!