I was recently invited to try some new frozen entrées from Healthy Choice. I have eaten Healthy Choice entrees in the past and liked them, but I was especially excited to try these because Healthy Choice has partnered up with one of my favorite reality shows – Top Chef – to come up with some new and different meals that are both tasty andout! Finished! DONE! I can’t even think about taking another bite. But I hadn’t had a problem with Healthy Choice meals before (though I have tended to buy non-chicken meals in the past), so I was hopeful.
And, as it turns out, I had good reason. I’m pleased to report that the chicken in both of these meals tasted fresh, and was without even a trace of anything gag-worthy. I realize that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, but I know there are other chicken-phobes out there like me who will be happy to hear it. Anyway, on to the meals.
The first one I tried was the Grilled Chicken Marinara with Parmesan, which was grilled chicken tenderloins & broccoli in a marinara sauce over whole grain pasta. I had to threaten my son with bodily harm to stay away from it, because he thought it sounded and looked delicious. In the end, I shared it with him because he put on his “poor starving me” face. We both really liked it. I didn’t tell him that the pasta was whole grain (because heaven forbid he know it is healthy), and he didn’t notice any difference. I’ve never been a big fan of chicken and tomato sauce pairings, but this entrée had just the right amount of sauce – it didn’t overwhelm the flavor of the chicken, which I liked. And the broccoli was perfect – not mushy, like it often is in microwave meals.
My son liked it even more than I did, because he loves chicken parmesan, so I will definitely buy this again for him, since this – at 280 calories, 6g fiber, 20g protein, and only 4.5g fat – is far healthier than your average chicken parmesan, which often has more than twice the calories and more than three times the fat. Sometimes even more in popular restaurants.
Next up was the Chicken Linguini with Red Pepper Alfredo, which I was pretty sure I would like, and I was right. In fact, I loved it. As most of us know, on the “healthy scale” anything with the word “alfredo” in it falls somewhere between Heart Attack on a Plate and SATAN. In fact, a popular Italian chain restaurant lists their fettuccini alfredo as having 1,220 calories and 75g fat! So, at only 260 calories, 6g fat, 5g fiber, and 22g protein, it’s already a win. But even better – it was good. Again, the pasta didn’t have that weird texture that whole grain pasta has, the broccoli was perfectly cooked, and the chicken tasted fresh and was perfectly seasoned. And the red pepper gave the alfredo sauce an extra flavor boost.
I think the one if the reason these entrees are better than most of the microwave meals I have tried in the past is the unique way of cooking them. Instead of all the ingredients in a frozen chunk, which usually cooks unevenly, these are steamed in the microwave, with the sauce cooked separate from the rest of the meal, which you then stir together. This gives it a much fresher taste and better consistency than your average microwave meal. The pasta is al dente, the vegetables stay crisp and the meat stays tender. I will definitely be trying more varieties. In addition to the ones I tried, there are:
-Barbeque Seasoned Steak with Red Potatoes
-Chicken Fresca with Chardonnay
-Chicken Margherita with Balsamic
-Grilled Chicken Pesto with Vegetables
-Grilled Vegetables Mediterranean with Rice
-Roasted Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms
I think they all sound delicious! Like I said, I have enjoyed Healthy Choice in the past, but the partnership with Top Chef is bringing new, bold recipes that are often missing in meal choices for people looking for meals that are lower in calories and fat.
I was compensated by Healthy Choice & The Motherhood for reviewing these products, but I was not asked for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are all mine.