28 January, 2010

Steamers Chicken Fresca

Bear with me here a bit.

I'm a big gal - oh, just admit it Tam, you're fat - and I'm trying to get my rear in gear and lose some of this excess. It's a multi-pronged attack, and part of that is - gasp! - diet! Which sounds really simple, calories in, calories out, watch the fat and bad carbs, plenty of fiber, eat fresh fruits and veggies yadda yadda yadda. We all know the drill. Doesn't make it easy, though, when there are super yummy 'bad' things like deep dish pizza and home made mac and cheese and big juicy hamburgers and all. Yum! And then there's the cost factor. Let's face it, fresh things are a bit more expensive to buy, take up a great deal of space, have limited shelf life, and don't always lend themselves to quick and simple meals. Plus I pretty much hate fruit, other than bananas and blueberries. lol

But I TRY to be good. I do. I could just about be a vegetarian if it wasn't for my occasional need to gnaw on a piece of beef. I LOVE broccoli and cauliflower and all those cute swanky lettuces. So I try to load up on veggies, a little meat, a little carb. It's just not always practical. I live literally in the middle of a cornfield, it's a good jaunt to any place with a cash register, so I buy groceries weekly, sometimes bi-weekly (especially this winter) and, dammit, if I don't get that spinach handled right away, it'll be slimy. Multiply that 'hurry up and cook this!' across several types of veggies, and it just seems like if I buy a lot of produce I end up tossing half or a third of it, which as Alton Brown says, is not good eats. Plus I can make a teeny little bit of meat - say one chicken breast - cheaply feed all three of us, plus leftovers, if I make something pasta-or-rice based.

Volume control is another issue. Serving sizes and all that good stuff. Plus sometimes I'm cooking for two, sometimes for three, sometimes I need leftovers for Bill to take to work... and sometimes - well, at least once a day - I eat alone. It's the eating alone part that's really tough. It's much, much easier to toss in one of Laura's frozen pizzas and scarf the whole thing than to chop, slice, and dice a pile of veggies for a quick stir fry or whatever and i am, if nothing else, lazy. ;)

So I've started buying diet dinners. Some are good, some are pretty much crap, and I thought I'd pass on my opinions of them, mostly because I need something to blog about.

So. Anyway. Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers Roasted Chicken Fresca. It's what I had for lunch today. I'd bought a Cafe Steamers chinese food thing once before and wasn't impressed, but they were on sale last week, I had a handful of coupons, and I need to have something around here I can make for myself. Semi-craptastic or not. Just silence the tummy.

I have to say that with a little salt and pepper, it really wasn't that bad. Could have done without the green beans. There's just something off-putting to me about the taste and texture of frozen green beans. So I think they should have used broccoli (my FAVE!!) or asparagus or something decent instead of crappy frozen green beans. The potatoes were the best part, flavor and texture wise. The chicken was all right, but despite being pretty sizeable hunks of chicken, it didn't read as chicken to my mouth. Was it over steamed, maybe? Was just kinda soft and not really there, ya know? Sorta like the texture of tofu, not much chewing necessary. It was definitely a meat product, but not 'chicken' - I know that probably doesn't make much sense. The bits and pieces of everything were a really nice forkable size, and the gravy - er, chardonnay wine sauce - was rather one note and bland, hence the salt and pepper. Was this diet dinner awful? No. But it wasn't something I'd ever order in a restaurant or make for myself from scratch either. That's kind of a litmus for me. Would I try to cook this for my family?

I give it a 5 out of ten forks. Rather average. Edible but not finger licking good.

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