I am constantly struggling with time. Time to get my work done. Time to spend with Bean. Time to do things that I like to do. Heck, some weeks, I struggle to find time to take a shower! Because of that, and a little bit of being intimidated by cooking, I am a huge fan of convenience foods. I often teach classes in the evening or even late into the night and having something quick to fix when I get home is a great benefit. So, I was excited when I was asked by SocialMoms to test out a new Smart Ones product from Weight Watchers and blog a review!
I've eaten Smart Ones boxed meals off and on for a while, so I was surprised when I saw the packaging. The new Smart Ones Satisfying Selections come in a steam-in bag. Its a pretty large size (see the 30% larger serving note on the packaging) and although the varieties are currently a little limited (there are five varieties available), all of them sounded delicious to me. I received coupons for two free bags and I chose the Ziti with Meatballs & Cheese and the Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry. I was excited to try the Ziti as the picture looked cheesy and had numerous meatballs. The ease with which I was able to heat it up in the microwave was GREAT! There was no stopping in the middle, lifting the plastic cover, stirring the product and placing it back in the microwave, only to find that I didn't stir enough so the middle was cold and the outsides were burnt on to the edges. Instead, you just place the bag in the microwave with the steam side up and start it, not having to stop until its finished. No stirring. No dealing with unevenly cooked food. Just place the bag in the oven and let it steam! It was, by far, the easiest cooking of a frozen meal I've done. And I've cooked my share of frozen meals!
Now, I don't know about you, but often the pictures on the packaging for frozen foods are about as close to reality as the shows I watch with Bean on the Sprout network! They look so appealing when you pull it out of the freezer, but once the box is removed, all appeal is lost. That was not the case with the Smart Ones Satisfying Selections. The ziti came out looking like fresh pasta, there were tons of meatballs and the cheese was plentiful as well! And the taste was very good as well. I have to admit that I was starving when I made it, which I suppose could influence my opinion of the meal. But, the meatballs were tastily seasoned, the noodles were soft and fresh and the cheese was plentiful. It wasn't the best ziti I've ever had, but it is definitely the best tasting frozen food pasta entree I've had. And again, I've had my share of frozen meals!
I had the Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry the next day for lunch. It was also tasty, although not quite as good as the ziti. The flavor was not quite as good, but the chicken was plentiful (increased protein portion is one of the perks of these selections), the noodles seemed fresh and evenly cooked and there were quite a few veggies in the mix. I just found the sauce to be a little lacking in taste.
I have lost about 14 pounds since the beginning of Summer (thanks Hungry Girl) and I was also excited to have new options in the frozen dinner area. It seems lately that the boxed varieties have shrinking entrees and just are often not that satisfying. But, these meals are definitely larger (30% larger) and more filling than the boxed varieties I've had lately. I had a slice of bread with the ziti for a late dinner and it was enough for me to not feel hungry. The teriyaki at lunch was a pretty perfect lunch portion as well. For those of you on Weight Watchers, the teriyaki chicken is a 9 point meal and the ziti is a 10 point meal. Not bad for pasta dishes! Especially the ziti, which I thought was quite cheesy.
I would definitely suggest that anyone looking for a good frozen meal that won't kill you in calories to check out the Smart Ones Satisfying Selections!
This post is part of a SocialMoms product evaluation, for which I’ve been
selected. I’ve been compensated for my time with 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards
Points. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and don’t necessarily reflect the
opinions of SocialMoms or Heinz.