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Dec 29, 2009 09:04 AM

Hormel Compleats - Woof

I've been wanting to try these shelf-stable microwave dinners for a while. I had a few coupons for $1 off and with a super store discount ... well, I got them for free.

You get what you pay for.

The website says "From Your Desk Drawer to Delicious - in 90 Seconds"

As far as the chicken with mashed potatoes it was the gravy that did this in. The nice piece of chicken breast was actually quite good for this type of meal. The mashed potatoes similar to the standard frozen dinner mashed potatoes.

But that gravy ... ugh. It tasted like dog food smells.

It is far from enviromentally freindly, a heavy plastic dish, sealed with package and then protected by thick carboard.

Calories (200) and fat (3g), but sodium is 1100 mg. They do have some healtier varieties but the store selling these on sale only had the regular varieties.

The ingredients are as expected:

Rehydrated Potatoes (Water, Potatoes, Mono- and Diglycerides, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Citric Acid), Chicken Breast with Rib Meat (Chicken Meat, Water, Modified Food Starch, Salt, Sodium Phosphate), Water, Wheat Flour, Chicken Fat, Chicken Gravy Mix (Hydrolyzed Corn and Soy Protein, Onion Powder, Maltodextrin, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Dextrose, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Dried Chicken Meat, Salt, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Spice, Spice Extracts), Modified Cornstarch, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Chicken Flavoring (Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Chicken, Flavors, Salt, Chicken Fat), Sugar, Salt, Autolyzed Yeast, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Bisulfite, Annatto Color, Flavoring.

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  1. Have not had the opportunity to check these out yet, however; I've been curious. Part of the allure is it's shelf stability. Something you can throw in your desk, tote bag, what ever and know you have SOMETHING to eat if push comes to shove and you're not going to get time for lunch.

    Can you 'remove' the gravy or is it already on / in it? I'm not a gravy eater anyways, so I don't know if I would've purchased that type.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JerryMe

      There's nothing that really can be done about the gravy. You need to keep the plastic film on and it would be hard to scrape it off. I'm guessing the taste would be imparted anyway.

      They have some pasta ones that I didn't get because in my greed I want free meat. I guess there are some with veggies but those weren't available at the store.

      There's another shelf stable meal ... I'm not recalling the name ... but they have green packaging. Those aren't that bad but you need to fuss with them more. If there is pasta you need to add water. The pasta sort of sits in a collander, so when you microwave it you can drain.

      It sounds more complicated than it is. You could do this in an office kitchen. I'm unlikely to buy more of these either due to all that excessive packaging ... and the sodium ... but somehow I think these had less sodium. Next time I'm in the market I'll look up the name.

      1. re: rworange

        I tried some of these when we were in a motel for a week... the green two-part meals really weren't worth the bother. They varied from mediocre to downright awful. After trying a couple I went out and bought some 'Healthy choice' canned soups and had them for dinner instead. I never actually got brave enough to try the Hormels compleats - I gave them to the food pantry when we got home!

    2. I have always been curious about those meals, but the sodium content makes me put them down! I did try a self-stable meal once, before I had to watch my sodium, and the photo looked so good (am I gullible or what?) but egads! It was awful! Can't remember the brand but it doesn't matter anyway since I don't think they make them anymore!

      1 Reply
      1. re: danhole

        I think I remember those. They had that dog food taste to them as well, but not as pronounced as this.

      2. I take my lunch to work almost every day and have found these to be an acceptable alternative when I have no leftovers in the fridge. The only two I really like though are the Chicken and Noodles and Chicken and Dumplings. I try not to make a habit of it due to the sodium and additives, but I figure one every other week or so when I'm in a pinch isn't going to kill me.

        1. I hope it wasn't too shocking for you that prepackaged, shelf stable food tastes like garbage.

          7 Replies
          1. re: sisterfunkhaus

            That's a rather broad statement, don't you think? Unless you only shop on the side and the back of the market, pretty much everything eelse is prepackaged, shelf stable food.

            1. re: c oliver

              There was no expectation of greatness. However, in a pinch I was hoping I could get something similar to a frozen dinner.

              I've since tried the turkey with stuffing and salsbury steak with potatoes.

              The turkey wasn't horrible. It didn't have the dog food quality. While the salsbury steak wasn't as bad as the first dinner I tried, the gray sliced potatoes didn't help to work up any appetite.

              1. re: rworange

                Mmmm, gray potatoes; one of MY personal favorites :(

              2. re: c oliver

                I was refering to it in precooked meal form. My mom served us Dinty Moore Beef Stew, which IMHO tasted like dog food smells. Anytime I imagine a shelf satble meal, I imagine that, then run the other way.

                I have nothing against some prepared food from shelves. I just can't imagine expecting much out of something like that. And apparently, the OP didn't.

                1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                  Really, what is that eau de Alpo about anyway?

                  1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                    Dinty Moore? Is that a blue & white package? I think that is what I tried way back when. It was awful . . . truly, truly awful.

                    1. re: danhole

                      Sweet Sue is blue and white, I think Dinty Moore is red and white. Both are severely lacking imho.

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