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It was only after we began tasting the Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans from Weight Watchers that someone realized we had tested this dish before. Surely not, I thought, and after going to my computer and running a search I found a review from October of 2007 with just that dish - but from Lean Cuisine. I guess that frozen foods have come so far as for one company to copy another.
Anyway, the Lean Cuisine product was pretty good and this one isn't bad either. The aroma after coming out of the microwave is Mexican / Southwestern. There's even the smell of fresh peppers. The rest of the dish is pretty predictable. Rice, beans, corn, queso.... All of this is slightly spicy but not at all overwhelming. The beans are not mushy, although the rice is (slightly), and as with most frozen food, the dish would benefit from using brown rice instead of white.
Also like most frozen foods, this has a bit too much salt at 660 mg of sodium (and it tastes a bit too salty as well). There's 310 calories and 7 grams of fat. Not too bad, but as with all Weight Watchers products the ingredient list goes on and on and on with a lot of dubious stuff that one wonders about.
Their Picante Chicken and Pasta is just that - picante. This is surprisingly spicy and may be the spiciest frozen meal on the market. Those with GERD can forget about this one.
I'm always about concerned with choosing pastas because they are so hit or miss but this one is pretty good. The bow ties are not overcooked and are in a spicy sauce with black beans and small chunks of chicken. There's some yellow peppers that give a bit of sweetness but the overall flavor comes from the ancho chilies. This was a dish that was well liked and given that it's only 260 calories with 480 mg of sodium, 4 grams fiber and 4 grams fat it really is a winner.
Two great choices for you to keep in the fridge for workday lunches or busy weeknights.
Reviewed: February 13, 2009