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:
Yes, breading again. After the last few travesties of the sweet and sour variety I figured we'd work our way through them all on the off chance we'd find a good one.
Right from the start the Orange Sesame Chicken from Weight Watchers just looks more promising than the other brands we've tried. While the rice is white and not brown, leaving the dish with only 2 grams of fiber, there are a lot more vegetables in this dish: it includes both red and yellow julienned peppers along with just a little bit of broccoli. There's a strong orange juice scent to this dish but that doesn't translate to flavor, so the orange is not overwhelming.
What's really unusual is that the white rice is not overcooked. No, this rice is cooked al dente, leaving it not with the texture of over-sauced white mush but rather the light and slightly chewy texture of steamed rice. Both the broccoli and the peppers are still crunchy, giving this dish a nice texture. The five little pieces of breaded white meat chicken are better than what we've seen elsewhere, as well: the breading is light and thin with a mild sesame flavor and the thinner pieces are not overly dry. This has 260 calories, 490 milligrams of sodium, and 2 grams of fiber, and if you like your chicken sweet and sour style this is definitely one for you to try. It's not truly a "sweet and sour" chicken, but it doesn't claim to be. It's still a better example of it than anything we've seen thus far.
Our panel was glad to turn away from the sweet and sour anything and move to something less likely to be thoroughly repulsive: a Slow Roasted Turkey Breast. This is simply turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy, so it's lacking a vegetable. At only 170 calories for the entire "meal" I think they could have added some veggies and been well under the 260 calories in the other meal. (That said, if this is any good you can just have a piece of fruit and you'll be fine - and odds are that it'll be better than the vegetable in the meal.)
Right out of the microwave this is not very promising looking. A larger section of the tray contains a glossy brown gravy with small slices of turkey floating in it. The other section contains a mashed potato-looking substance that, in the middle of the cooking process, bears more of a resemblance to a liquid than a semi-solid like mashed potatoes.
But don't worry about that. The slices of turkey here are juicy and have a good, roasted flavor. Despite the 610 milligrams of sodium this doesn't taste all that salty. The mashed potatoes do solidify as they cool until they have the texture of riced potatoes. I like my mashed potatoes to be fork-mashed so that they are thicker and retain chunks, but that's a personal preference. These have a subtle garlic flavor and are a little more bland than I'd like to go along with their mild texture, but if you dip them in the gravy (and why would you have gravy if you didn't also put it on the mashed potatoes?), they're probably as good as you'd get at your Great-Aunt Mona's house.
Overall we have to give this a thumbs up. Roast Turkey and Mashed Potatoes it definitely is, no more, and no less - and that's just fine.