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Heat-and-Eat that isn't awful

We don't usually think of Heat-and-Eat meals as particularly "foodie", and for good reason.

I work shifts in an office with only a microwave (no fridge or toaster oven) and I'm not a big fan of my own leftovers. I recently tried Gardennay's Cream of Mushroom soup, which came out in a solid, glutinous mass and made me gag, and PC Brand Thai coconut-ginger soup, which was significantly better than the Cream of Mushroom but had a THICK layer of grease on the top that made more than a few bites impossible.

So I put it to you. What are Heat-and-Eat meals that are a) not awful, and b) available in Ontario (Ottawa specifically, but Ontario is fine)?

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  1. Ha, ha!, I tried a Gardennay's soup once, forget which one, after hearing someone somewhere rave about it, and gagged too, disgusting, couldn't believe it. I said to myself, what were they thinking?

    I agree with you that heat-and-eat isn't awful. Will think about this some more and try to come up with suggestions. I think this is a great challenge for foodies, we can't all make great lunches or go out to lunches.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JamieK

      I've never had a food that made me gag quite like that before, and I've slaughtered goat for dinner (only once though)!

    2. i am in love with the PC blue menu black bean soup and lentil soup. i add frozen peas and corn to the bean and i add canned chickpeas to the lentil and voila - meal time!

      1 Reply
      1. re: LemonLauren

        I will have to try these two. At this point I'm up for anything not awful :)

      2. You must try, if you like Thai food, PC's frozen red curry chicken. I find it very well done - surprisingly so for frozen fare - and actually better than the red curry available in most restaurants, and I'm outrageously picky and elitist when it comes to Thai food (my passion).

        I also like many of PC's frozen Indian offerings, but they're not nearly as good as the red chicken curry.

        My partner tried the coconut ginger soup and found it inedible, which was surprising to us since we rarely meet a PC product that isn't at least decent. Incidentally, if any coconut soup has a separated layer of fat, it has been overcooked and ruined. This should never happen.

        2 Replies
        1. re: vorpal

          I agree! I tried a lot of the PC frozen curries, and they're really not bad at all for microwavable dinners. Everything turns out more than edible which is a pretty good surprise. But, tried their channa which was really really bad.

          1. re: vorpal

            I noticed that you don't have a fridge at work; if these are for your lunch, this shouldn't be an issue. I've found that they stay mostly frozen long enough.

          2. Ramen is my latest favorite. There is a great variety at P.A.T. and Soon Lee, but those are closer to me, there will be other Asian stores nearby. The trick is to take a few leftovers, such as beef, vegs, chicken, or shrimp, and add them at the end of the microblast, about 2.5 minutes, then serve yourself with a little Kikkoman and fish sauce. Fresh herbs are also welcome. It takes a little dithering, but I have 1/2 hour at lunch and it is always envied.

            1. The 44th St ready to eat pot roast is worth getting. The meat heats up in the nuker in a few minutes and is tender, juicy, and quite delicious (assuming you like pot roast, of course). The gravy benefits from some additions - possibly a splash of sherry and some seasonings of your choice. But it's a damn good meal for instant food.