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Best Frozen Meals.....

  • s

Back to work now, and I can't leave to grab a bite. I love to cook, but sometimes it's easier to bring a frozen meal to nuke. Curious what people like and dislike about the main frozen meals you can get pretty much anywhere......

Just had an Amy's Vegetable Lasagna. Pretty good compared to the Lean Cuisine crap I had yesterday!!

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  1. Just discovered and tried the Bertolli frozen pasta meals. All the ingredients come in one bag and you just put it in a non-stick skillet and cover for 10 minutes, stirring once. Can only vouche for the Chicken Alfredo and the Shrimp Scampi versions.

    The flavors are actually pretty good and if you're really lazy like me, you can eat right out of the pan (therefore, one less plate to wash).

    The bag actually has 2 servings, so you may want to watch the calories if you're planning on eating the whole thing at one go.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jonathan Saw

      I thought the Shrimp Scampi was pretty good myself and cheap, which is why I bought it in the first place! You can't touch shrimp for what they sell the whole thing for! Don't look at the nutritional information though!

      1. re: Katie Nell

        I agree - the Bertolli bagged meals are great. I have tried three: Italian sausage & Rigatoni, Roasted Chicken & Linguini, and Shrimp Scampi. Shrimp Scampi was my least favorite - I can't remember the details since it's been awhile. Italian sausage & rigatoni was my favorite of the three. I find that you can get an extra portion out of the bag if you add a little more pasta of your own b/c there is often more sauce and ingredients compared to the pasta - which is so rare these days!

        As for other frozen meals, I really like Trader Joe's Lemongrass Chicken bowl.

        1. re: brwneyedgrl

          If you've got some calories to splurge - the stouffer's "thanksgiving tonight" family style entree is truly delicious. it looks like it'd be gross, but you heat it in the oven (not the microwave!) and it's oddly delicious. the odd part being you don't expect it to have such great taste, balance and texture.

    2. The one Lean Cuisine frozen dinner I like is the basil salmon. First of all it is the only frozen salmon dinner available and secondly, while not gourment, it is not bad ... what a reccomendation.

      Healty Choice is just vile.

      Surprisingly, if you look on Swanson dinners, the calorie count is pretty similar to the diet dinners. I like those bottom of the food chain Swanson dinners. They are inexpensive if you catch them on sale. Never was a Banquet fan.

      Haven't branched out to the ethnic frozen dinners yet.

      Anyone want to start a pool about how many suggestions this thread will get to freeze your own and bring to work.

      6 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        "Anyone want to start a pool about how many suggestions this thread will get to freeze your own and bring to work."

        I was thinking the same thing as I read the original post! Giggle giggle! I too would LIKE to think I would make my meals ahead and freeze them, but the real question is what you do when you DON'T (most days/weeks). Glad someone preemted the onslot!

        1. re: cheesecake

          Too funny.....fulltime job, toddler, hubby, housework, cooking dinner.....making a full lunch daily or freezing stuff to take regularly doesn't happen as often as I'd like!!! :-)

        2. re: rworange

          I can't say myself, but my mom, who is on Weight Watchers, is in love with Ethnic Gourmet as far as frozen dinners go.

          Link: http://www.ethnicgourmet.com/

          1. re: gini

            I've had the Ethnic Gourmet Chicken Tikka Masala. Better than most frozen dinners, but a bit pricey for what it is.

          2. re: rworange

            rworange - that's exactly what I do and exactly what I thought when I read the original thread. About once a month on a Sunday I clear the calendar and cook about 4 different dinners @ 4 portions each, freeze individually and I'm ready to roll for a month. :)

            I know alot of people can't do that though. Sorry no ideas on the pre-made stuff.

            1. re: cbauer

              When I make chili or some typr of soup, I make a souble or triple batch and freeze the excess so that I get a good homemade lunch.

              I have always found it easier to cook for six, and use the food over three meals. It significantly reduces the time in the kitchen.

          3. Amy's enchilada dinners are good. I like the cheese enchilada better than the vegetable/black bean ones. I've had pretty good luck with Weight Watchers pizzas, "Santa Fe style" rice & beans, and macaroni & cheese. I also liked Lean Cuisine's Swedish meatballs & noodles.

            (Disclaimer: Words such as "liked" and "good" should be taken in the context of microwaved premade meals. I wouldn't eat them if I was rich and could eat lunch out every day.)

            1. j
              Janet from Richmond

              The Amy's line is pretty good. I like their enchiladas also. Moosewood has a frozen pesto/bowtie pasta dish that is good as well as their mac and cheese. I also like the Michelegna (sp?) fettucini alfredo.

              1. OK. I'll start the make your own thread. Make your own. Most of the stuff in packages have too much salt, processed foods, fat and chemicals. Amy's is one exception. There is also an Indian entree maker that's not too bad either. I live alone and like to cook so I always have leftovers. Rather than being stuck eating the same thing all week, I'll make up a meal or two for the freezer. Those covered takeout plastic containers that you can get from many Chinese restaurants are perfect for this and they stack well too. Think meat loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, beef stew, chicken paprikas with noodles, lasagne, etc. This helps to take care of the times I don't have time to cook, whether its lunch or dinner. I don't do this much in the summer since lunch usually consists of something cold like a salad or a fresh tomato, a sliced cuke, cheeses, shrimp, olives and/or a hard boiled egg, but it's perfect for the rest of the year. No cooking involved there either.

                1. s

                  I have to say the Linda McCartney frozen meals are pretty tasty. Just watch out you don't get caught off gaurd. Their fat content can get high in some. Make sure you read if what is in the box is one serving or 2.

                  1. Kahiki makes some decent microwaveable food. I've liked General Tso's Chicken the best of their selections. Ginger Beef is also not bad but I'm not sure if they make that one anymore. Their stuff has been in the packaged refrigerated foods section of the supermarket-haven't seen it frozen.

                    1. Trader Joe's is the best place to get ready-made foods to take to work. For frozen foods, I'm madly in love with their Pesto Bowl. I could eat this everyday. Although they're not frozen, their prepackaged foods are really great too. I like the lasagna and the spaghetti with meatballs. They both taste really fresh and they're big portions. One usually lasts me a couple days (I have a small appetite). Stay away from the stuffed peppers though, the filling tastes like cat food...not that I eat cat food or anything.
                      Good luck!

                      1. The fat content in some of these things can get pretty darn high in some (and why waste calories on frozen lunch?). A Stouffer's turkey pot pie I brought home on a whim I just noticed had somewhere around 40 grams of fat (!). A few of Ethnic Gourmet's offerings are more healthy, and the eggplant is pretty darn good.

                        Lean Cuisine's new pork with cherry sauce is not bad, though I usually bring an extra container of frozen sugar snap peas to supplement.

                        1. c
                          ChowFun (derek)

                          I will eat the Michaelangelo brand of Italian-American meals...I especially like the eggplant parmagiana, and the manicotti..much better sauce than others' I have tried.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                            Saw my first son thru college, as well as my second son! I husband will still ask for a fettucine alfredo now and then if he makes himself a steak!
                            Best tasting sauces, although not low in calories.

                          2. I don't mind Lean Cuisines new "Spa Cuisine" line. Low in fat and higher in fiber than a lot of the other lines becasue they use whole grains and more veggies. The lemongrass chicken is pretty good as is the pecan chicken. I have not tried the salmon since I can't stomach frozen then micro'd fish but a coworker thought it was pretty good.

                            I usually make my own lunches (usually salads with leftover protiens from dinner to throw on top) or easy rollup sandwiches but I alwasy keep a few of frozen meals on hand too. They are usually healthier and cheaper than what I can find at my company cafeteria.

                            1. celentano is pretty good and all natural, and they have some with tofu instead of cheese.

                              1. Trader Joe has some pretty good frozen entrees. I always have the Thai Chicken Curry and Chicken Marsala on hand to bring to work for lunch. Some of the rice bowls are good, too.

                                1. I usually have an Ultra Lean Pocket and a can of soup for lunch. High in protein and low in fat. For frozen dinners I like some of the Marie Callenders line (made by food giant Conagra.) The chicken breast with green beans and mashed potatoes is good. I'd put the lasagna up against any homemade recpie. Most "healthy" frozen dinners are simply too portion controlled to fill me up. Marie Callenders dinners are properly portioned and at $2-to-$2.50 per meal a great value. I avoid the really fatty ones (pot pies, fried pork chop etc) but I think the line is representative of how most people cook at home.