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01.27.06
 

 
When we found out that Lean Cuisine released a line of calorie-friendly dinners that come with dessert, we HAD to try 'em and review 'em for you. Here's what we think...   
Grilled Chicken & Penne Pasta

(320 calories, 4.5g fat, 560mg sodium, 52g carbs, 4g fiber, 25g sugar, 19g protein)

What is it?  Meal: Grilled herbed chicken tenderloins, with penne pasta, hand-picked broccoli and carrots in a garlic herb sauce accented with tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Dessert: apples in a caramel sauce.

What did we think of it? Although the chicken and veggies were good, we found this meal to be very bland. Despite all the sodium, we felt the urge to actually put salt, or pepper, or Mrs. Dash -- anything at all on it --just to add some zazzle. The caramel apple dessert is another story. It was delicious and caramely and appley all rolled into one. Yum!

Would we buy it again? Probably not. But if someone gave it to us for free, we would eat it.

Overall rating: 6.5
Balsamic Glazed Chicken

(400 calories, 8g fat, 890mg sodium, 61g carbs, 4g fiber, 28g sugar, 20g protein)

What is it?  Roasted chicken tenderloins in a balsamic glaze with an orzo pasta and vegetable medley. Dessert: apple crisp.

What did we think of it? This meal was, overall, the best-tasting of the bunch. Unfortunately, it also had the highest fat and calorie contents. The balsamic glaze was great and a bit sweet. We're huge fans of orzo (sort of like a cross between rice and pasta), so its presence was a huge plus for us. The green beans were super-fresh and the chicken was yum-tastic. The apple crisp dessert was awesome, too. Not quite a traditional apple crisp, this was more like apple pie goo mixed with oats. But again, the dessert ROCKED!

Would we buy it again? Yes, but it's not as much food as we like to consume for 400 calories.

Overall Rating: 8.5
Chicken Fettuccini

(360 calories, 7g fat, 700mg sodium, 54g carbs, 6g fiber, 26g sugar, 20g protein)

What is it?  Roasted chicken tenderloins, freshly made fettuccini and hand-picked broccoli tossed in a creamy Alfredo sauce with parmesan and romano cheeses. Dessert: apples in caramel sauce (same dessert the penne meal had).

What did we think of it? This meal looked and smelled great, but it was pretty dull.  The mushy and slightly overcooked pasta didn't impress us much at all.  The Alfredo sauce was tasty (as Alfredos pretty much always are), but while we liked it just fine, we would MUCH prefer a much larger portion of a chickened-up version of Fettuccini Hungry Girlfredo for the same amount of calories. Again, the caramel apple dessert excited us...it's really good.

Would we buy it again? Perhaps.

Overall Rating: 7
Chicken Portabello

(380 calories, 6g fat, 810mg sodium, 58g carbs, 3g fiber, 26g sugar, 22g protein)

What is it? Chicken tenderloins in a portabello mushroom sauce, served with a rice and vegetable medley. Dessert: chocolate cherry.

What did we think of it? We liked it. A lot. In fact it's practically tied with the Balsamic Glazed Chicken for our favorite one. The mushrooms were fresh-tasting and the sauce was very flavorful.  Nice white meat hunks of chicken round out this delicious meal. But what really makes this frozen find appealing is the chocolate cherry dessert. It's made of ooey gooey cherries floating in a chocolate cherry sauce. And we love it so much we'd consider marrying it.

Would we buy it again? For sure! Even if it were just to have a chance to enjoy that chocolate cherry goodness again.

Overall Rating: 8.5
Overall Notes & Observations:

- Overall these meals are very good.

- Again, like most frozen prepared meals, these dinners are high in sodium, so if you're watching your sodium intake, these aren't for you.

- We like the fact that the desserts don't spill over into the dinner/meal section. Hooray!

- HG Tip: Add a bag of frozen veggies to your Lean Cuisine meal to make it more filling without adding a ton of calories.
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