Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The ($1.99) Single Dinner Taste Test

I am a firm believer in making things easier on ourselves. During my recent weight loss journey I knew the best way to succeed was to stop overeating and make meals easy. I decided to add a pre-made microwavable dish to my daily lunch plan. For almost a year I was in the business of making lunch my single "dinner" meal of the day. 

During this time frame I also wanted to keep matters affordable so I usually went with a single dinner average cost of $1.99 per meal. Also, the average caloric content per package was usually between 280-400 calories. Keep in mind, I was eating plenty during breakfast and dinner, plus snacking so 280-400 worked for one of my daily meals. This is different for everyone, so remember to never take personal dietary advice from our blog.

Anyway, there I was stocking up on different brands available in this price range and I must say overall I was compromising flavor for cost. Typically if you're paying around $2 bucks for a meal then you can expect most meals to be bland with a capitol B. There's also issues with how salty some of these meals are (so read the labels). Finally, if you are eating single dinners consider adding fresh side dishes to make your meal yummier (i.e. small green salad, bowl of fruit, etc.). 

I tried many different brands and usually went with the "on sale" choice to nab meals at around $1.99:

Lean Cuisine, Banquet, Healthy Choice, Smart Ones,  Marie Calendars (hard to find at $1.99), Eating Right (by Safeway),  Fresh & Easy Single Dinners, etc. etc.


For the most part, many of the above brands were pretty good, but I'd say skip the following less flavorful brands: Smart Ones and Banquet. They're typically the cheapest in the frozen food aisle and that's for a reason. Sadly, cost usually means compromising on flavor.


Some of my absolute favorite meals have been the following:


Healthy Choice: Golden Roasted Turkey Breast
I'm usually pretty much a lover of all things smothered in gravy. I like how this dinner felt complete with the right mix of sweet and savory. I also liked the side of veggies it included.

Lean Cuisine: Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo 
Yum, this is actually a pretty good version of such a popular italian meal. I like to add pepper flakes or a dash of black pepper for an added zing. This dish satisfies a quick pasta craving every time. 

Fresh and Easy : Chicken Tikka Masala
Now, this is my absolute favorite. It smells delicious right out of the microwave. It's a tad bit spicy, but extremely delicious. I could really warm up about three in one sitting (I don't, but I could, it's that good). The rice is fluffy and delicious with spinach mixed right in. The sauce is also so good. This is a MUST TRY! In fact, Fresh and Easy single dinners are my favorite overall. They definitely have great flavorful choices including Turkey with Cranberry Stuffing, Chile Ancho Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken and more.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment aka Props!