The frozen diet dinner market is filled with McProcessed foods that barely pass as edible, and low calorie counts take priority over the quality of ingredients. We haven't had much luck with Healthy Choice dinners in the past, with experiences ranging from off flavors to chunks of plastic hidden under the pasta. Could their new All Natural line be a turning point?
My experience with frozen dinners usually falls in to one of two categories. "Natural" or "diet". I have to say that when I first tried my Mediterranean Pasta entree from healthy Choice, that I had to look back at the box to make sure it really did fall in to the 'diet' category. It is indeed 360 calories of delicious, real food. A diet dinner where all of the ingredients came from the earth! It's also refreshing to see that Healthy Choice is stretching their wings even further and using ingredients like red rice, fontina cheese, quinoa and amaranth. The impressive ingredient list results in a delicious 'real' flavor. It's a savory orzo and white bean entree that is scattered with the perfect amount of sweetness from cranberries and diced apples. The different textures and flavor combinations work with each other to satisfy exactly what your mouth wants.
I couldn't resist trying the Pumpkin Squash Ravioli. The ravioli were filled with a sweet pumpkin and ricotta filling, sweetened with honey and brown sugar. They were served with chunks of butternut squash and asparagus tips. The mixture was coated in a savory, yet slightly sweet sauce with an apple and wine base. The asparagus was a little too done for my taste, but overall it was a delicious meal with real flavor.
Other available varieties include Asian Pot Stickers, Portabella Spinach Parmesan, Portabella Masala, and Tomato Basil Penne. Most are vegetarian, which is always a better way to go. Even though meat wasn't listed in the description, we noticed the ingredient label for the Portabella Spinach Parmesan included chicken meat at the very end of the list of ingredients.
Everything tasted good, and we didn't find any faux-foods or non-foods on our plates. We're looking forward to trying the other new varieties and hope other diet meal brands will continue the trend.