First and foremost, you should know that this post is NOT in any way, shape or form sponsored by Lean Cuisine. All opinions are my own and the coupons for the giveaway I obtained by attending the event.
This past July when I was in Chicago I had the opportunity to taste the new Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals, hear and meet the chefs who developed the recipes and even talk to the food scientist.
When I was first invited to this event, I immediately had a chip on my shoulder. It seemed like a gimmick to convince people their meals were actually healthy. I thought I knew better, but I went to the website and realized this might not be so bad after all… and RSVP’d. Then I started to get excited. You know I love me an easy and wholesome lunch. I would lovvvve to have an easy frozen meal that wasn’t full of chemicals and ready in minutes without preparation.
I’m not just saying this because I personally know the chefs. By personally, I mean they allowed me to take a picture with them. The chefs themselves believe in whole, clean and flavorful ingredients. These chefs don’t work for Lean Cuisine full time. They have their own restaurants where they create dishes with whole, clean and flavorful ingredients each and every day. I had the privilege of hearing all their stories about growing up and what inspired them to become a chef.
They all worked on developing recipes for Lean Cuisine and once the recipes were perfected, Lean Cuisine’s food scientist, Lynn (lovvvved Lynn), then works with her team and the recipes to figure out how to make them for the masses. Proportions might need to be changed, ingredients might need to be swapped with something that freezes better, etc. However, Lynn and her team had do so without adding in chemicals, you know, to keep it all “honestly good” and everything.
Meeting the team that worked on this line made it human. They were not just out to make a buck, but they seem to really want to change the way frozen food is made and how it tastes.
I had the opportunity to taste the sauces and grains in the dishes individually.
My favorite sauce was a creamy carrot puree. It tasted like it had cream added to it, but the creaminess was only obtained by the carrots! I lovvvvved all the grains. They were earthy and hearty. I would have loved to have eaten large bowls of all of them. Then finally, I got to taste two of the actual meals; Pomegranate Chicken and Lemongrass Salmon. I enjoyed both dishes, if I had to pick my favorite it would be the salmon. Did they taste better than a home cooked meal? No, of course not. Did they taste better than your typical frozen meal or a quickly bought lunch? Uh, waaaay better. On my list to try is the Pineapple Black Pepper Beef and the Plum Ginger Grain Crusted Fish. Please note that these meals are not in the usual frozen meal section. You can find them in the frozen section of your grocery store’s organic aisle.
Now for the facts. No, not all of the ingredients used are organic. Lean Cuisine is a large company, so large that there aren’t enough organic farms to produce the quantity that they need. And no, they are not completely free of GMO’s BUT there are less than 3% found in each meal. However, you won’t find gross chemicals that you can’t pronounce.
I know Lean Cuisine is currently dealing with a lot of controversy with this new product line. In fact, during the tasting, some of the tasters got a little wound up. Quite frankly, I’m delighted that Lean Cuisine is making strides towards minimally processed food and this is a huge first step for the frozen food industry. Hopefully, they will set the standard with their competitors.
It’s not perfect, but hello, neither am I. I try really hard to eat mostly organic foods and limit GMO’s, but in today’s world it’s difficult. Right now, I’m on vacation and the day after I arrive home, I need to go back to work the next day. The last thing I want to do is food prep for two days. You better bet that I will having these meals for lunch until I get around to prepping food. This is waaaay better than grabbing something unhealthy at a restaurant and it’s portioned perfectly.
Next week, one winner will be chosen to receive FIVE coupons for 5 free meals. To enter, you just need to be subscribed to my newsletter, so subscribe now. If you’re already subscribed, just sit back, relax and keep waiting for your exclusive not-posted-on-the-blog recipes. The giveaway closes on September 28th at 12 am. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.