Dr. Gourmet Says... Eat - Don't Eat

 

Dr. Gourmet Says... Eat - Don't Eat: January 25, 2008

More Lean Cuisine

You may remember that in a recent review I mentioned that eating frozen meals on a dinner plate seems to make them more appealing. As they say, "You eat with your eyes first," and eating from china is much nicer than a little black plastic dish. Well, the back of the Lean Cuisine boxes now include this idea as a "Wellness Tip." Most of the time this does make the meals more appealing, but not always...

Eat

Lean Cuisine Chicken MediterraneanThe Lean Cuisine Chicken Mediterranean is one of their Spa Cuisine line and is a pretty good meal. This was attractive in the freezer case because the package prominently notes that the meal is "made with 100% whole grain pasta." It's nice to be seeing this more and more and this meal comes in at a very reasonable 6 grams of fiber.

The pasta is, like most of the Lean Cuisine products, a bit overdone. Not as gummy a texture as most, however, and acceptable for a frozen meal. This is topped by a fairly fresh tasting tomato sauce that doesn't have the sugary sweet flavor that is so typical of most TV dinners. The chicken is fairly good and the veggies not bad. All of this is lightly herbed and there's some olive slices that help the flavor a lot. Overall a pretty good frozen meal. Not the quality of a Kashi frozen meal, but acceptable.

Don't Eat

It's amazing to consider that the Lean Cuisine Chicken Salmon with Basil comes from the same company as the Mediterranean Chicken. It's even in the same Spa Cuisine packaging, with the same claim of "made with 100% whole grain pasta." It even starts out with a good aroma. But that's where the resemblance ends.

The pasta is whole wheat orzo and it is bland, bland, bland. Every once in a while we taste a frozen meal and the clich "tastes like cardboard" comes up. This is one time that the claim holds true. There's not much redeeming about this meal at all. The pasta is bland, the carrots are bland, the salmon is OK at best, the basil sauce is bland, the spinach is bland.

Putting this dinner on a plate didn't help it -- nothing will.

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