Low cal frozen dinners-- What's good?

I don’t eat them for dinner. There is not enough food there. But I do eat them for lunch during the week because, although I live in the best city in the world, I work in suburban hell. No stores, no delivery, no public transportation-- not a single luxury! Like just 30 miles from home it’s as primitive as can be.

Those frozen dinners are pretty hit and miss though. I love the Weight Watchers Lasagna and the Lean Cuisine Honey Roasted Pork Tenderloins. The WW turkey with gravy is the best because it has stuffing. Yummy stuffing! Yay for stuffing! The WW mac 'n cheese is also quite passable.

But, good lord, are some of those meals really bad. The Santa Fe rice. What in the hell do they put in that trash? Ravioli Florentine? 5 empty raviolis. Sure they tell you there’s ricotta and spinach in them, but they lie. And whose idea of the Orient is that nasty Oriental Chicken?
In an effort to avoid the clunkers I’m starting this poll. What’s good? Why? Tell me please before I starve to death!

The ones I like: Smart Ones, Healthy Choice, and Lean Cuisine. I pick the ones that have 30 mg or less of cholesterol.

The ones that suck are Banquet and Freezer Queen. The latter was something like 99 cents, and it wasn’t worth every penny. :slight_smile:

Well obviously YMMV on this - I love the WW rice and beans. For what it’s worth, Lean Cuisine makes a similar entree - I’ve not had it, but maybe you’ll like theirs better.

I do have to agree with you on the ravioli - what a bust!

I’m partial to WW Szechuan Noodles with Chicken - I like the flavor in the sauce.

You can also try some of those “healthy brands” - Linda McCartney has a line of vegetarian entrees. I’ve never had them, but a gal at work eats them and they look good. Cascadian Farms makes some organic ones - I’ve tried their bowls, which can be kind of skimpy. Amy’s makes some stuff - but you’ve got to be careful with her. Some of hers are “organic” but still high calorie and high fat. Look for the ones labeled low-fat, and you’ll do better. I think she’s got some enchiladas that are decent.

I haven’t had LC or HC in a while, so I don’t recall off the top of my head which varieties are tasty or not.

Well, they’re all pretty terrible when it comes to sodium levels, so for those watching their BP (like me), there are no “good” choices. :frowning: (LC pepperoni french bread pizza is delish though; I get a good long whiff when Mrs. AG nukes one)

Although I rarely eat frozen meals, when I do, I eat Taj. You should be able to find them in your local Whole Foods market or other health food store.

Enjoy :slight_smile:

I like the LC Teriyaki Chicken bowl. To my palate, it doesn’t seem all that teriyaki-y but it is sweet and salty, whcih I like.

I like the Uncle Ben’s version better, but I think it is one more point.

Of course, you shoul dtake my recommendations with a grain of salt, because my favorite LC is the Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans. When I take it for lunch, I eat it by scooping it up with Guiltless Gourmet Chili/Lime baked tortilla chips. Yum!

I’ve never cared for the HC dinners, they don’t have enough salt for me!

Oh, and I really like the LC French Bread Pizza. The sundried tomato one and the pepperoni one both.

I haven’t tried any of the WW dinners yet. My BF has, and seems to like them ok, but I don’t like the pictures on the box (like that’s a valid reason! :rolleyes: )

I had a LC lasagne, and wasn’t impressed but now I can’t remember if it was the cheese one or the meatsauce one, so I may have to try them both again. The sauce was too sweet.

I am somewhat addicted to Boca Burgers. Especially the grilled vege one. :stuck_out_tongue:

Trader Joe’s has a lot of Indian/Chinese frozen rice bowls. They don’t have the meaty, buttery stuff that “American” frozen meals seem to have. I’m not sure of the calories, but I would imagine they aren’t too high. Rice dishes seem to nuke pretty well, as opposed to anything with mashed potatos in it.

I really like Michelina’s (the ones in the green package that say “low fat” or “99% fat free” or something). They have about 290 calories and 4 grams of fat if I remember correctly. I like the spaghetti and spaghetti bolognese best, but the pepper steak and rice and some kind of Southwestern rice and black beans are quite good. They’re also cheap. Portions are not huge, but you could bring lettuce/greens and a bottle of lo-cal dressing with it to fill you up (if you have a fridge at work; no fridge, I’d have a banana or apple).

Not sure if they have them in your world, but here in the west Safeway has a store brand called Delimex which makes excellent rice bowls – far superior to Uncle Ben’s etc., IMO. I especially like the Southwest Chicken Bowl – Snarf.

Anyhoo, do check out the rice bowls. (Y’know – if you like rice.) A lot of them are pretty close to the so-called “diet” food, in terms of calories and % of fat. The noodle bowls are a total loss dietarily speaking, of course. But some of the rice bowls are fairly low-cal and pretty good.

Do I like rice? I’m half southern black and half Puerto Rican!
I tend to go for the dinner that have things I don’t usually get to eat. Stuffing, apple pie, sausage. I’ll go as far as 6 points for lunch.

290 cals and 4 grams of fat (** AlaItalia’s** Michelina’s would make it with enough fiber. The WW meat lasagna is excellent. Their veggie one is just O.K. As for the Sana Fe rice-- sure it would be better with chips. Everything tastes better with chips!

No Safeways near me. I think that most “store brand” stuff is made by the same 2 or 3 companies. I don’t think we have any Key Food frozen low cal dinners though.
Thanks everyone.

Healthy Choice’s Country Glazed Chicken is awesome. I think it’s part of their Medleys line. The sauce is good, so much so that I’ve been trying to find a recipe for it. It’s served with a wild rice with julienned green beans in it. IIRC, it has 250 calories and 8 grams of fat. Back home, my dad would buy it for dinner for us, and almost always it’d be sold out or he’d be buying what was left.

(Lean Cuisine has a similar dish, but they put onions in the rice. Bleach. It throws off the flavor of everything. Though the chicken pieces seem bigger in the LC one, the sauce isn’t as rich.)

Morning Star’s Grillers line is a decent vegggie burger. They improved its texture so that there aren’t any firm chunks in it anymore… too bad, as I kinda liked them. There’s also a tomato basil flavor, or “pizza” flavor, which is okay. The original’s the best, though.

I’m addicted to HC pepperoni pizza. THere must be 10 of 'em in my freezer now. I’m also partial to LC Hunan Beef and HC Roast Turkey Breast with rice.

Try Amy’s Organic entrees and bowls very yummy