Right Stuff vs. Food Porn
HONEST TO GOODNESS
"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.
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 broc-coli, 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 vege- tables, 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 is 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.
Lean Cuisine (800) 993-8625
IT TAKES THE CAKE
If you've never heard of a Tennessee Whiskey Cake, maybe you've never been to T.G.I. Friday's. The "warm toffee cake topped with glazed pecans and vanilla ice cream" is "served with butterscotch Jack Daniel's Whiskey sauce."
What a perfect ending to a dinner from Friday's Jack Daniel's Grill menu. After you've polished off your Jack Daniel's Chicken, Jack Daniel's Ribs, Jack Daniel's Black Angus Sirloin & Half-Rack of Ribs, or one of the other eight Jack Daniel's items, nothing sounds more appealing than a Jack Daniel's dessert.
After all, the Tennessee Whiskey Cake has a mere 1,270 calories (two-thirds of a day's worth for most people), 28 grams of saturated fat (a 1½-day supply), and 820 milligrams of sodium (half a day's quota; no easy feat for a dessert). No dessert at Friday's has more calories—not the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, not the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, not the Brownie Obsession. It's like finishing your meal with four McDonald's Hot Fudge Sundaes.
Even if you split your Whiskey Cake with a dining companion, you're still looking at over 600 calories and 14 grams of sat fat. That's on top of, say, your Jack Daniel's Ribs and Shrimp (1,730 calories without sides), your New York Cheddar & Bacon Burger (1,410 calories), your Jack Daniel's Chicken Sandwich (1,140 calories without sides), or your Cajun Shrimp & Chicken Pasta (1,110 calories).
"In here, it's always Friday," says the chain. It's also always Fattening.
T.G.I. Friday's: (800) 374-3297
Dish of the Month
Super Green Three-Bean Salad
Steam ½ lb. of trimmed snow peas, ½ lb. of trimmed snap peas, and 2 cups of shelled frozen edamame for 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water until cool. Toss with 1 Tbs. of toasted sesame oil and 1 Tbs. of reduced-sodium soy sauce. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. of sesame seeds.