Posts Tagged: Frozen

Photo

Marie Callender’s Three Meat and Four Cheese Lasagna

Product Description:  “Marie Callender’s® delicious lasagna is prepared by layering freshly made, tender pasta noodles, creamy ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Romano cheeses, and a hearty marinara sauce made with Italian sausage, pepperoni, and beef.”

Calories: 380


Fat: 15g


Sodium: 1260mg


WW Points Plus: 10

First Impressions: Whoever Marie Callender’s gets to do their box art photography is a GENIUS. There is no other explanation as to why their meals look so good on the box. They certainly don’t look like that once you’ve cooked them!

Gustatory Impressions: My first bite was spicier than expected. Ah, two of the meats are Italian sausage and pepperoni. That would explain it. Nowhere on the front of the box does it list which meats are in the thing, so I was a little surprised. The sauce looks terribly watery at first, but once you cut it up and it soaks in, it’s not so bad. It’s got a decent flavor and there are bits of “herb” all through it. The cheese is good, but other than the ricotta, it’s not particularly distinguishable that there are multiple cheeses.

Summary: This one tastes okay, but I don’t really like spicy lasagna, so I won’t be getting it again. Also, it’s got 1260 mg of sodium in it, more than twice what a Lean Cuisine usually has. Ouch! It’s filling, though, so if you don’t mind those two things, you might want to give it a try!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 forks

Photo

Lean Cuisine Honestly Good 100% all natural Pomegranate Chicken

Product Description:  “Whole grilled chicken breast filet, whole grain pilaf with currants, green beans, yellow beans, ribbon cut carrots, and a pomegranate glaze in a separate pouch.”

Calories: 390


Fat: 9 g


Sodium: 430mg


WW Points Plus: 10

First Impressions: Look at this fancy new thing from Lean Cuisine. Trying to win back some of the Kashi crowd, huh? Well, okay. Before I’ve cooked anything, it does all look like food, except for the frozen little sauce pack. I have to defrost that in a cup of cold water. It doesn’t say for how long, but I guessed for the first 4 minutes you have to cook the main meal. Then you have to squeeze the semi-defrosted goo onto the chicken, and cook it some more. It does smell awfully good. And after it’s finished cooking, it looks a lot like the package art, except that the sauce is darker and there seems to be more of it.

Gustatory Impressions: This tastes almost like something you made from scratch. The vegetables are just a tiny bit… squeaky. They taste fresh, though the texture is just a bit off. The whole grain pilaf is yummy, especially if you get a bite with a currant in it, or if you mix a bit of the sauce in it. The chicken tastes really good. Moist and not a bit of fat that I found. The sauce is yummy and after I was able to put out of my mind how weird it looked before cooking, I really enjoyed it.

Summary: This thing costs five dollars at my grocery store, and it’s 390 calories. So maybe wait for it to go on sale, and save it for dinner instead of lunch. But it’s pretty fantastic tasting. I can’t wait to see if the other meals in this line live up to this one. I would definitely get it again (once it’s on sale, of course.)

Rating: 5 out of 5 forks

Photo

Smart Ones Smart Chicken Strips & Fries

Product Description:  “Crispy breaded white chicken meat patty strips with ranch seasoned french fried potatoes.”

Calories: 310


Fat: 15 g


Sodium: 510 mg


WW Points Plus: 8

First Impressions: This is just sad.

Gustatory Impressions:  The fries were okay. Not crispy, but surprisingly not awful. The chicken was NOT crispy and was in fact rubbery, with a big piece of gristle in the middle of one tiny “patty”.

Summary: NO.

Just.

NO.

Rating: 1 out of 5 forks

Photo

Kashi Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Steam Meal

Product Description:  “Our 7 Whole Grain Penne Pasta Steam Meal is made with spinach, artichokes, roasted red peppers and hearty cannellini beans topped with a parmesan cream sauce and a hint of lemon.”

Calories: 280


Fat: 9 g


Sodium: 620 mg


WW Points Plus: 7

First Impressions: Steam meal, quite easy to prepare. Dump it into a bowl and… WOW. I have literally never seen a meal match the picture on the package as well. And both look great. Massive points on this alone.  ;p

Gustatory Impressions: The whole grain penne is, I’m not gonna lie to you, just a touch cardboard-y. No more so than many boxed brands, but if you’re used to white pasta, this might not be to your taste. The artichoke tastes more like canned than fresh, but artichoke is tricky, and it’s not bad, really. Everything else about this meal is great…. the spinach isn’t too overdone, the peppers are nice and fresh-tasting, and the beans add an interesting texture, if not a whole lot of taste. The sauce is fantastic, it’s creamy and cheesy which just a slight aftertaste of lemon and garlic.

Summary: Easily one of the best vegetarian frozen meals I’ve had, though to be fair, I don’t eat a lot of them. This might be just a touch too “crunchy” for people who aren’t used to Kashi products, but if you like them, this is right up your alley. It’s surprisingly filling, too.

Rating: 4 out of 5 forks

Photo

Smart Ones Smart Creations Chicken Carbonara

Product Description:  “White meat chicken in a creamy parmesan sauce with turkey bacon, basil and garlic over a bed of linguini.”

Calories: 270


Fat: 5 g


Sodium: 520 mg


WW Points Plus: 7

First Impressions: NOW, MORE AUTHENTIC RECIPE! I don’t know what the old recipe was like, but that’s nice that they’re trying, I guess. The meal doesn’t look much like the box, but on the box is looks sort of gloppy and gross, so I don’t mind. The sauce is much thinner than I expected. It does smell quite nice.

Gustatory Impressions:  The chicken is pretty good. Only one tiny bit of gristle in the whole thing, not so bad for a Smart Ones. The noodles were not horrible and gluey, though they do look like they might be. They were only a little overdone, so I was pleasantly surprised. The peas were a fun little addition and tasted nice and fresh. Hardly any “bacon” in evidence, however. The cheese sauce was thin, and not particularly flavorful, but it was fine.

Summary: I was dreading this one because it just doesn’t look appealing to me. But it wasn’t bad. I would probably not pick this one again, but it was filling and not terribly boring so I think it’s at least worth a try!

Rating: 3 out of 5 forks

Photo

frozendietmeals:

Smart Ones Classic Favorites Lasagna Bake with Meat Sauce

Product Description:  “Curly, bite-sized lasagna ribbons in a rich meat sauce with mozzarella.”

Calories: 250


Fat: 5 g


Sodium: 570 mg


WW Points Plus: 7

First Impressions:  I wonder why there are so many Italian-style frozen meals. Tomatoes and pasta must be cheap? Oh well, here is another one.  Smells good out of the microwave. Not as vibrantly colored or saucy as the box art, and the noodles are substantially curlier. That’s okay, thought, I like my noodles curly.

Gustatory Impressions:  Not much to say about this one. The meat sauce was fine, the sauce was fine, the taste of the noodles was fine. I was shocked at how close to al dente they managed to get the noodles on this one, and happily so. The only down side here is that there is not much cheese. That’s not even saying it as a person who really, really likes cheese. There is hardly any, and what there is somehow managed to migrate to the bottom of the meal.

Summary: This is a good lunch. Pretty boring, but tasty and filling. At 250 calories, you could probably add some more cheese and make it slightly better than good.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 forks

Had this one again today. This one had even LESS sauce, and if I’d graded on this box, it’d have been a 3 out of 5.

Source: frozendietmeals
Photo

Smart Ones Smart Creations Meatloaf

Product Description:  “Classic meatloaf with gravy and garlic-herb mashed potatoes.”

Calories: 230


Fat: 6 g


Sodium: 640 mg


WW Points Plus: 6


First Impressions: It doesn’t look much like the box, or even very appetizing, after I’ve cooked it for 5 whole minutes. Smells okay.

Gustatory Impressions: The “meatloaf” is more like a Salisbury steak. In fact, this might be the exact same meat patty in their Salisbury steak meal. The gravy is thin and the main flavor of it is “salty”. The mashed potatoes are very thin and the herbs in it are about the only flavor

Summary: I thought I had found the most boring Smart Ones meal yesterday, but boy, was I wrong. Again, it’s not a bad meal per se, but it’s just so, so, so forgettable. I ate it all, but in a few hours, I’ll have to check the blog to remember what I had for lunch.

Rating: 2 out of 5 forks

Photo

Smart Ones Classic Favorites Thin Crust Cheese Pizza

Product Description:  “A blend of reduced fat cheeses with a tangy tomato sauce on a crispy-thin crust.”

Calories: 280


Fat: 9 g


Sodium: 480 mg


WW Points Plus: 7


First Impressions: The instructions say “lift black tab and peel lid open” and then tell you to fold the lid back. There is no black tab. There are no perforations upon which you can fold the lid back. So I just reclosed the side of the box and cooked the pizza on its little crisping sheet on top of that. It looks a little burnt around the edges. Also, it doesn’t look like it’s got enough cheese.

Gustatory Impressions: Most boring frozen pizza ever. I can’t remember a thing about it except that the crust was nice and crispy. The sauce was bland, the cheese was nothing special. YAWN.

Summary: While it’s not bad, it’s just about the most forgettable meal I’ve had in ages. Points off for bad packaging and/or instructions, and points off for hardly any cheese. I’ll stick to my Lean Cuisine pizzas, thank you!

Rating: 3 out of 5 forks

Photo

Smart Ones Chicken Marinara with Mozzarella Cheese Grilled Flatbread

Product Description:  “Grilled white meat chicken, bell peppers, onions, reduced fat mozzarella cheese, with marinara sauce on a flatbread.”

Calories: 320


Fat: 6 g


Sodium: 380 mg


WW Points Plus: 8

First Impressions: Ok, the box is a pain to open. And when you get it open, there is a thing that looks just like a little pizza in it. You have to unwrap it, and then stick it back in the box to cook it. I’m not sure why. The box is just paper, no fancy foil crisping surface or anything. Whatever. Once it’s done, you fold it over, and there are the “grill marks” on the flatbread, some of which got left on the box as it stuck to the bottom of the box while it cooked. But after all that, it doesn’t look too bad.

Gustatory Impressions: Eventually I managed to pick a half of the sandwich up without spilling most of the contents back onto the plate. The bread itself is bland and a bit chewy. The chicken is the best part of this meal. The pieces are small but tasty and not gristly or rubbery at all. The peppers and onions are a little mushy. The sauce is also bland. 

Summary: While individually none of the ingredients were horrible, as a whole, they didn’t really seem to work together. It was messy to eat and a pain to cook. Just not worth 320 calories, in my opinion. I won’t be getting this one again.

Rating: 3 out of 5 forks

Photo

Lightlife Perfecto Penne Primavera with Meatless Crumbles

Product Description:  “Enjoy a taste of Italy in every bite of this delicious nine-grain pasta meal. Boasting a comforting recipe of portabella mushrooms, meatless crumbles, zucchini and mozzarella cheese with a sweet and zesty marinara sauce, it’s a dish that’s sure to have everyone saying “Buon appetito.”

Calories: 240


Fat: 4.5 g


Sodium: 630 mg


WW Points Plus: 6

First Impressions: I’ve never head of Lightlife before, but I am running out of mainstream meals at my grocery store, and this looked interesting. It doesn’t look like much frozen, but after heating it up, it does look a lot like the box art, other than a noticeable lack of mushrooms.

Gustatory Impressions: The pasta is pretty good. It does taste a bit cardboard-y ,though, but as I’m used to whole-grain pasta, it doesn’t really bother me. The sauce is pretty thin, and doesn’t really have much taste. The zucchini is by far the best part of this meal, fresh-tasting and not too mushy. The mushrooms in it are good, but I wish there were a lot more of them. The cheese was not great, and I even checked the box to see if it was actual cheese and not some weird vegan concoction. Yes, it was real cheese, but no, that didn’t make me like it any better. The “meatless crumbles” had a good approximation of the texture of meat, but didn’t really taste like anything. Still, they added something to the sad-ish sauce.

Summary: I’m not sure if this meal was interesting enough to make me pursue more Lightlife products, but there are windmills on the box, so surely it must be healthy and good for me. All kidding aside, it was an okay meal, especially for one with fake meat in it. Might be a good option for a vegetarian, but I’ll be skipping this particular meal in the future

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 forks