Chef Prepared Food In The Freezer Aisle?

Have you ever looked at your dog while he’s eating and thought “how can he eat that same thing every day? Isn’t he put out with me for serving up the same kibble to him for the last 3 years?”

It’s only a few weeks into the new year, and for many people, those New Year’s resolutions are becoming just as boring. The salad and steamed veggies may be getting old at lunch. If you drink those meal replacement beverages, you may wonder how you are going to choke down one more Chocolate Fudge protein shake.

It always sound good—getting healthy and eating right in the new year–but the truth is that it’s harder than we like to think. Diet drinks and salad every day is a sure path to certain diet failure. Why? Because although we often need speed and convenience, we crave variety.

So maybe we try to eat out and order off the healthy menus. But a quick review of the nutritional values reveals that the healthy grilled chicken and steamed veggies at the local family grill had over 700 calories. Lean and low carb, maybe. But still larger than recommended portion sizes, and a higher than desired calorie count. The price tag may be considerable too, clocking in at around $10.00 per day for lunch alone.

Or maybe we decide to spend Sunday cooking healthy meals that will last us through the week. This can be a very viable option, but can take a considerable amount of time from your day of R&R.

Most of us at one time or another have turned to the frozen food section of our local grocery store, and bought the healthy prepackaged, microwavable meals. They are definitely cost efficient at less then $3.00 a piece, and their nutrition counts are usually good. Most have under 300 calories, and are served in portions that are considered right sized.

The food companies making them have become much better in recent years at eliminating fat and carbs without addng tons of sodium and chemical additives. The downside to that has been lack of flavor, and lack of variety. Every company seemed to be making the same few dishes, and I usually wound up having to salt and pepper the begeezus out of them to eat them. It’s even harder to tolerate these shortcomings if you are a chef, foodie, or simply a connosseur of good food.

But Lean Cuisine has introduced a line of Chef developed meals that use classic techniques to add flavor without adding a bunch of sodium, sugar, or other yuk. Sauces made from juice and broth reductions, newer flavor trends, etc…Now, I don’t know who the chefs were that developed the meals. Was it some of the Iron Chef’s, or some recent grads from the Culinary Institute of America? Bottom line is, to quote Hillary Clinton—“what difference does it make?”

I ate the Lemon Chicken today. I expected something sort of Asian in flavor, but I was wrong. There were two large chicken medallions glazed in a bright, tart lemon sauce more remeniscent of classc French cuisine, and a rice medley with brocolli, peppers, and fresh oregano. The meal was perfectly seasoned. I never even opened my salt shaker. Although the portion sizes always seem small, they are in fact proper portions sizes. I added a tangerine for dessert, and the whole meal came in at under 300 calories.

Lean Cuisine Chef's Pick, Lemon Chicken

Lean Cuisine Chef’s Pick, Lemon Chicken

I have partnered with Lean Cuisine through DailyBuzz Food to help promote their new line of Chef's Pick products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to work with this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you Lean Cuisine!

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Categories: dessert, Food, Gourmet, humor, recipes, writing


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7 Comments on “Chef Prepared Food In The Freezer Aisle?”

  1. 2013/01/29 at 7:05 pm #

    I like the fact that you are sharing your honest opinions about the Lean Cuisine meals. They are, in fact, a great help when a person is watching his/her caloric intake and portion sizes. Thanks for sharing what you think about the quality.

  2. 2013/01/30 at 7:31 am #

    I don’t usually like very many of them, but if this is a new line I will give them a look. I lost 80 pounds a couple years ago, so I’m always trying to be healthy. I find a lot of the diet meals try to make there meals larger in portion by constantly adding things that should not be in that meal. Like peas. Peas in every damn thing. And I don’t like peas…

  3. 2013/01/30 at 1:09 pm #

    I always get Michael lean cuisines for when he’s a hungry hungry hippo 😛

  4. 2013/02/04 at 12:18 pm #

    Interesting. The added sodium and preservatives in most frozen dinners make me sick so I’m interested in these new chef developed meals.

  5. 2013/02/04 at 5:20 pm #

    My father has eaten Corn Flakes every single morning for breakfast for the last 40 years. Even on holiday, he gets them at the restaurant. lol. Lemon chicken always makes me think of Everybody Loves Raymond. Not sure why I am burdening you with my random thoughts, but they are at least related to your post. lol.

    • 2013/02/04 at 11:28 pm #

      Ugh….I know many people who can do that. They are very ritualistic about their food. I know a woman who lost 50 pounds by eating nothing but loaded nachos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a year…it apparently worked because the body’s metabolic process and insulin production become steady when the same thing is always eaten. Whatever. I couldn’t eat ANYTHING three meals a day for even a week.

  6. 2013/02/08 at 12:36 pm #

    I’ve been dabbling in that freezer isle myself recently. Nice post!

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