Archive for the ‘Healthy Choice’ Category

Who here watches Top Chef? Oh, all 3 of my loyal, very patient readers? Perfect. Well, then I’m sure you remember Kristen Kish‘s revamped Crustless Chicken Pot Pie in Season 10. It rang a vague, dim bell for me in the frozen meals aisle of my local Dominick’s, when the Healthy Choice Steamer line was on sale 4/$10. I hadn’t seen this particular Steamer in the store before, so I figured I’d better pick it up with the intentions of blogging about it, then eating it at my desk and totally not blogging about it when I got home in lieu of watching reruns of Vanderpump Rules. Side note, I think we can all agree Bravo has the best programming lineup ever, am I right?

But…I feel inspired by this Healthy Choice Crustless Chicken Pot Pie Steamer – not because it’s really all that good, but because I’m curious about this Google Authorship business. I’ve been spending some serious time at work updating my company’s Google+ profile because I’m pretty sure it’s going to do great things for its SEO, and I’m pretty sure adding authorship to my blog content will also skyrocket me to instant success! Job offers will pour in, I’ll be booking speaking engagements and press tours in no time and will have to write my labor of love memoir/cookbook, which I imagine will be a cross between Sonja Morgan‘s toaster oven cookbook and Teresea Giudice’s “Fabulicious!”. Perhaps should stop watching so much TV.

Back to the topic at hand – this Crustless Pot Pie Steamer. Meh. I mean, you should try it, and I will actually probably try it again, just in case I actually do like it, but I was underwhelmed. This was the Top Chef Season 10 Elimination Challenge winner in Episode 9, “Past Suppers“? I’m sure Healthy Choice got a hold of it and it went something like this:

Healthy Choice executive: “Kristen, this dish is nice and all, but have you thought about using a bland, mildly revolting, translucent sauce as your base? I’m just saying…. Oh, and have you thought about adding pearl onions? We really like pearl onions around here.

Healthy Choice Crustless Chicken Pot Pie

Yeah, the translucent sauce is the base of this Steamer, but it does seem to have a better flavor this time around. Described by Healthy Choice as ” juicy chicken breast tenderloins with carrots, corn, peas, and tender dumplings, all in a savory pot pie sauce,” one instantly hones in on “tender dumplings” and gets oneself pretty pumped for this crustless crust. And then oneself is pretty damn disappointed, because the tender dumplings taste like the outside of a Wow Bao, and we all know the best part of the Wow Bao is the bbq pork inside. You wouldn’t just eat the outside of a Wow Bao, would you? The answer is no, you would not.

I would like to say the corn was really excellent in this Steamer. It seemed fresh and delicious, and the chicken wasn’t in the least bit disgusting. It just overall lacked flavor, but I’d be willing to give it another try, just to make sure. In the meantime, I’m going to get back to these DVR’ed episodes of I Dream of Nene. Oh, and if someone stumbles across this blog, it seems I’d also be willing to get famous writing reviews of Bravo reality shows.

Healthy Choice Crustless Chicken Pot Pie Nutrition Facts:

CALORIES: 300

FAT: 6g

FIBER: 5g

PROTEIN: 20g

SODIUM: 560mg

CARBOHYDRATES: 40g

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I can’t hear about anything risotto-related without being instantly reminded of the Seinfeld episode where George wonders if his bedroom skills (or lack thereof) compare to the way his date, Karen, feels after eating a good risotto.

Risotto Girl on Seinfeld

I’m sad to report that the Healthy Choice Portbella Parmesan Risotto Steaming Entrée didn’t inspire quite the same reaction for me as it did for George’s date. And I’m sure that if I wasn’t satisfied with the risotto, I would probably say something…but then again, I’m an enigma.

Healthy Choice touts this risotto dish as “portabella mushrooms with garden peas, red peppers, onions on whole grain rice, with parmesan sauce.” Again, I find their punctuation and grammatical choices troublesome, but I suppose correct punctuation is a lost art within the confines of the Healthy Choice product packaging department.

Healthy Choice Portabella Parmesan Risotto

Healthy Choice Parmesan Risotto

Unlike some of the other Healthy Choice Steaming Entrées, this meal had a proportional sauce-to-main ingredients ratio. Additionally, the sauce was completely edible and tasted good. The veggies worked well together, and the rice, while not standard risotto rice, left me feeling full. My only complaint is that there was actually not quite enough sauce, as it soaked into the rice pretty quickly. The whole meal had a good parmesan flavor and only required a dash of salt.

This meal clocks in at 220 calories, 4 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber, with a Weight Watchers Points value of 4. For just 4 points, I’d say this has been one of the more successful new Healthy Choice lunch options. It didn’t quite leave me feeling like George’s date, but I’m pretty sure if any frozen meal is going to do that, it’s not going to be Points friendly.

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First thought upon lifting the cover on my most recent Healthy Choice Steaming Entrée? Oh joy – the sauce is back. I don’t understand what the product development and testing team over at Healthy Choice is thinking. A cream colored, semi-translucent sauce is generally unappealing, and when it’s basically tasteless, it lacks any redeeming qualities whatsoever.

First the description: “chicken tenderloins with whole grain pasta, cherry tomatoes and green beans in herb lemon-Chardonnay sauce”. Now the box:

Healthy Choice Lemon Herb Chicken

Sounds like it could be good. Looks like it could be good. But, no, it was not good. Ok, Healthy Choice, I had absolutely no idea that the creepy sauce was a Chardonnay sauce until I thoroughly read the box. Why don’t you put a big old wine bottle in the picture ingredients? That would pique my interest a lot more than a picture of green beans and make me a lot more likely to buy this product. I bought this meal because of its low Points factor and because I knew my 5 loyal blog subscribers (Hi!) would want to hear about it.

Up close, it looks almost exactly nothing like the picture on the box…and there’s that sauce. Tasteless, and too thin to do much but sit in a puddle on the bottom of the tray and look gross. The pasta was kind of mushy, and even the 10 green beans and 6 cherry tomatoes couldn’t save this meal from the flavorless abyss.

Healthy Choice Lemon Herb Chicken

Bottom line – I won’t be getting this again. With enough spray butter and salt this became tolerable, but I’d much rather chuck this thing into the garbage and drink 2 glasses of Chardonnay instead.

Nutritional Information in Healthy Choice Lemon Herb Chicken:

Calories: 210

Fat: 3.5 grams

Fiber: 4 grams

Points Value = 4

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