Posted: 29 Mar 2005
First up we have Lean Cuisine Skillet Sensations Three Cheese Chicken (white meat chicken, pasta & vegetables in a creamy Cheddar, Romano & Parmesan sauce). This entry isn't so much Alfredo as it's cheese, chicken, and vegetables, but it's close enough for government work. This motherfucker touts 5g fat and 200 calories on the front of the bag. The fine print is "per serving," though, which means we just ate a bowl of...lemme do the math...700 calories, 17 grams of fat, 87 mg of cholesterol, and 1610 mg of sodium. That's 35% of our recommended daily caloric intake, but 25% of our recommended daily fat intake and a whopping 67% of our recommended daily sodium intake. That bacon cheeseburger at lunch isn't looking like such a wise choice, is it? Fuck it. I suppose, dear readers, that that's why we're bachelors. Life ain't shit without 250% of your daily recommended sodium intake each day.
Forget nutritional information, though. Let's get down to the instructions.
1. Pour contents of bag into skillet.
2. Cover and cook over medium heat 8 minutes. Set alarm on cell phone, crack a beer, and go back upstairs.
3. Play a few of hands of poker online. Yell "GOD YOU LITTLE BITCH" and the like at monitor when someone calls your bluff while you're short-stacked. Give monitor the finger on occasion for good measure.
4. After 15 minutes, run back downstairs. Uncover and stir.
5. Continue cooking 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Crack another beer.
7. Take bowl upstairs, re-join poker table. Eat, lose more money.
8. Upon completion of dinner, drink cheese sauce from bowl and lick clean what's in reach.
9. Smoke cigarette and write throw-away article about dinner.
All in all, this wasn't so bad. I bought it while drunk at the supermarket, randomly throwing 40 lbs of frozen food into my basket. I had no idea it was "lean," nor "cuisine," nor "lite" (though the latter wasn't so much billed on the package as assumed by the brand name). Speaking of which, when the hell did Stouffer's buy Lean Cuisine? That's odd. Probably not good for the dieting crowd. Anyway, about the food. The chicken was your standard meal-in-a-bag chicken: disturbingly juicy, had an odd skin on one side of each piece not unlike cubes of salmon, but tasty. The veggies consisted of snap peas, thinly-sliced carrots, and small pieces of red pepper. I'm not a fan of cooked peppers, but they were barely noticeable in this dish. The snap peas were the highlight, in fact. The cheese sauce made the house briefly smell nice, and, I'm not kidding, was a delightful dessert upon completion. The pasta was some sort of ziti kind of thing and was non-intrusive. Easy to eat and just there as a nice filler. Overall, the taste was somewhat bland. The cheese sauce was runny to the point of not coating the ingredients well (hence the unexpected dessert), but good enough. I'd give this dish a B+. It was about what I'd expected. I wouldn't eat another bag right now, but I may purchase it again in the future.
What do the online reviews reveal?
LA F.in Raleigh, NC, says, "Awesome and great low point meal for WW members. Add extra veggies while cooking :-)"
Greg H. in North Plainfield, NJ, exclaims "Delicious! I eat this almost every night! I sometimes like to add fresh mushrooms and a bit of sherry."
Meanwhile, Lisa H. in Ontario, NY, says "i just had the three cheese chicken for the first time. it was better than any pasta dish i every purchased in a restaurant. your skillet meals will help me to continue my weight loss journey without deprivation. thank you."
Lisa H. obviously needs to eat the whole fucking bag and drink the cheese sauce for dessert. As for the LA F. and Greg H., there, they might be missing the point of buying a meal in a bag.
Until next time, keep eating burritos and shit. Fear not, though; this Alfredo Rodeo has at least two more parts. I'll be back with more Bachelor Cooking 101.