You might think that since I write about food, I always make fresh food for every single meal. I wish that were the case. But the truth is that as a busy freelance writer and editor sometimes I just don’t have time to whip something up. I’m sure you know how it is — you have deadlines to meet (even if you are in a different industry) and food simply becomes priority Z. That’s when it’s handy to have quick and easy ready-to-cook meals on hand. Seriously, without them there are days when I wouldn’t be able to eat at all.
Meanwhile, I am also working on shedding stubborn weight that I don’t want or need. It’s been a long-coming effort that I just can’t afford to derail with poor eating choices. So the days of those cheapie frozen burritos and twice baked potatoes being my instant lunch of choice are gone. I need food that comes in appropriate portion sizes and fits into my healthier eating aspirations.
So when Pollinate asked if I would try out Lean Cuisine’s Honestly Good meals, it seemed like a good fit for me. I’ve long been a Lean Cuisine fan since the meals always have a certain freshness that seems so much closer to homemade. What especially excites me about the new Honestly Good series is that they aren’t a one-size-fits-all approach to meals. The sauce comes separate from the meal, which means that the food cooks, then you add the sauce and then you finish cooking. This ensures that each component cooks for the time it needs without overcooking anything.
Confession: even when I am eating a frozen meal, I like to eat it off a real plate. It adds to the experience, making it feel more proper and right. Or something like that. So whenever I make a meal like this, I carefully scoop it onto a plate before digging in … that’s not weird, right?
The Lean Cuisine Honestly Good line includes six varieties — Honey Citrus Chicken, Lemongrass Salmon, Pineapple Black Pepper Beef, Plum Ginger Grain-Crusted Fish, Pomegranate Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Chicken. With short ingredients lists and wholesome ingredients, I am really liking these. And I also like that Lean Cuisine is working with the farmers that grow veggies for these meals to donate a portion of them to local communities.
Do you ever have frozen meals when you are pressed for time? Have you had these meals? What did you think?
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.