Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#NotEatingAllTheThings - Week 6. Frozen Crap I've been Eating for Lunch (review)

Previous recaps herehere, here, and here.

I have FINALLY undone the Weekend of Gluttony damage, plus some. So... essentially, I'm back to the lowest weight I can recall before I got super lazy, from back in December.

Loss this week: 2.9lbs. As it turns out, apparently the key to this is watching what you take in, and exercising.

Who knew.

E from Running with Bling commented last week......

It's true, they are NOT great for me, nor are they particularly delicious (most of the time).

Believe me, I'm under no illusions that I am making a healthy choice by picking these things up. However...

1. I have to prioritize where I spend my time, and often, the time that I'm at home, making lunch doesn't necessarily make the cut. These are fast and easy.
2. It's certainly less expensive than eating out daily.
3. I do not think that they will kill me dead if I eat them for one meal a day, a few times a week. The majority of my diet otherwise is fresh, whole foods that we cook at home.

With all that in mind, sometimes - for me - it's a compromise I'm willing to make.

And just in case you ever wondered, "Man, that picture looks pretty good, I wonder if it's as delicious as it photographs!", I present my review of The Frozen Crap I've Been Eating For Lunch, ranked from least delicious, to most.

The Frozen Crap I've Been Eating For Lunch

1. Healthy Choice Crustless Chicken Pot Pie
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In fairness, I don't like cooked carrots, nor do I like peas. Obviously, this was a poor purchase on my part, as both are clearly pictured on the packaging (WHY, me?!). The dumplings (well, "dumplings") were rubbery and weird. The chicken was fine. The corn was... corn. The sauce stuff was okay. But since I don't like half of the other stuff, this gets a 2/10 from me. {unfairly rated}

2. Campbell's Mexican Style Chicken Tortilla

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I know, not frozen, but still something pre-packaged. Eh. Not delicious, but not AWFUL. Kind of flavorless and watery? Despite have a billion mg's of sodium, really tasted like it could have used some salt. Also, I have a serious salt-tooth, so maybe it's just me. 3/10.

3. Healthy Choice Golden Roasted Turkey Breast with stuffing, green beans, and cherry/blueberry "dessert".
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I actually picked this strictly because it was fairly low cal, and it was birthday cake day in the office, so I was eating lean. It was OKAY. It honestly tastes about as great as it looks, but I love stuffing in all forms, so this earns a little bit of an extra point. 4/10.

4. Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Chicken Breast with Pablano Sauce, with barley and corn risotto
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I don't remember too much about this, so I am assuming it was not offensive? The sauce was DELICIOUS, but the "risotto" was not so much with the risotto, and more with "some stuff sort of creamed together". 5/10

5. Lean Cuisine Ranchero Braised Beef with chipotle mashed sweet potatoes, this is an AWESOME picture.
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This was surprisingly good. The beef was... you know. Frozen/Microwaved beef, but the sauce was pretty good. And the sweet potatoes were great. I'd totally buy this again. 7/10

6. Trader Joe's Shepherds Pie
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I've had this a few times, and I like it. The potatoes are a little watery, and it's never as filled as the picture pretends it is, but everything in it is pretty tasty. It's packaged as 2 servings at 180 cals each, which I find DUMB, because... hello, it's one tiny bowl. Not shabby for 360 cals, and it actually kept me full for awhile (unlike everything else so far...). 7.5/10

7. Amy's Mexican Casserole Bowl
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This was pretty good! I added a ton of hot sauce, and that made it even more delicious. It was not terribly filling, though, so only 7.5/10. Womp.

8. Evol Chipotle Chicken Mac & Cheese
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Delicious. Tiny, tiny portion for a LOT of calories (400+, if I'm remembering correctly?). I likely wouldn't buy this again, because I was starving the rest of the day, but it was GOOD. 6/10, only because of the portion size/calorie ratio.


  1. I love your honest reviews, they are great. I'm always disappointed in frozen meals like these. It sucks that I'm such a good cook, sometimes. ;) That said, I do enjoy the occasional Hot Pocket (might be because I don't know how to make those myself).

  2. I really feel the same way about the frozen foods. You are correct about the Evol mac & cheese, I think it was actually a bit more than 400, like 420 or 450? Compared to the mac & cheese I look at in restaurants that are delicious (AND 1600 CALORIES IN ONE MEAL???), I will take a bit more calories (in terms of a frozen meal) for something I clearly cannot ever eat guilt free EVER AGAIN in a restaurant. Which is sad, since I love mac & cheese. I try to supplement with a salad and/or veggies.

    In addition to not having the "time" to prepare a nice, healthy lunch, I JUST AM TOO LAZY AND I DO NOT WANT TO. So. There's that. Plus, I guess, for weight loss purposes, I at least KNOW what I'm getting instead of guessing?

    Congrats on your weight loss. You are kicking this game right in the ass!!

  3. A lot of the TJ's frozen meals are good, just not filling enough. I've had good luck with the Chana Masala, tamales, and bibimbap. I think I've had that Amy's Mexican Bowl before too -- it's delish!

    Good job on reaching your weight loss goal!

  4. Okay I have to admit one of my "guilty pleasures" is this Lean Cuisine Santa Fe rice bowl...I know it's not great for me, but it sure is convenient and paired with some fresh fruit or veggies doesn't make a horrible lunch when I'm in a pinch!

  5. YES.

    so glad you posted this.

    its good to see that when i pay more for amy's, tj's, and evol stuff that it's actually tasting better than the crap i could buy in the general frozen food aisle.


  6. hahaha totally called me out. :) i do see your point- i forget that people actually work in offices and have microwaves and can bring lunch. I've actually started packing a cooler for my car bc i was eating out sooo much. it was too expensive & even "trying" to be healthy isn't. i must say, those all look awful. sorry! epsecially the "top chef" rated healthy choice. Top Chef should be appalled!

  7. I eat that Amy's Mexican Casserole all the time. I do frozen meals for lunch usually about 4 days a week, basically making the same prioritization decision as you. I love to cook, but I usually use the leftovers for another dinner instead of lunch. And frozen meals are quick and convenient, and I can eat them at my desk and keep right on working, and they stay good in the office freezer for weeks. My recommendation: Amy's Country Cheddar bowl. My all-time fave.

  8. Thanks for posting! I often get (from others)or have (from myself) a guilt trip for eating a frozen meal, and not eating "clean". Even if it's not as good for me as some other choices, it is way better than the McD's I used to eat. My current favorite is the Lean Cuisine Chicken Pecan.


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