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Old 06-23-2005, 11:39 PM   #1
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Question Questions about LEAN CUISINE Meals

My hubby works most evenings, and I never seem to get the urge to cook....I don't cook alot to begin with, but when I"m alone I tend to just grab something simple, which usually means it is not good for me, or healthy.

I was wondering if anyone has had any of the Lean Cuisine Meals, and are they as good for you as they say??

I've been looking at their website... LEAN CUISINE

Anyone had any of them, are they good and healthy for you, or just like any other frozen dinner?
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Old 06-24-2005, 01:08 AM   #2
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They don't taste very good, in my opinion. I can't speak to the health aspect because I'm not qualified to do so ... to me, they don't seem as healthy or cost efficient as, say, cooking the same meals from scratch and freezing 'em yourself. I've had a lot of them in the past, wouldn't eat them again in a million years, but it's a matter of personal taste. They work really well for some people in helping with portion control on diets, I think!
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Old 06-24-2005, 11:23 AM   #3
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I get both Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones. Yeah, they're not as appetizing, but then again, they're missing the grease. LOL It's always better if you can cook a healthy meal, but many of us are on the go alot and just sometimes want something quick.

Some of them are better than others. I always go with the lower carb options and I weigh calories vs. all the other stuff. I generally try to get the ones around 200 cals, with low sodium, carbs and fat.
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Old 06-24-2005, 11:47 AM   #4
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I don't really care much for Lean Cuisines or any of those diet frozen dinners.

Once in awhile, if they're on sale and I happen to think about it, I will buy the LC pizzas - mostly for snax for hubby.

You could do worse than eating Lean Cuisines IMO - but for me personally, it's just NOT enough food - and the vegetables are less than optimal as far as taste (maybe it's just me but I can't STAND frozen broccoli and that kind of stuff - bleagh!!!).

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Old 06-24-2005, 01:17 PM   #5
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Thanks for the imput....I appreciate it! I just hate cooking for myself, actually I hate cooking the best of times....it's just not something I like to do. And I know that it gets me into trouble, because I'm not in control really of what my hubby makes or what I'm puttting into my body....That's one of the problems I have...

"Hi my name is Amanda, and I hate to cook!" Hehehehe!!!
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Old 06-24-2005, 01:40 PM   #6
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I don't mind LC, SO, HC, etc. Some are better than othersl I think overall the LCs are MUCH better than the others, but the others have some OK varieties as well. In all cases the nutritional content varies -- calories, starch, protein, etc. so be sure to pick meals that fit your nutritional plan. I agree that the vegetable component is lacking, so I NEVER eat JUST the LC, always have at least one additional vegetable on the side. I think of them as my protein-and-starch (or just the protein if it's a no-starch low-carb one) rather than as a complete meal.

Other brands you might look for aren't necessarily a "light" variety, but is really good and has some lower-calorie options. Amy's and Cedarlane may be found in the health food freezer section, if your store shelves these separately. I find the tex-mex dishes to be especially good.

I absolutely agree that from-scratch is best in terms of value and taste, and I DO like to cook. But, I live by myself and most days don't have it in me to prepare meals, dirty up pots & pans, etc. just for me. So, these are a good solution, and I usually use them for lunches.
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Old 06-24-2005, 06:10 PM   #7
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Try the new Lean Cuisine Spa items. They're not too bad with respect to taste and they use brown rice and wheat pastas. You can always add a green salad to round out your meal. I like the Salmon with spinach and brown rice.
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Old 06-24-2005, 08:33 PM   #8
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I ate LC (and it's cousins) for many many years. When I worked in an office I had a frozen dinner and a salad day in and day out. Awhile ago - like about a year ago - I just went off of them. I still have 1/2 dozen in the freezer which are probably really awful about now! I did have only 4 or 5 favorites though, didn't like a lot of them. Now if DH is not there it's much more enjoyable to grill a chicken breast and cook some veggies, or finish up leftovers from another meal. That's often my lunch too.
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Old 06-25-2005, 10:19 AM   #9
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We rely heavily on Lean Cuisine to ensure we're eating healthy and nutritiously. Given our hectic schedules and pressures at work, we would end up eating out -- probably something very unhealthy -- if we didn't have Lean Cuisine in the freezer.
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Old 06-27-2005, 12:06 AM   #10
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In general I don't like them. I do like the spinach & mushroom pizza, the margherita pizza, and the enchilada suiza. Other than that I'm not crazy about them. If I'm really hungry at lunchtime, the pizzas are more filling than some of my other favorite meal choices though, so I have a couple in my freezer most of the time.
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Old 06-27-2005, 09:23 AM   #11
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As for LCs... they are kind of my backbone. The times when I'm tempted to eat something bad for me.. I pop a LC entree in that fits that taste.. like the chicken suiza for mexican, sesame chicken for chinese, etc. Sometimes these are kind of necessary when the rest of the family wants pizza or something equally unhealthy. Rather than deprive everyone I just have something different that fits that taste range I'm craving.

However - something to be noted... most of them are called "entrees" and, to me, that means they are not really designed to be eaten alone. If I am having it as a dinner I always always plan to make a quick vegetable with it. (Leftovers are great for this) Its a pet peeve of mine when people say that its not filling enough on its own. I don't think they are meant to be. Some are larger "dinners" but they are marked as such. They also contain quite a bit of sodium. If you dont eat 3 of them a day its not so much that you will go over the recommended sodium, but then I don't eat/cook things with a lot of salt, period.

Also, you might want to check the Food Review section of the 3fatchicks website.. you can go in and rate frozen dinners and read the reviews of others. I found it to be very helpful when choosing LCs. I hadnt eaten them in years and let me tell you they are MUCH improved from the way they used to be.

As a jumpstart here are my favorites: Sesame Chicken, Chicken Suiza, the pizzas, Macaroni and cheese, Three Cheese Chicken, Three Bean Chili w/ Rice, Rosemary chicken, roasted turkey w/ vegetables (only 150 cal!)

(I also really love Michelina's Lean Bistro Gourmet Southwest flavor veggie bowl.)
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Old 06-27-2005, 10:28 AM   #12
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For me it's a big "blech" to Lean Cuisine, but to each his own! Something I haven't seen anyone mention is the sodium content -- check your boxes and prepare to see some big numbers. Also, the sugar grams are often high. I totally get the convenience factor -- but I think the Smart Ones are often a little better. I've seen the ads for the new South Beach frozen meals, and would expect those to be a step in the right direction -- but I haven't taken the time to look, so I don't really know.

I suppose for a quick fix you could do a lot worse than a Lean Cuisine with a big plate of veggies on the side -- but if your other meals aren't a heck of a lot less processed, these meals are not a super healthy solution for the longterm.

I'm on disability for a couple more months, so obviously I'm not working -- but when I was working 50 hours a week and had plenty of other demands on my time (including an hour of daily exercise,) I did batch cooking, preparing all my lunches in advance as well as a bunch of staples like brown rice, chicken, turkey chops, etc. With a little investment of time on a weekend morning, I'd be all set up for the week so I'd have healthy, homemade lunches and dinners -- with like 20 minutes of cooking time in the evening, if that.

It's like anything: if you see the value in it, you make it a priority and figure out how to make it happen. But of course, you may not see the value in it that I do! Or it just may not be a big priority for you right now. If that's the case, then I guess the LC meals are better than some other quick solutions.
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Old 07-05-2005, 11:24 AM   #13
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I prefer Amy's Organic frozen meals. LOVE the black bean enchiladas and Amy's two Indian meals. Some of Amy's meals are a bit too high in calories, so read the label before you buy.
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Old 07-05-2005, 11:43 AM   #14
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Have you considered a George Foreman Grill? It cooks a turkey burger or a chicken breast in less time than it takes to nuke a frozen dinner, and you could always microwave your veggies/ sides at the same time. I used to eat A LOT of frozen dinners, mostly stouffer's lasagna, and mac and cheese, because I hate to cook too, but I have completely made the switch and am not looking back. I have twins, so I have to eat FAST. Just throwing in my 2 cents.
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Old 07-05-2005, 02:25 PM   #15
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Personally, I love the LC's and their counterparts--this has been a HUGE help with keeping the calories low for me. I've found a few I don't like the taste of, but for the most part I think they're delish...some of my faves (across all brands) being:

Chicken Alfredo
Lasagna
Turkey with Mashed Potatoes
Cheesy Chicken with Rice
Salisbury Steak
Swedish Meatballs with Pasta
Glazed Chicken Breast
Lots of others I can't remember...LOL.

I agree with some of the others here--I always have an extra veggie or perhaps a piece of wheat bread on the side, and sometimes add applesauce, yogurt, or sugar-free pudding to get some sweet flavor in there. However, if you have problems with retaining water I wouldn't recommend them...there IS a lot of sodium in there.
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