Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lean Cuisine Chef's Pick a more delicious and nutritious frozen meal

As a foodie and a chef, it is rare when a new food item hits that market that really makes me sit up and take notice. So many items at the grocery are the same old, same old or a slightly different twist on the same old, same old. When I first heard about Lean Cuisine's new Chef's Pick line of frozen meals, I was intrigued. With offerings such as Garden Vegetable Dip with Pita Bread, Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli, Steak Tips Portobello and Spinach Artichoke Ravioli I knew these weren't going to be ordinary frozen dinners. When I was presented with the opportunity to review them for Daily Buzz Food, I pounced! This was an offer too good to pass up.

For this review program, Lean Cuisine and Daily Buzz Food provided me with coupons that allowed me to sample any of the Chef's Pick on their tab. For that, I am grateful. I am a single mother of four who runs a pretty tight budget. A budget so tight, in fact, that spending money to try new things is truly a luxury. While out running errands one day, I stopped at my local Wal Mart to seek out these products and decide which I would be sampling. I truly wanted to try the Asparagaus Ravioli and the Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce, but my store did not carry either of those options, so I chose Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli and Steak Tips Portobello.

The first dinner I tried was the Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli. I was in the middle of making a quadruple batch of chocolate mousse for a customer and I wanted something quick to eat that wouldn't slow me down as I worked. I chose well-after two shorts trips through the microwave, my ravioli was ready to enjoy. And enjoy I did! This chef inspired recipe features a blend of Romano and ricotta cheese, portobello and button mushrooms, red peppers, spinach and a creamy Marsala sauce. If it sounds divine, let me assure you it tastes so much better than it sounds! This dish offers an amazing blend of flavors-from the rich, smokey cheeses to the earthy mushrooms, this is a frozen meal that makes you forget you are eating a frozen meal. Normally I rush through dinner when I am working on orders, but I actually sat down and took the time to savor this ravioli. The pasta was nice and firm, instead of mushy like many frozen pastas are. The addition of red pepper and spinach gave this dish a brilliant splash of color and flavor. I enjoy pasta of all shapes and flavors, but I honestly say this has become my new favorite pasta dish.

The Steak Tips Portobello was purchased with the intent to enjoy it on another day, but things changed when a day filled with mousse and cupcakes left me wore out and famished at 12:30 a.m. As I was cleaning up my kitchen for the night, I realized just how hungry I was. I decided to treat myself to a little steak and mushrooms before going to bed and I popped my second Chef's Pick entree of the day into my microwave. In a few short minutes I was enjoying the most tender beef I have ever eaten from a frozen meal. A lot of microwaved meat comes out chewy or hard, but this was fork tender and packed full of flavor. Another plus is that there was little fat contained in the meat. I usually avoid frozen beef products because of the over abundance of fatty tissue, but this meat was really, really good! The sauce is smooth and rich, not greasy and bland. My only complaint about this entree is the lack of mushrooms. My serving only had two pieces of portobello. One was a nice sized piece, but the other was on the smallish side. One of the reasons I chose this entree was for the mushrooms. I can't seem to get enough of them. The steak tips in this meal are paired with a serving of broccoli. Broccoli is a tricky product to freeze and reheat well, but somehow Lean Cuisine did it. It is tender, not mushy, and tastes great.

Both of the products I tried for this review were much better than I was anticipating and I can't wait to try more of the Chef's Pick line from Lean Cuisine. Some of today's hottest chefs, including Michelle Bernstein, Brad Farmerie, Paul Kahan, Anito Lo, Lior Lev Sercraz and Lucien Vendome had come together in Lean Cuisine's kitchens to create these meals and they do not disappoint. While the Lean Cuisine line is looked upon many as a "healthy eaters" line of products, anyone who appreciates delicious, fresh tasting foods can appreciate these meals. For more information, please visit Lean Cuisine on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

I have partnered with Lean Cuisine through DailyBuzz Food to help promote their new line of Chef's Pick products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to work with this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you Lean Cuisine!

No comments: