Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lean Cuisine Chef's Pick--Product Review

Many years ago--more years ago than I'd care to tell you, but it was in the days that microwaves were mainly for industrial use and no one that I knew had one in their personal kitchen, I started my very first "real" job.  I was excited to find that the kitchen/break room at my brand-new "big-girl" job was equipped with a microwave.  It was a whole new way of cooking, but I took to it like a duck to water.  (Must be where I first got my "quick and easy in the kitchen" middle name!)

One of my favorite "quick and easy" lunches to bring to work to microwave were Lean Cuisine dinners.  They were just the right size for lunch, easy to make with that "magic" microwave, and low-cal, to boot. That was back in my single days, when I was supremely conscious of weight, always, and health--well, that was just lagniappe. 

So when I had an opportunity recently to try a couple of the new Lean Cuisine Culinary Collection Chef's Pick varieties of frozen dinners, it took me immediately back to those early working years when I ate Lean Cuisine at least 2-3 days a week, if not more. 

The first one that I tried was Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce.  It contains only 230 calories, 5 grams of fat, and has 2 grams of fiber. 

It had cheese tortellini, grilled chicken, Italian green beens, red bell peppers, and yellow carrots.  I thought the carrots were yellow bell pepper at first, but they were so sweet I had to look at the box to see what they were.  I thought this tasted really good. The green beans could have been a little more cooked, but that could have been my ancient microwave (almost as old as those memories I was telling you about).  The sauce was delicious, I could have literally licked scraped the plate.  Or sopped it with a piece of Italian bread. 

The next one I tried was Glazed Chicken--240 Calories, 5 grams of fat, and 2 grams of fiber--roasted white meat chicken in lemon tarragon sauce with rice, french-style green beans, and cashews. Now this one really brought memories, as the earlier version of glazed chicken was one my very favorites, back in the day. 

The new version is equally as good as my memories, if not more so.  I was especially impressed that it came in a little black microwavable container, all I had to do was peel the plastic cover at one point and stir. (Gone are the days of boil-in-bag plastic bags--I used to bring my own plate to cook and eat mine from at work, along with a real fork. Really.)

When I first took a bite of the rice mixture, I thought it needed just a little touch of salt, but when I mixed the extra glaze into the rice mixture, it was fine.  I liked that this one had more meat in it--actual bigger-than-bite-sized pieces.  I don't remember the cashews in the back-in-the-day version, they added a nice touch of texture as well as another layer of flavor. 

All in all, I was nicely impressed with flavors, the colors, the textures of these meals.  And although I had coupons that covered the cost of these, they were inexpensive enough, even in these days of rising food prices, that I would definitely buy these and eat them again.  I think they'd be perfect to grab-and-go for the work place, and even for those of us who are home alone during the day and don't want to cook for ourselves.
I have partnered with Lean Cuisine through DailyBuzz Food to help promote their new line of Chef's Pick
products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to work with this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you Lean Cuisine!

Until next time, good (microwave) cooking, and good eating!