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Sometimes you just can't make it into the kitchen to cook. Dr. Gourmet has reviewed over 800 common convenience foods, ingredients, and restaurant selections so that you know what's worth eating - and what's not. View the Index of all Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

Just Tell Me What to Eat!

Just Tell Me What to Eat!

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Light and Lean (And Pretty Good)



Amy's has a new line of convenience meals. They're branded Light and Lean. For the most part, we've never really found Amy's to have too many calories and their meals are generally high in fiber and contain good quality fats. The issue has been that Amy's meals are somewhat inconsistent and almost always contain more sodium than necessary for taste. These meals are much lower in calories – in the 200 range per serving.

Amy's Light and Lean Soft Taco FiestaThe first meal put to the test was the Soft Taco Fiesta. This is sort of like a tamale pie and is made with brown rice, veggies, corn tortilla and black beans. The flavor is pretty good. Even coming out of the microwave we could smell the tomatillo sauce and it has a nice bright flavor. The texture of the rice and veggies are good and the tortilla is not soggy. There are some good undertones of cilantro and peppers.

At 220 calories, 4.5 grams of fat and 5 grams of fiber this would make a pretty good lunch. Paired with a salad for dinner and you'd be OK. There's 560 mg of sodium which is isn't great but is reasonable and a big improvement over most of Amy's offerings.

Amy's Light and Lean Black Bean EnchiladaThe Black Bean and Cheese Enchilada is similar but it is a much better choice than the Taco Fiesta. It has the same flavorful tomatillo salsa over the top of an enchilada filled with black beans, veggies and a bit of cheese. There's more tomato inside the tortilla and that offers a good balance. This is served alongside brown rice that's cooked well (for a frozen meal).

The amazing thing is that this one's 240 calories but contains only 480 mg of sodium (that's a BIG deal for the folks at Amy's). We've been saying for some time that Amy's could make their meals taste better by lowering the salt and this is proof of just that.

So if you've got a hankering at lunch for some Mexican food, don't go to Taco Bell (where the taco filling is only 36% meat and 64% gosh knows what). Pick up some of these and put 'em in the freezer. Better tasting and far, far better for you.

Reviewed: January 28, 2011