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It's been some time since we reviewed any Healthy Choice products. They always seem so appealing on the outside with their pretty packaging. The photography of the food is excellent but usually so far removed from what's inside. Likewise, there's great nutrition numbers, the best usually being that Healthy Choice is low in sodium.
The three tested this week are no exception. None of the meals is really bad - but none is really good either.
When I was growing up, the TV dinner took a pretty specific form. There was a little three or four compartment aluminum tray with each little space containing part of a complete meal. Meat, starch, veggie and dessert -- all there, all neat.
This is what you find in the Chicken Parmigiana, Traditional Turkey Breast and Lemon Pepper Fish meals.
The turkey is served with gravy and dressing, both of which are pretty bland. The turkey has a manufactured look to it. The veggies are like those that come from the freezer, and the cherry crisp? Not so crisp.
The chicken parmigiana is overly breaded manufactured chicken with a pasta side dish and a super sweet tomato sauce. Frozen broccoli and a caramel apple crisp complete the meal (again with frozen veggies and a not-so-crisp “crisp”).
The lemon pepper fish is bland and overbreaded, served with bland white rice and bland broccoli and an amazingly sweet apple cherry dessert. The fish is really not even as good as the fish sticks I had as a kid.
All in all these are not awful and they're not good. They're just TV dinners. They are far better, nutritionally, than anything you'll get at McDonalds or Burger King, but there are so many better choices in the freezer case that we have to give them a thumbs down. Pretty packaging, but again a disappointment.