Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A fruit meal that doesn't measure up

Those who have become faithful readers of this blog will be able to immediately guess why the Smart Ones Fruit Inspirations’ Orange Sesame Chicken might get high marks from me.  I’ll give you a few seconds to think about it…Can you guess?...If you answered “because there’s fruit in it,” you are correct!  I’m a big fan of fruit in my frozen meals.  Fruit seems to raise the nutritional value and usually help counteract the saltiness of the meal.

However, the fruit in this meal is not a dominant enough flavor.  Though mandarin oranges are listed as the third ingredient (after rice and chicken), their flavor doesn’t seem to press through strongly enough.  Also, this meal includes one of my *least favorite* frozen meal elements: breaded chicken.  For the most part, breaded chicken just never seems to withstand microwaving and remain respectable, and the chicken in this meal proved to be no exception. 

This meal was so salty that I HAD to take a bite of chocolate immediately afterwards.  It won’t be on my “buy again” list anytime soon.    

This being the first Smart Ones meal that I have reviewed, I was surprised to find the packaging woefully lacking information.  Sure, the required nutrition facts were present, and a text box about Weight Watchers offered some details on the program’s point system, but compared to the helpful http://mypyramid.gov information generally contained on a Healthy Choice package, this Smart Ones packaging was disappointing. 

Calories:  320
Fat:  8 g
Sodium:  680 mg
Notable good nutritional content:  45% Vitamin C
Notes on cooking:  3 minutes, stir, 1 additional minute
Notes on packaging:  black tray, recyclable

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