Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Lean Cusine, fancy?

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04-04-2010, 08:57 PM
My food philosophy is along the lines of the "caveman" diets: Moderate to high protein, very low sugar/starch/grain, low to moderate fat, and moderate to very high fiber.

So, I was browsing amazon today for cookbooks likely to have recipes that fit. Some of the post-wls cookbooks are very compatible, so I was reading the reviews of several and came across a lot of reviews bashing the books for exotic or unfamiliar ingredients, but was completely shocked by a review for The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery.

The reviewer writes:

If you don't care for fancy stuff (like the kinds of foods that Lean Cuisine makes), then don't get this book. There are no normal meat and potatoes types of things here.

This shocked me. Lean Cuisines, fancy?

This got me thinking (especially after viewing Jamie Oliver's reality show, Food Revolution).

I know that I'm a foodie who loves food experimentation, and my tastes are more exotic than most, but do most people consider Lean Cuisine meals "exotic?"

04-04-2010, 09:22 PM
I have a fairly exotic pallet, and am always willing to try something new. However, to me Lean Cuisines are as basic homestyle cooking as you can get. Lasagna, Chicken Carbonara, pizza, those are basic foods. Some of their newer stuff might be a bit "fancy" and I'm using that term in it's loosest sense. I believe now they have some salmon, and shrimp dishes and have brought in more Asian flavours. I guess to some that's fancy!

04-04-2010, 10:00 PM
To me, Lean Cuisine isn't fancy. It's convenient. And, for me anyway, it can be a healthy way to curb a craving (ie. for pizza or chinese).

04-04-2010, 10:12 PM
:rofl: Fancy? Exotic? What do the reviewers eat? Mashed potatoes and pot roast and nothing else? Lean Cuisine is most definitely NOT exotic. I'm a foodie too. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

04-04-2010, 10:17 PM
I've never had Lean Cuisine but uhh I wouldn't call any frozen food fancy.

Fancy to me = Unusual ingredients and flavors put together, possibly taking hours to create. I don't create fancy food :)

04-04-2010, 10:20 PM
These people must be living on bread and water if they think Lean Cuisine is fancy !

04-04-2010, 10:23 PM
angelskeep, that was my reaction (roflmao).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing Lean Cuisine, but exotic?

For someone with an ultra-conservative (pre-1950's mindset), some of Lean Cuisine's spa cuisine line such as the butternut squash ravioli, might be like dipping a big toe into the deep end of the pool, but linking Lean Cuisine with exotic, I just can wrap my brain around.

It's like a petowner saying he or she isn't a fan of fancy, overly pretentious froo froo pure bred dogs. You know, like beagles.

Actually I see it in reviews of cookbooks all the time. There are complainers on both ends, either "boring, same old stuff," or "too exotic, I don't even know what these ingredients are."

The Lean Cuisine remark was stumpifying though.

04-04-2010, 10:31 PM
YUP! I haven't had a lean cuisine in years, so perhaps they now use ingredients I've never heard of, but it's hard to imagine them trying to juggle that and still stay mainstream. Maybe they're "exotic" because of the portion size? Like haute cuisine??? Or maybe it was a typo. YUP. It was prolly a typo.


04-05-2010, 11:44 PM
I do not think Lean Cuisine is "exotic" but most of them that I see in the freezer case are leaning towards an ethnic interpretation. If you are truly a meat & potatoes person they might seem unusual. That said- if you have had WLS you have to wrap your mind around a whole new way of eating so staying stuck in what you are used to seems like an ostrich like behavior.

04-06-2010, 01:38 PM
Another one who thinks Lean Cuisine is hardly exotic. The "spa" line is more "fancy bistro" than Applebee's/TGIF or neighborhood mom-and-pop place, and there are a few Chinese-y and teriyaki items (I'm not into Thai and I'm trying to think of whether they have anything Thai-ish; I do like some Indian and kinda wish they'd put chicken tikka masala into their mix), but those few items are as exotic as they get

04-06-2010, 06:01 PM
I'm usually pretty empathetic. I do understand most points of view, even this one, but I had to really stretch hard to wrap my brain around this one.

It isn't that it's that foreign - there really are a lot of people who have a very short list of acceptable foods. If it's not spaghetti, steak, fried chicken, pizza, burgers, hotdogs or potatoes; it isn't edible.

04-07-2010, 04:37 PM
Lean Cuisines are my "better than nothing" meal. I only eat them when I'm working for the night because I'm too lazy to pack. No way are they exotic or fancy!! You want exotic or fancy? either make it yourself or go to a high quality fancy restaurant.

Shannon in ATL
04-07-2010, 04:50 PM
I don't personally see Lean Cuisines as fancy. At least not now. I imagine that a few years ago I might have seen the idea of blending veggies and/or meats with pasta or rice as exotic, because I didn't eat much that took a lot of effort or combined many ingredients. I never prepared anything for myself that had any kind of sauce, other than jarred spaghetti sauce or melted cheese.

I do find the Kashi & the Amy's meals kind of interesting sometimes with the plantains and tofu and stuff, but even those I wouldn't call fancy.