I don't eat a lot of quick, frozen, microwaveable entrees, but when I do, I try to stick to the Weight Watchers Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine varieties of meals. Since I try to stick to the healthy ones, I might as well review them for the blog, right? Well, that leads me to this Lean Cuisine Simple Favorites Linguine Carbonara that I picked up on sale for $2.00 at my local neighborhood Meijer. This one comes in at 9.25 ounces, has 280 calories and scores a seven on the Weight Watchers Points Plus scale.
As you can see on the packaging, Lean Cuisine has packed a lot of ingredients into this Simple Favorite. Ingredients include bacon, peas, red peppers, basil and thick linguine noodles all soaked in a creamy Parmesan sauce. They aren't shy about adding these ingredients in their either, because all of them are plentifully spread throughout the container. Another thing that I noticed after heating this up in the microwave is that the smell of the Parmesan cheese in the sauce was quite strong and very appetizing. Based on that smell, I was exceptionally eager to dig right in!
When I dug in with my first forkful, I was hit first by the taste of that strong smelling Parmesan sauce. It had a nice salty bite as Parmesan cheese is inclined to do and also had a creamy and hearty texture. It also had a nice peppery kick at the back end of the bite that balanced well with the saltiness that I tasted at the beginning of the bite. The noodles were about what you'd expect microwaved noodles to be, so I'm not going to waste a lot of time on them. The vegetables, while not crunchy, also added a nice texture to the entree and in terms of taste, the peas definitely took the lead on this one as they over powered all of the peppers, which frankly, I couldn't really taste at all. The one thing that really pushed this entree over the edge, other than the sauce, was the bacon that was spread throughout. It was soft and chewy bacon and being that I ordinarily prefer my bacon served that way, I found that to be quite nice. It also added a bit more saltiness to the cheese sauce as well.
Buy It or Fly By It? I've got to say, I did not have high hopes heading into this, but I was proven wrong and I ended up really liking this, so I give it a BUY IT rating. The creamy Parmesan sauce was borderline decadent and when you can work that into a frozen entree, you've got a definite positive. This is also a decent sized portion, so it would make for a nice lunch size entree or a decent dinner size entree (with a side, assuming dinner is a larger meal for you) as well. I certainly don't regret picking this one up in the store and if you do the same, I don't think you'll regret it either.