“ Type: Ready Meals „
In all honesty I am not a huge fan of ready meal type foods, and don't buy them very often. As I work shifts I do occasionally buy one to bring into work with me when I'm doing shifts. Last year I joined up to Weight Watchers and bought a few of their frozen ready meals to try. My favourite of them is the Creamy Chicken variety. The meal comes in a purple cardboard box which is recognisable as being from the frozen Weight Watchers from Heinz range. On the top of the box is a photograph of the dish and how it should look once cooked, of course clever photography makes it look very yummy and appetising. It also says that the meal has a value of 9 Weight Watchers Pro Points, contains 334 calories and 1.7% fat. One of the sides of the box also has cooking instructions for conventional and microwave ovens. The meal is contained inside a black plastic dish with a cellophane lid. When at home I prefer to cook this in the oven which takes around forty minutes at 200 / gas mark 6. But alas at work we only have the use of a (very slow) microwave. To cook in the microwave I am instructed to pierce the film lid - depending on who I have last spoken to on the phone this could mean stab repetitively with a fork. I then have to put it in the microwave for about 3 and a half minutes, then peel back the lid and stir the contents and microwave for a further 3 and a half minutes. Once it has finished cooking and it is piping hot, leave it to stand for one minute before serving. After it has cooked for the required amount of time, and I have plated it up it doesn't look too bad. You can see two chunky pieces of chicken, plenty of sliced mushrooms and some red and green peppers. There is plenty of the creamy sauce covering the penne pasta too. The chicken has a chargrilled effect on it which makes it stand out against the cream colour of the sauce and the pasta. As I mentioned earlier this is one of my preferred ready meals and I think that is because in my opinion it doesn't actually taste too bad. The chicken is quite succulent and not rubbery which I have found on other ready meals. There is plenty of pasta in the dish as well, and more than enough mushrooms for me. I'm not overly keen on peppers and do find that while I eat some I tend to leave a few on the plate. The sauce is lovely and creamy and there is an adequate amount of it so that you can scoop some up with the chicken and pasta. For me the meal is just enough to fill me up, if I was eating this at home I would probably cook some fresh vegetables such as broccoli and green beans to with it but as something to quickly prepare when I'm at work it's fine. I have cooked this in the oven before and think that it does taste nicer when cooked like this instead of in the microwave but it isn't terrible when microwaved. I think as a "diet" food it is quite nice as well, because you would normally be avoiding creamy sauces so you don't really feel like you're eating diet food when you have it. I'm not actually dieting at the moment (although I probably should be) and I still choose to eat this. This usually retails for around £2.29 for a 330g serving which I feel is a little too much, however Tesco, Morrison and Asda are all selling it for £1.50 currently which I think is a reasonable amount to pay for it.
Weight Watchers Creamy Chicken & Mushroom After joining Weight Watchers online a couple of weeks ago I made a trip to Iceland and stocked up on lots of the Weight Watchers ready meals and desserts so that I would have no excuse for eating more points than I should do for the first few weeks of the diet... then I will actually attempt a bit of cooking from fresh! I purchased all the frozen meals and desserts for £1 each and am now working my way through reviewing each one as I try them. Packaging & Instructions: The creamy chicken & mushroom is a frozen meal & comes in the usual purple coloured Weight Watchers packaging. The meal is in a plastic heat proof tray and covered with clear film. I always microwave meals like this as I find they go a bit crispy in the oven but you can either oven cook for 40 mins or microwave for around 7 mins. My Opinion: Described on the box by Weight Watchers as 'Marinated chicken mini fillets smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce with red and green peppers, served with penne pasta'. I was a little bit disappointed to see the meal only contained 2 small strips of chicken. However, the chicken was very nice and tender just a shame there wasn't a other strip. There were lots of mushrooms in the sauce but I didnt see any green peppers and if I hadn't read the box description I would have assumed the red pepper was bits of tomato as it was cut up so small and was pretty overwhelmed by the sauce's flavour. I didn't really mind as im not the biggest pepper fan anyway! The sauce had a very nice taste to it and was creamy & smooth with no lumpy bits... plus it smells really nice! Weight Watchers haven't been stingy the pasta in this meal, there was just enough for me and it was nice and soft, not chewy like microwave meal pasta sometimes is. I ate this meal with some vegetables as my main dinner and would definatley try it again but I wouldn't say it is the best Weight Watchers meal I have tried... certainly not the worst by any means. Boring Bits: The Weight Watchers Creamy Chicken & Mushroom is 2.9% fat and 345 calories per 330g serving. The meal is 6 points if you are following the Weight Watchers diet. Nutritional Information (per meal): Energy kJ: 1456kJ kcal: 345kcal Protein: 23.1g Carbohydrate: 41.6g of which sugars: 8.5g Fat: 9.6g (of which saturates): 4.2g Fibre: 2.0g Sodium: 0.5g Salt equivalent: 1.3g