It's hard to find decent nutrition in the frozen food section of the grocery store. But, shopping in the local health food stores can be so expensive, I end up with half the quantity of food for the same money.
Last time I went to the Big Grocery Store - I went down the frozen food aisle for the sole purpose of finding a particular brand of frozen pizza, nothing else, but - I saw frozen entrees/meals, from Kashi!
I am a geek, and I was super-excited to see them. The store was apparently sold out of each variety OR was no longer carrying them - except for the Lemongrass Coconut Chicken variety.
Kids, hush, it's not grass. It's:
Chicken with broccoli florets, carrots, and sugar snap peas are all served over our Kashi Seven Whole Grains and Sesame® with red quinoa pilaf. It’s then topped with a lemongrass coconut sauce and coconut flakes.
That sounds so healthy AND fancy! I must try it! Now, the words coconut + sauce scared me, so I had to read the ingredient list, just to be sure it didn't have a bag of sugar involved or something. So, what's in the Kashi Lemongrass Coconut Chicken meal?
Ingredients: Cooked Kashi™ Pilaf (water, whole: oats, long grain brown rice, rye, hard red winter wheat, triticale, buckwheat, de hulled barley, sesame seeds), cooked chicken (chicken breast, water, chicken flavor [dehydrated chicken broth, chicken powder, natural flavor], rice starch, carrageenan, salt), water, broccoli, lemon grass puree (lemon grass, water), carrots, cooked quinoa (water, quinoa), sugar snap peas, coconut cream (coconut cream, xanathan gum, carrageenan, guar gum), coconut, evaporated cane juice, rice starch, canola oil, garlic (garlic, water), evaporated salt, ginger puree (ginger, water), jalapeno pepper, lime juice concentrate, soy flour, whole milk powder.
All natural ingredients, NO junk whatsoever. I was very impressed. Yes, there is sugar, in the forms of the cane juice, but for six grams of sugar for the entire dish, it's not a big deal. Now, this is a 283 gram serving - I Could Not Finish It. I am overfull, after eating about 3/4's of it. I will, in fact, finish the last few bites in a few moments if I can. Yes, I have a very small stomach - before weight loss surgery, this meal would have looked puny to me - today it looks like - dinner!
So, how's it taste? Well, first off, you must know - it smelled luscious while cooking in the microwave. I'm such a smell freak - I sniff everything prior to tasting it.
After opening and stirring, I noted that the veggies looked of a much better quality than I'm used to seeing in a frozen dinner. The chicken, typical, small bits of breast.
The quinoa grains - the first time I've seen quinoa in a frozen meal. Have you seen it in any other meals, in mainstream grocery stores? Quinoa is a super healthy grain. In fact, check this out: From Wikipedia:
" In contemporary times this crop has come to be highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content (12%–18%) is very high. Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete foodstuff. This means that unlike wheat protein, one does not need to supplement it with complementary foods such as legumes containing the other essential amino acids. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered as a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights."
The nutrition info:
Calories 300 Calories from Fat 70
Total Fat 8g 12% Saturated Fat 4g 20% Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 680mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 13%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Protein 18g 36%
Vitamin A 40%
Vitamin C 20%
Okay, with all this positive stuff, it has to taste awful, right?
NO. I like it. MM likes it. Really.
I'm full - I'm satisfied - and I had a totally healthy meal. It's a huge sensory experience, this Lemongrass Coconut Chicken - lots of flavors, it's citrus-y, slightly spicy thanks to a jalapeno kick - and great texture from the fresh frozen veggies and chewy quinoa pilaf. This is totally pouch-worthy, thumbs up. Try it.
This ain't your $1.00 Banquet Frozen Chicken Meal, this'll cost you about $3.50 more or less. I can't find prices online, but I found it at the Super HellMart for about $3.00 each. I bought three of this variety, and would have tried all choices if they were available, but Wal*Mart likes to stock more shelves with Banquet Chicken Pies and Blue Bunny Ice Cream instead.