Have you been looking for delicious
low point frozen meals perfect for lunch?
I often talk about my personal journey on the Weight Watchers’ Beyond the Scale plan. You’ve also heard me blog about my crazy busy life which means I often need a few shortcuts. Low point frozen meals give me my shortcuts meaning I don’t have to leave my desk in search of food. They can be quite a saving grace during my busy work week. I’ve been eating them for a while and I’ve been looking for delicious low point frozen meals for a while.
Nevertheless, finding them can be a maddening process! Weight Watchers changed their plan a while ago. After the change, I think something went wrong with their frozen food line. It’s like two of their departments didn’t communicate because SmartOnes frozen meals values are way too high for the new plan.
You see, I get 30 [smart points] each day. Those points must be budgeted to stay on plan. That’s why I try to keep my lunches around 6 or 7 points so I’ll have plenty more for the day. The only exception is if I’m going to a restaurant or treating myself to Popcorn Heaven. Otherwise, I reserve my points for dinner or my late night munchies.
Scanning for Points
The Weight Watchers app is so helpful! I scan products and check point values before I buy. The frozen food aisle gives the scanner a real workout. You can usually find me there scanning one frozen meal after the next searching for one with the lowest point value.
I finally made some headway!
Well, the other day, in the midst of my scanning ritual, I decided to scan brands (other than SmartOnes). First, I tried Stouffers, but it was way out of my point “league”. Afterward, I reached for Lean Cuisine. This brand fared a bit better, but still too many points! I was starting to feel like Goldilocks trying to find a chair that was “just right”.
About that time, I noticed a brand called “SmartMade” by SmartOnes. The simple packaging grabbed me (not literally). I liked that the cover art featured real food. The very first meal I grabbed was White Wine Chicken and Couscous. It was worth only 5 POINTS!!!! YES!
I was sold! In my exuberance, I began throwing several of them in my cart. I wanted to break out in Irene Cara’s “What a feeling” song right there in my Lee’s Summit, Missouri Hy-Vee grocery store! But, I didn’t.
I couldn’t wait to try this stuff! So, the minute I arrived home, I popped one into the microwave.
Random and irrelevant fact: When I eat frozen meals, I have a weird ritual. Don’t worry, It’s nothing as peculiar as holding the frozen meal box to the moon like Kunte Kinte did in Roots (where the heck did that come from inside my brain)? Anyhoo, my ritual is much simpler and considerably less significant. Here it is: whenever I eat a frozen meal, I must remove low point frozen meals from that tacky plastic container and put it into a pretty bowl. Call me “bougie” if you want, but food tastes better in a real bowl or on a real plate. Don’t you agree?
Beep Beep Beep.
The microwave was finished. I allowed the meal to sit the recommended 1 minute. Then, I excitedly poured it into my ceramic bowl.
My first thought was this stuff had no aroma. But, that’s ok, lots of meals don’t. Not a deal breaker. Gotta keep expectations reasonable.
The earth didn’t move with my first bite of SmartMade’s White Wine Chicken and Couscous. In fact, it was just sort of mediocre. I couldn’t taste the white wine or any other significant flavor profiles. However, after adding a little salt and freshly ground pepper it tasted considerably better.
My favorite part was the couscous. The plastic container steamed it perfectly. Each bite rendered the proper burst (couscous lovers know what I mean). I also liked the gigantic chucks of chicken breast. Sorry for the blurry picture, but by this time I was really enjoying it and could muster only one shot. It was a “one and done” type of moment.
All in all, the meal wasn’t bad.
Just when I thought the best part was the low-point value, I peeped the ingredient list. Guess what was listed. FOOD! REAL FOOD and no unpronounceable chemicals. See below:
VEGETABLE BLEND (FIRE ROASTED TOMATOES, FIRE ROASTED ZUCCHINI, FIRE ROASTED RED ONIONS, ROASTED EGGPLANT), CHARGRILLED CHICKEN BREAST FILLET STRIPS WITH RIB MEAT (CHICKEN BREAST FILLET STRIPS WITH RIB MEAT, WATER, SEASONING [SEA SALT, NATIVE FOOD STARCH, SPICES, CHICKEN STOCK, TORULA YEAST, EVAPORATED CANE SYRUP, DRIED GARLIC AND ONION]), COOKED COUSCOUS (WATER, COUSCOUS [WHEAT FLOUR]), SAUCE (WATER, CHABLIS WINE, PARSLEY, CORNSTARCH, MILK, GARLIC, SPICES, CHICKEN BROTH, SALT, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, GREEN ONIONS, CREAM, HONEY, GRANULATED ONION, NATURAL FLAVOR, VINEGAR).
Food manufactures must list each product ingredient. This FDA rule has many exceptions, but for the most part, the list affirms I’ve made a good choice with this meal.
Further, I didn’t see any “mono & miglycerides” listed among the ingredients. One of my favorite Weight Watchers Smart Ones (Delicious Mexican Flavors Chicken Enchiladas Suiza) contained it and it prompted me to see what it was.
In my research, I found a citation by dietician Mary Beth Sodus with the University of Maryland Medical Center. She said mono & miglycerides can “promote inflammation and obesity; raise LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels; and lower HDL, or good, cholesterol levels.” How ironic! A food product marketed by Weight Watchers contains an ingredient that can promote obesity? That’s so “cray cray”, right? I’m glad it’s not in SmartMade!
This is a good time to tell you I also tried the SmartMade Orange Sesame Chicken Bowl; I didn’t like it as much. Didn’t hate it, but I wouldn’t buy it again. It was higher in points (7) and gave me no flavor and a mushy texture. I’ll stick with the White Wine Chicken and Couscous and the heavenly 5 points value.
Well, kudos to Weight Watchers for re-vamping the old high point SmartOnes. Can’t wait to try more varieties in the future. I’ll let you know if one of the flavors really rocks my world.
Please let me know if you have any good recommendations for frozen meals! I’d really appreciate it.
Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll share and subscribe!
Here are a few of my sources: