As a newly diagnosed diabetic, the past month has been a learning experience for me. While searching for low-carb, high protein alternatives, I stumbled upon a new line of frozen meals in Safeway. Eating Right for High Protein, launched last September, is an extension of their popular Eating Right private label. This one is clearly targeted toward diabetics or those who subscribe to the Atkins Diet, as they contain minimal carbohydrates and sugars, are high in protein and fiber, and very friendly to your waistline. I bought a few varieties, figuring they wouldn’t be any good. Frozen meals, right? They are always nasty.
Turns out I was pleasantly surprised. And wrong.
My first clue that these might be special? The cashier told me they were flying off the shelves…err, out of the frozen food cases. “People love them,” she said.
People don’t know good food, I thought to myself.
But, they do! I am now hooked on these frozen meals. There are currently 14 varieties, each containing at least 20 grams of protein and 15 or fewer carbs. How do they do it? By getting creative. There’s a crustless chicken pot pie, for instance. Several different meat-and-veggies combinations made for do-it-yourself lettuce wraps (lettuce not included). And a meatball marinara that doesn’t include any pasta. I’ve tried half a dozen so far, and every one has not only met my dietary and nutritional needs, but has exceeded expectations in the taste department. My favorite so far? The “shredded pork with vegetables for lettuce wraps.” The pork was surprisingly moist and tender, and had a smoky flavor reminiscent of kalua pork – a definite plus. It is accompanied by a pleasantly citrusy blend of mixed veggies that includes onions, red and green peppers, squash and tomatoes. I spooned a portion onto an oversized leaf of romaine lettuce, rolled it up, took a bite, and actually thought to myself, “this is delicious.” And with 23 grams of protein, only 4 net carbs, and 190 calories, about as healthy a lunch as I could possibly have. Sure, it’s frozen and therefore contains some inevitable artificial ingredients and preservatives, but the quality far exceeds any other frozen entree I’ve ever had. About the only negative thing I have to say is, it was messy to eat.
Other flavors I’ve tried include the crustless chicken pot pie, beef chili, meatballs with marinara, and chicken for lettuce wraps. None of them have disappointed.
Honestly, I’d probably eat these even if I didn’t have special dietary needs. (More on that diagnosis next time).
Easy review here. Can’t give ’em 5 knives because of a few too many artificial ingredients, but still…