Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Favorite Healthy Frozen Meals...

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01-16-2007, 04:07 PM
I'm just starting out and have tried a few of the Lean Cuisine's that are out there. Let's see, I tried the Chicken Club Panini and the BBQ Chicken pizza. I really liked the Panini but the pizza, in my opinion, was not good. It had too many red onions on it. So many that even when I scraped them off, the onion taste was still there. And I usually can eat red onions. I'm curious what everyone has tried and what they like or would recommend. Thanks in advance to everyone! :hug:

01-16-2007, 04:09 PM
Have you tried making your own frozen meals? Pack up a healthy dinner into a freezer/microwave safe container and take it to work? I've done that before but mostly I just pack up leftover dinners and take them to work. If I end up making way too much of a dish, I'll pack them into individual freezer containers to take to work later on.

01-16-2007, 04:17 PM
Nelie has the right idea. For one thing you at least know what's in the food you're eating. And it's cheaper.

However, I eat the Lean Cuisines as well. Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice, mostly. Sometimes Smart Ones. I don't eat them all the time, most of the time I make my own lunches, but I keep them around for when I'm too lazy to fix anything. But they're great for keeping track of calories.

Many people aren't fond of the frozen meal idea because of the sodium. But I've never really had a problem with sodium, as long as I drink plenty of water. People with high blood pressure, however, have to keep a closer eye on it.

I don't eat much of the Panini and pizza. I stick mostly with the stir-fry types of Lean Cuisines or the meats and vegetables. The Paninis are just too much bread for my taste and the pizza, well, it leaves much to be desired. Especially those new brick oven pizzas or whatever they are. Yick! If I'm in the mood for pizza, I go ahead and buy the regular Stouffer's Grilled Vegetable french bread pizza. Can't beat it for 340 calories, which isn't much more than the Lean Cuisine. And they taste a heck of a lot better.

Healthy Choice makes some pretty good entrees. And, again, I'll sometimes pick up Smart Ones, although there are only a few of those that I like. The Tuna Noodle Gratin is my favorite.

I also grab some of the Michelina's Lean Gourmet. Usually only about 99 cents a piece and they're pretty good. Sometimes I eat them as is or I'll pair them up with a salad or an extra vegetable.

01-16-2007, 05:54 PM
I live on my own now and cook all the time, but when I go to my parents house almost all they eat is frozen dinners (my mom doesn't cook at all)
My favorite is the Lean Quisine Chicken in Peanut sauce.
Almost any of those are good.

01-16-2007, 07:49 PM
While not strictly health-oriented, my favorite packaged frozen food is Amy's Kitchen, even though I'm not a vegetarian! Her enchiladas & mac 'n cheese are yummy.

Of the Lean Cuisines, i really like the make your own paninis & the Spa Cuisine line. Healthy Choices is a hit'n miss for me and Smart Ones are mostly miss.

And, whenever I have the calories to spare and coupons handy, I like Stouffer's Corner Bistro line - which is somewhat sensible calorie wise (~500) for the amount of food you get.

01-16-2007, 09:03 PM
I absolutely love the Boca brand (think Boca burgers) lasagna. It's expensive and they don't have them everywhere, but it makes a really great treat. I'm not vegetarian either, but still find this amazing. 290 calories, 5 g fiber, decent protein (I forget the exact amount).

01-16-2007, 11:02 PM
Speaking of Boca I'm not a vegetarian either but the Boca chili is really good. I added a little bit of lf cheese to it. But without the cheese it is 150 calories, 20 g protein, and 12 g fiber.

01-17-2007, 01:02 AM
I love the morningstar "chicken" patties and Kashi's sweet and sour chicken is really good.
For pizza, hubby and I did a lot of label reading and decided that a thin crust regular frozen pizza is better tasting and just as good for us... for something that is "bad" we like the thin crust California Kitchen brand pizzas, especially if you like bbq chicken pizza. yum.

01-17-2007, 02:32 AM
I like the Ethnic Gourmet meals ( and also the Amy's Kitchen entres (the few that my grocery store stocks that fit in my calorie plan--for some reason my store seems to stock a lot of the high-calorie ones and not so many of the low cal entres). I also really like the Lean Cuisine Paninis.

I tried one of the Kashi frozen entres (lime cilantro shrimp) the other day but I wasn't really that impressed with it.

Like Nelie, I also make my own frozen meals. Anything I make for dinner has to feed us for at least two nights and I have some recipes that make enough for three or four nights. If we have enough for more than two nights, I usually freeze the rest in single servings for an easy meal later. I've been sick the past two weeks and haven't been able to grocery shopping so right about now I'm really thankful I've got a freezer full of stuff to eat.

01-17-2007, 03:08 AM
Oh yea - I recall some ethnic gourmets that I liked (particularly the lemongrass chicken & the pad thais), the price is a bit steep though and I don't find them discounted all that often.

Boca/Morningstar/Quorn stuff are a hit and miss for me -- some are "OMG I can't believe this is so low-calorie and meatless" -- others are just well.... "OMG" haha -- I'm more inclined to get Gardenburgers, where I know from the get-go is not supposed to taste like meat (most varieties, anyways).

Another frozen thing I like are Ling Ling or Ajinomoto's frozen gyozas and wontons, I love dropping them (3-6, depending on calorie per dumpling) into the brothy soups that I'm heating up to give it a little variety.

01-17-2007, 04:50 PM
I like the kashi meals. Very yummy.

01-17-2007, 10:42 PM
Spicy Black bean burger.
Ethnic gourmet.
Frozen raw veggies.
Frozen fruits.

They have started a so many veggie and vegan options these days that taste so good. I also like all Indian frozen meals in whole foods...

01-18-2007, 06:29 PM
See if you can find Amy's frozen entrees or the Kashi frozen meals. Both of them are very good and in my opinion, seem to be healthier than a lot of other frozen foods.

01-19-2007, 10:02 AM
Has anyone tried the South Beach lunch wraps? They're not frozen (usually somewhere over with the lunchmeats and Lunchables) but they're pretty good. A little high in fat for my taste (especially the turkey bacon club) but the sesame chicken is good on fat and calories. And so yummy! That's usually the one I get, I avoid the others. Again, too much fat. But the fat comes mostly from the cheese and the mayo, you could always use your own or eliminate it altogether.

01-19-2007, 01:26 PM
I love the ethinic gourmets. They are pricey, but seem to have less processed junk in them. I mix them up with lean cuisines.

01-24-2007, 07:27 PM
This is a great website.

They review frozen meals. So far they seem pretty much on with what I would think and a good source for new stuff to try. Also, some of the reviews are hilarious

Excited about trying the seeds of change meals based on the reviews. I had just ordered some and now I feel happy I did (I grocery shop online and my other brands werent available)

01-24-2007, 07:32 PM
Excited about trying the seeds of change meals based on the reviews.

I've never seen these, are they new?

And how do you grocery shop online?

01-26-2007, 07:27 PM
My local organic foods store has online shopping. You shop. They fill the order. You pickup. With 2 little ones not having to get out of the car is soooooo worth the $5 surcharge. I would do the $10 charge for home delivery, but they dont do my area.

Plus - even though its a tad more expensive - I think I save money and certainly calories because there is no instore impulse buying

Seeds of Change the company has been around for awhile, I've never tried their frozen dinners before. Organic whole grainy type people they are.

01-27-2007, 07:26 PM
I'm in the minority here, but I like the Smart Ones Bistro meals. They're a bit more expensive, but they now come with a whole serving of veggies. How can you mess up frozen veggies? I have a freezer filled with these since I live alone. I like Healthy Choice, Smart Ones Bistro, and Lean Cuisine spa meals. I get my weekly serving of salmon by eating the Lean Cuisine Spa salmon and basil. I also eat the Healthy Choice fish entree. I think I can eat these because I don't make salisbury steak, pot roast, or roast beef, so the frozen meals don't taste bad. They remind me of my elementary school cafeteria food in a way.

The best part, is they are filling, nutritious, and very low cal!! I stayed away from them because I didn't think that processed food was that healthy, but my M.D. gave me the green light and said that the frozen prepared meals are made better today than before.

01-27-2007, 07:32 PM
Also, I'd stay away from the site. The postings are funny, but negative. Anyone trying to cut calories by eating these meals might be turned off by some of the reviews. Of course, sweet and sour chicken prepared by Healthy Choice at around 200 calories with a side of frozen veggies isn't going to taste as good as Chinese Take out from China Star carry-out, but it's not as expensive or as filled with fat and extra calories.

01-29-2007, 06:26 PM
Here lately I have liked the Healthy Choice pepperoni pizzas. I thought it looked a bit small and not satisfying, but surprisingly it was very satisfying with like 24 grams of protein and only 370 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. Try it!

01-29-2007, 11:45 PM
I've been eating a lot of the Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones this month. I like the Lean Cuisines better and I mostly prefer chicken and turkey dishes...and I consider Salisbury Steak the most disgusting thing to ever pass my lips from any frozen food company...I've yet to taste one that I liked, whether it's Smart Ones or Swanson. I bought a couple of Healthy Choice meals this week and had the Chicken with Barbecue Sauce tonight (also has rice, veggies and an apple-cranberry desert). It was pretty good. I'd definitely buy that one again.

01-30-2007, 04:18 PM
I really like Lean Cuisines best for frozen foods. My faves are:

Roasted turkey w/ stuffing and cinnamon apples
Steak and Cheddar Panini (YUM!!)
Chicken, spinach and mushroom Panini
Roasted Garlic Chicken brick oven pizza (I love this one, but agree that the BBQ one is not very good!)
Sesame Chicken Stiry Fry w/ Edamame (Spa line)
Garlic Chicken w/ creamed spinach

Oh and the list goes on and on ...

I also LOVE Boca Chik'n Spicy patties - like a fake version of Wendy's spicy chicken!


01-30-2007, 04:19 PM
PS - I think a lot of the spa line is really healthier for you (whole grains and what not) and yummy!

01-30-2007, 04:27 PM
I really like though its expensive through Schwans is the roasted veggie pizza...I call it my cracker pizza...Its actually really good. Even weirder is I usually throw on a ton of fresh sprouts (I do those myself) fold the pizza and eat...YUMMMM

Lately I'm on a green giant simply steam veggie kick.....SO yummy by itself...though I JUST had some and maybe my taste is changing or a bad batch, very salty today!!

01-30-2007, 10:56 PM
Something else that's great about these frozen meals, is that they really satisfy a craving, at least for me, for a particular food item. Maybe I have a craving for Chinese food, and if I can eat something sweet and sour with some water chestnuts and snap peas, well, my craving is satisfied for the week! If I have a craving for something cheesy, I can eat the brocolli potato cheddar meal and satisfy that craving. These work for me for the amount of time I don't have with work. And I like looking at the box and seeing that most are under 300 and sometimes 200 calories. If I add a fresh salad or a sweet potato as a side, some of the skimpier entrees are more filling.

Am I the only person who eats one of these once a day? I know my co-workers live off these during lunch hour, too. How about you?

P.S.-I guess I've never had real salisbury steak, and that's how I can handle the frozen kind. I would agree that usually turkey and chicken entrees taste best.

01-31-2007, 12:05 AM
I guess I must've had a bad experience with commercial frozen meals when I was a child because I can't do it :) Although I was on Jenny Craig for a while and I suffered through that but still. My last commercial frozen meal was probably 8 years ago.

01-31-2007, 12:20 AM
I'm picky about my meals. I don't like cooked veggies except brocoli. And I only eat corn and peas in soups. Green beans are okay and so are lima beans. And I HATE fish. Just cannot stand it anymore. Sooo....I'm limited on what I can eat since I want to eat healthy and I'm limiting myself.

01-31-2007, 01:08 AM
Something else that's great about these frozen meals, is that they really satisfy a craving, at least for me, for a particular food item.

I'm like that with the snacking. Instead of potato chips, I've been substituting lower-calorie, takes-longer-to-eat pretzels for my salt cravings. And I've been trying the 100-calorie packs of Chips Ahoy, Cheez-Its, etc. because I love the "life size" real versions of them but it won't help me to munch my way through the regular ones. So I have the little preset portion baggie. :^:

Am I the only person who eats one of these once a day? I know my co-workers live off these during lunch hour, too. How about you?

I only eat one, too.

P.S.-I guess I've never had real salisbury steak, and that's how I can handle the frozen kind. I would agree that usually turkey and chicken entrees taste best.
It tastes kind of bland and so mushy to me and I'm not much a fan of mushy meat, lol.

I hate fish, too. I don't eat any seafood at all. Up until some point in my 20s the only fish I would eat was tuna fish. But then I turned away from that, too. My mom loves shrimp and I tell her they look like fat worms on a plate to me. :p You can imagine what I think a lobster looks like! :D

02-01-2007, 02:55 PM
A way to fix salt cravings is sweet potato chips! I found some at the local Kroger store in the health food section. They are made from sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. I know they may still be a little unhealthy, but in moderation I'm sure they are better than regular chips.

02-01-2007, 03:05 PM
While not strictly health-oriented, my favorite packaged frozen food is Amy's Kitchen, even though I'm not a vegetarian! Her enchiladas & mac 'n cheese are yummy.

I also like Amy's Kitchen frozen meals, I've tried them all the others seem so plain, I also like her soups.

02-01-2007, 03:42 PM
Michelle I ony eat one a day. I like "real" food the rest of the time, but they have saved me a ton of money by not eating out while I'm at work. I live alone and I don't cook everyday, so nice ot pack my bag in the morning and not have to worry about if I have left overs or not.

02-01-2007, 04:36 PM
For me...I have 2 young kids, sometimes my choice is nuke a frozen or not eat. I love Amy's and I am digging the seeds of change.

I tend to like stuff with cheese better than meat ones. Lean Cuisine mac n cheese is a definite must for when I am just needing comfort food. I cant quite get away from emotional eating. All I can do is have better emotional eating.

02-01-2007, 04:46 PM
I go through spurts with frozen meals--sometimes I'm eating 1-2 every day, and sometimes (like this week) I hardly have any at all (but I always keep my freezer stocked just in case a craving hits to order pizza or Chinese--with the frozen meals so quick and easy, I have no excuse not to eat at home).

Anyway, they do have a lot of sodium (although Healthy Choice is making an effort to lower theirs a bit--I think most of theirs have less than 500mg per meal now, so even at 3 a day, you could still stay within healthy sodium limits), but I don't add salt to ANYTHING I eat, so I don't typically have a lot of sodium throughout the rest of my day.

I am super-picky and really only like chicken (for everything, not just frozen meals), so I steer clear of anything with steak, turkey, fish, etc. I LOVE the SmartOnes Thai Style Chicken with Rice Noodles--YUM! I have a few of the Lean Cuisine pizzas in my freezer, but I haven't tried them yet. I don't like their paninis only because it's not enough food for me. It may very well be the same amount of meat as in a regular entree, but seeing only half a sandwich as my meal leaves me feeling unfulfilled. I could VERY easily make myself a much more satisfying WHOLE sandwich for fewer calories.

Oh, I also LOVE Lean Cuisine's Chicken a l'Orange. Healthy Choice now also has meals that include a meat, veggies, carb (potato/rice/pasta), and a fruit dessert for a very reasonable amount of calories. I have some in my freezer but have not yet tried them.

These meals can be expensive sometimes, but it seems my local grocery stores have at least one of them (Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, SmartOnes, or South Beach) on sale every week, so I just stock up when they are nice and cheap.

02-03-2007, 11:11 AM
Like others, I like the Amy's frozen foods -- the teriyaki bowl is great, and the Mexican casserole (though it's up there in calories, very tasty!) and the brown rice and veggies and, well, a lot of them! They have Asian, Mexican, and Indian brands that I eat.

I like the Kashi meals too. Especially the sweet and sour chicken.

And some of the Healthy Choice ones I like, I can't recall right now.

Oh, and South Beach Diet pizzas! Those are great.

02-03-2007, 01:06 PM
I like most of the Lean Cuisine entrees. I only eat them at work, otherwise I'll cook when I'm home. But, it's better for me to have LC at work than venture down to the cafeteria.

My favorites are the Sesame Chicken with noodles, Mac N cheese, Swedish Meatballs, and Chicken Fettucini.


02-06-2007, 03:51 AM
Just found another yummy one - Grace's Kitchen ( ~ sold at more upscale / health oriented markets (I found them at Whole Foods). They aren't cheap (about $12 for a two-serving dinner) but it's very healthful (all the dinners are about 450 calories / serving), ingredients are natural/organic & their offerings resemble something you'd actually get at an fancy restaurant (brazilian seafood stew with mussels, scallops in a coconut milk broth with ciabatta rolls; wild salmon cakes with tarragon mustard, toasted orzo pasta and peas) ~ I had the Mekong Beef Stir-Fry with Asian vegetables & shiitake buckwheat (soba) noodles and toasted sesame seeds - very delish and a substantial meal when paired with a nice lil salad.

However, this isn't a pop-in-the-microwave kind of meal, there is some prep and actual cooking (boiling, sauteing, etc.) involved in getting this from the box to your plates (but they guarantee no more than half an hour); combined with its high price (for a frozen dinner) it's definitely not something I'll eat every day, but a nice-yet-healthful treat if I wanna indulge (and not in the mood to guess what restaurants are putting in or attempt to compensate by going through semi-starvation for the day, haha).

Tara D
02-06-2007, 08:59 AM
I swore off frozen meals about 6 months ago, but before I did, a couple of my favorites were:

Amy's Organic Chili and Cornbread meal...YUM!
Lean Cuisine Supreme or Margherita pizzas