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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!

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:

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  • How to cook it
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  • What to eat at a restaurant
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Two Mexican Meals

Consistently we have pretty good results when testing frozen meals with a Southwestern or Mexican flavor. Tasting them through the years I think that this has a lot to do with the spicy flavors holding up well to freezing. There's a factor of texture also. The ingredients such as beans, corn, onions, corn tortillas (and to some extent flour), cheese sauces all do fairly well with freezing and reheating.

Amy's Mexican Tamale PieThis week we tested a Mexican Tamale Pie from Amy's. This was a good product. It's a small bowl filled with a creamy pinto bean sauce, corn and bits of zucchini. This is topped by a thin layer of corn meal. All in all, it comes together well. The filling is creamy with texture from the corn, beans and zucchini. There's good zing with the spices. At 150 calories it's a bargain given how filling it is (there's 4 grams of fiber).

As usual the issue with Amy's products is the amount of salt. This one contains 590 mg of sodium for the serving. That's not outrageous but it does taste a bit salty and would do well with even 100 mg or so less. This would make a great standby for a low calorie lunch.

Cedarlane Garden Vegetable EnchiladasWe did review a Cedarlane Enchilada Pie a while back and it came out pretty good. It had a bit much sodium but that's a common theme with most frozen products. Their Garden Vegetable Enchiladas are a bit of a toss up. They're not as good as the Amy's tamale pie and the dish has 280 calories (the packages says that it serves 2, but no one is going to eat a single enchilada). Likewise there's a lot of sodium at 620 mg for the whole dish (again, what they call 2 servings but is really one).

On the one hand the flavor is pretty good (even if it tastes a bit salty). The veggie tastes come through and the enchilada sauce is spicy without being too much. The problem is the texture. Except for the somewhat gummy corn tortillas, the veggie filling, cheddar cheese and sauce are all pretty close in texture. Given that this should not be challenging for them to create both good flavor AND texture we have to give this one a pass. Leave it in the freezer case.