What to Eat: These new frozen dinners aren't salt heavy and taste great

“Whole chicken breasts. Whole grains. Whole new reason to open your freezer.”

That’s how Lean Cuisine’s Web site introduces its new Honestly Good frozen meals.

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Each tray—they could be with the regular frozen meals or in the natural-food or health-food case—features a chicken breast, a fish filet, or beef strips over brown rice or whole-grain pasta, paired with vegetables like broccoli, orange or yellow carrots, edamame, green beans, snap peas, or zucchini.

Since the meals are from Lean Cuisine, you know they’re low in saturated fat (about 2 grams) and calories (around 300 to 400). The protein is an impressive 15 to 27 grams, which may help dieters preserve muscle as they lose weight. And the fiber (4 to 7 grams) is the unprocessed kind that comes in whole grains and vegetables, not inulin, maltodextrin, or other poorly absorbed carbohydrates.

What’s more, unlike most prepared foods, Honestly Goods aren’t salt heavy. Lean Cuisine keeps the sodium between 290 and 590 milligrams by relying on ingredients like garlic purée, orange peel, ginger, lemongrass purée, balsamic vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro, and white wine concentrate. Bonus: the sauce comes in a separate pouch, so you can add only as much as you want.

Best of all, the fish tastes fresh, the chicken is moist, and—for a frozen meal—the taste is great.

If you think there’s a frozen foodie hiding in you, give these a try. Honestly.

To find where Lean Cuisine products are sold near you, call them at 800-993-8625.

Other relevant links:

 

NutritionAction.com doesn’t accept any paid advertising or corporate or government funding. Any products recommended by NutritionAction.com have been vetted by our staff of nutritionists and are not advertisements by the manufacturers.

27 Replies to “What to Eat: These new frozen dinners aren't salt heavy and taste great”

  1. I read this in your newsletter and skeptically tried a few of them. They are excellent! The taste is phenomenal considering they’re frozen dinners. The meat and fish portions are just right, but, I wish they’d double the vegetable serving…it’s really not enough.

    1. I have to agree – I was a bit skeptical but I tried the salmon one and loved it. I even loved the sauce and I’m really picky about sauces.

    2. I keep a couple bags of frozen peas or mixed vegetable in the freezer and henever I eat a frozen dinner, I throw in an extra handful of frozen vegetables to get more veggies in the meal.

    1. But we’re a mere 2% of the US population so clearly we don’t count! Not that I would buy this crud anyway. If I want a quick, easy, lean meal, I’ll just pack myself a salad.

  2. Sorry, but I don’t buy Nestle products because of their business practices. When they start using all organic, fair trade ingredients I will reconsider.

    1. Yep, you still get the bad effects from factory farmed chickens (Omega-6’s instead of Omega-3s), any GMOs and pesticide residue in vegetables and grains. Until they have certified organic free-range chickens and are certified non-GMO, I will not invest for myself, but I might recommend to clients with my hesitations. At least it’s a step in the right direction.

  3. I guess I would qualify as a bit of a Lean Cuisine aficionado–I love your products, and think I have tried them all! I am definitely interested (and anxious to try) your new line of offerings ! What are they? And where do I get them

  4. I guess I am a Lean Cuisine aficionado–I love tour products, and have tried them all. I am anxious to try of new offerings! What are they? Where do I get them? My zip code is 94043.

  5. Can’t wait for local Walmart to carry these! I am a partly disabled widow who lives alone and I rely on frozen meals a lot.

  6. I’m not impessed at all. While they may be lower in calories and fat content than some of their other lines, these products are still full of unecessary ingredients derived from GMO grains and soy. In addition none seem to be gluten free. Why do we need wheat flour and/or wheat berries in a salmon or chicken dish that could have just faetured rice and vegetables as an accompaniment?
    And how are genetically engineered food derivatives “All Natural”?

  7. Seriously, Arsenic, GMO chicken feed, Antibiotic cocktail, Salmonella Seasoning, and Arsenic with an dose of salt..
    …All the right ingredients on the roadway to Heart failure or Cancer.. I’ll pass!

    1. Yes, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) — the organization behind Nutrition Action — is nonprofit. We review foods, good and bad, and we name names. Because we don’t take advertising, we are free to be honest and direct about brand-name food products.

  8. I’ve subscribed to Nutrition Action since the early 80’s. my how you have changed. I used to rely on you for sound nutritional advice. Now I think you need some advice. You don’t seem to be interested in health any longer. What’s up??

  9. I agree with Gary Brown and many others here. How can this be good? GMO, antibiotic meat, non organic veggies, you name it. No, this is not for me.

  10. I totally agree with all those who are shouting bad GMO, antibiotic meat, non organic veggies,arsenic.
    Come on Nutrition Action are you trying to tell us it is nutritious to eat poison/chemicals

  11. Wow, product placement in NutritionAction?
    This is a total copy/paste of the Lean Cuisine PR materials.
    An independent reviewer would have compared the meals to other frozen lean meals, highlighted the good as well as the issues (there’s always some), and maybe eventually concluded these meals were good choices.
    Would anybody other than Lean Cuisine PR folks say that “the fish is fresh”.
    How can the fish be fresh? It’s frozen! Freshly frozen maybe?

    1. Thank you for your direct feedback!

      Yes, we goofed. The fish may taste fresh, but it is certainly frozen — and we’ve corrected this post to reflect that.

      Nutrition Action regularly comments about products, good and bad. Those are independent judgments. CSPI, the nonprofit organization behind Nutrition Action, is funded by subscribers, donors, and philanthropic foundations and does not accept funding from companies or government.

  12. Aren’t we trying to stay away from processed foods? I remember getting the hard copy of Nutrition Action when it did not accept advertising. Remember how used to have “Food Porn” in every issue where you’d call out the nutritional claims of packaged food? Are you going to go by way of Prevention and have every issue cover about weigh control and filled with pharmaceutical advertising on every other page? Every time I see an issue I think Mr. Rodale is rolling over in his grave.

    1. Nutrition Action regularly comments about products, good and bad. Those are independent judgments. CSPI, the nonprofit organization behind Nutrition Action, is funded by subscribers, donors, and philanthropic foundations and does not accept funding from companies or government.

  13. I have to say that I never thought I would see the day when one of these type of products was endorsed. Big food – period.

  14. These frozen dinners aren’t what I’d call “healthy,” but I’ve seen a lot worse.

    But for Pete’s sake, why do they put 9 grams of sugar (about 2 tsp) in in their Honestly Good Honey Citrus Chicken? Do any of us add use much sugar when we cook a savory main dish?

    The American Heart Association says we should only add this much sugar to our food each day: 5 teaspoons for women, 9 teaspoons for men.

  15. I’ve read a lot of criticism in this thread about these new meals. Everything from angry vegans to complaints about soy, GMO and other additives. I keep a few frozen meals on hand for those times when I’m just too tired or uninspired to fix a meal from scratch. I always read the nutritional labels and often reject some that I know I would like because of what I don’t like on the nutritional label.

    We need to be realistic about how the commercial world works. The food producers are a business and will first look out for profits. The food they offer us for purchase will reflect what the producers believe the public will buy . I, for one, am pleased to see this ongoing evolution from the horrid frozen dinners of just a decade ago (some barely resembling or tasting like food), to these new offerings that include whole grains, leaner protein, reduced sodium/fats/sugars. I continually see healthier options everywhere, even Costco has begun a major push into the organic industry. Business do this because we, the public, want it and are willing to pay for it. And yes, it is an evolution. Nothing happens immediately. Let’s celebrate the baby steps as we continue to work for even better nutritional options. Thank you, Nutrition Action and CSPI, for being such a formidable advocate for healthy eating!

  16. I tried one of these dinners when they first arrived at my grocery store. I can’t say that I thought it was particularly tasty. In fact I would never buy it again nor any of the others in this line. In addition, while I don’t eat big meals, the portions were way too small as I was hungry afterwards.

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