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
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP has counseled thousands of his patients on healthy, sustainable weight loss. Now he's compiled his best tips and recipes into a six-week plan for you to learn how to eat great food that just happens to be great for you - and if losing weight is your goal, you can do that, too.
Get the prescription for better health as well as healthy weight loss, including:
Fajitas of any kind would seem an unlikely candidate for a frozen meal, but I have said that Mexican and other strongly-spiced foods stand up well to microwaving, so I brought these to Dr. Gourmet World Headquarters for tasting by our panel.
We began our tasting with the Steak Fajitas. The meat and peppers/onions filling comes in one side of a plastic tray, with the rice in a smaller side. Microwave, stir, microwave some more, and allow to sit, then microwave the separate pouch of two flour tortillas on its own.
Instead of the traditional longer strips of beef, these are pieces about an inch and a half long by a half inch - just thick enough to stand up to microwaving. They're surprisingly juicy, with a nice cayenne and cumin kick along with a fine beef flavor. The red and green bell peppers might be a little salty and a little overdone, but the onions are well caramelized. Overall, the panel agreed, the filling tastes like... fajitas.
The Mexican rice suffers by comparison, being less spicy and more creamy. There are pieces of corn, pinto beans, and bits of zucchini in the rice, and the panel discovered that including the rice in the tacos made with the included flour tortillas actually benefitted both the rice and the meat and made two fairly filling tacos - perfect for lunch, they agreed.
A nice surprise from Weight Watchers. The Steak Fajitas are 300 calories, with 650 milligrams of sodium and 5 grams of fiber. Impressive for a meal with flour tortillas instead of corn!
Encouraged, we turned to the Chicken Fajitas. This appears to be essentially the same as the Steak Fajitas: cooked the same way, including the same duo of flour tortillas, and even with the identical Mexican rice side dish (the ingredient list is the same on both packages).
That said, this is a little different. The chicken pieces are about the same size as those in the steak version, but they're a bit juicier, and the sauce is less spicy (and far less salty) than the steak. The red and green bell peppers are not quite as overdone and actually retain a little crunch. The rice is indeed the same, but here it shows up to better advantage, displaying sweet and umami flavors that are just overpowered in the steak dish.
The numbers are a little better in the Chicken Fajitas, too: 290 calories are paired with a much lower 580 milligrams of sodium, but it still has that surprising 5 grams of fiber.
All in all, the panel preferred the Chicken Fajitas to the Steak Fajitas because it was less salty and had more texture. That said, either one is a good choice. Note, however, that the tortillas will become chewier as they cool, so eat promptly! A check of the Weight Watchers web site reveals the existence of Portobello Mushroom Fajitas and Pork Carnitas Fajitas, so we'll be keeping an eye out for those varieties.
Reviewed: June 27 2014