Your Favorite Frozen Diet Entrees
Hi all, please share frozen lunches/dinners from the low cal/low fat category that you have found tasty, satisfyingly large, and most resembling real food. I'm thinking from the weightwatchers, lean cuisine, healthy choice, and maybe Amy's world (that's the vegetarian one I think).
Please don't say all these diet frozen foods are gross and tasteless, that's not helpful.
Also please don't say you can cook your own food that is healthier, cheaper and more filling. I know. And I do. But not everyday. Sometimes nothing beats the convenience and price of frozen, and I'd like to trade recommendations with others who also eat this stuff.
My favorites so far:
WW lasagna, Chicken Enchiladas Suizas (really filling, doesn't seem like a small portion, tasty)
Healthy Choice chicken, rice, cheddar bake. WW chicken tastes like pressed and processed to me, this chicken actually tasted like chicken.
I've had bad luck with everything Asian-esque. It all reeks of artificial flavorings to me.
Lean Cuisine, although my favorites are actually several of the Asian ones - lemongrass chicken, thai noodles, sesame noodles. Also a couple of the vegetarian pasta ones are decent. I find that they all have an excess of sauce and a dearth of vegetables, so I add another cup or so of frozen vegetables and it's a reasonably filling lunch.
The Organic Bistro products are also very good, but considerably more expensive than lean Cuisine, WW, or Healthy Choice.
sasha, does your grocery store carry any of the Kashi frozen entrees? They are my favorites by far in this category. Though I cook healthy meals almost nightly at home, and try not to over-do it with anything premade or frozen, it is so helpful to know that if I need a quick, relatively healthy lunch that I don't have to run out and buy, these are there in my office freezer.
The Kashi ones appeal to me because they seem to use more whole grains and veggies. Their steam meals are surprisingly filling and tasty, too. A disclaimer: I am *terrible* about paying attention to sodium numbers on packaged foods. Someone may chime in and say the numbers are outrageous. But I try to limit to a few times a week at most, and when I have one for lunch will accomodate in other ways the rest of the day. Works for me, at least.
Frozen meals are what they are. Back when I had to drop a few lbs and was still new to the "counting calories" and cooking thing, I ate them. Two favs I can recall were the Lean Cuisine Tortilla Crusted Fish and the Santa Fe rice & beans (which was made even better when topped with chopped green onions and hot sauce).
There's also frozen vegan patties made by Boca that are very good for a hamburger stand in (with bread & butter pickles and ketchup & mustard too of course). Or black bean burgers (made by Morningstar I think?) that were good topped with fresh salsa in a "light" bun. Have the burgers with a side of cut up veggies and/or fruit for a decent meal.
i'm not sure how you define low cal/low fat because that means different things to different people, but you might want to look at the Organic Bistro products. i haven't personally tried them but i've seen positive feedback about them here on CH. i checked out the website, and as far as packaged meals go their ingredients are the highest-quality i've seen, and many of the selections have a lower sodium content than you typically find in frozen dinners.
I've tried a lot of these this past year as I was working on losing weight and didn't always have leftovers to bring for lunches, and I found I preferred the Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers the best. They were the most filling and had lower sodium (Usually around 500mg or so) while having decent amounts of protein and fiber. My favorite were the Chicken Linguini with Red Pepper Alfredo (had broccoli in it too), and Parmesan Pasta with Rosemary Chicken. Their Baked entrees are decent too, I've had both the baked chicken and the pasta w sausage.
I agree w/ you on the asian flavored anything. I've also heard good things about the Safeway store brand of dinners, I think it's "Eating Well"? I haven't tried them yet, I have one of the pizzas in the freezer to try soon though.
Right I'm eating one of the new Lean Cuisine Chef's Choice entrees. It's the mushroom ravioli with spinach and red pepper cream sauce. It's actually quite good. They had other new entrees like Chili Lime Chicken and Chicken Makhani. Plan on trying those soon.
I also like the LC Orange Peel Chicken. I prefer the dinner size as it comes with more veggies. The Steak Tips Dijon dinner is alo pretty good.
the LC entrees make great work lunches when I don't have leftovers to bring.
I think the Lean Cuisine ones are the best of the bunch. My wife and I ate them religiously five nights a week for about two years. Lost a lot of weight. Can't bear to think about eating one now.
A couple of suggestions.
Reheat them in a conventional oven instead of the microwave. Or at least try both ways. We have a crappy low powered microwave so your experience may be different.
Do not eat them out of the plastic box. Serve them on you regular dinner ware, a smaller plate or bowl is better. I can't emphasize this enough.
We always thought they were easier to pick out of the freezer case by the picture rather than the title.
In general pasta over rice. The bigger the pasta the better. The angel hair ones just seemed way to mushy. There was one with chicken, zucchini, tomato and black olive that was really good. The lasagne is good as is the five cheese rigatoni. A Thai noodle thing. We would sometimes get the salisbury steak/ mac and cheese and make green beans or steamed cabbage to go with.
For us it was all about the portion control. Sadly, we are both gluttons.