Lean Cuisine is a name that has been around since 1981, but the selections within the various lines of these frozen prepared foods keep growing to accommodate the sophisticated palate of the contemporary dieter. Lean Cuisine, a division of Stouffers (which has been around since the 1920s), appeals to dieters on the Weight Watchers plan by specifying Weight Watchers points on all of its packaging (all food items range between three and eight points). Lean Cuisine also specifies the number of calories in each entree too, making these frozen foods the ideal choice for anyone who is trying to lose weight.
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Lean Cuisine One-Dish Favorites (look for the yellow label) offer dieters their favorite meals (usually sans a side). Offerings include vegetarian dishes, such as Cheddar Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheese Ravioli, as well as heartier one-dish meals, such as Baja-Style and BBQ Chicken Quesadillas and Lasagna with Meat Sauce. This line's lightest selection is the Stuffed Cabbage with Whipped Potatoes (210 calories); the entree with the most calories is the Classic Five Cheese Lasagna (360 calories).
Lean Cuisine describes its green label Cafe Classics as "restaurant-inspired." Many of these meals have a world flavor and include choices, such as Beef Chow Fun, Chicken Marsala and Grilled Chicken with Teriyaki Glaze. Lowest on the calorie count in this line is the Steak Tips Portabello (160 calories), while the highest is the Pesto Chicken with Bow Tie Pasta (340 calories).
Lean Cuisine's Comfort Classics are comprised of rib-sticking selections that Mom might have made had she learned to make their low-calorie equivalents. Beef Pot Roast, Meatloaf and Whipped Potatoes and Salisbury Steak are some of the dishes offered in this red-labeled line. The lowest calorie selection is the Roasted Turkey and Vegetables (150 calories), while Chicken Parmesan is the highest (310 calories).
Spa Cuisine Classics
Lean Cuisine took a page out of the book of spa chefs when it created its Spa Cuisine Classics, which may appeal to the more esoteric palate. Lemongrass Chicken, Salmon with Basil and Chicken Pecan are a few items on the menu. Look for the sky blue label. The lightest choice in this line is the Rosemary Chicken (210 calories); the highest is the Butternut Squash Ravioli (350 calories).
Lean Cuisine's Casual Eating orange label line is just the thing to reach for Friday night relaxation--and these meals won't involve utensils. This line is comprised of hearty grilled pizzas, paninis and melts, but ingredients are not relegated to plain pepperoni and cheese. Selections include Chicken Philly Flatbread Melts, Southwestern Style Chicken Panini and Wood-Fired Style Margherita Pizza. The lightest choice in the Casual Eating line is the Mushroom Pizza (300 calories); the heaviest is the Three Meat Pizza-Deep Dish (390 calories).
Lean Cuisine's Dinnertime Selects contain 30 percent more food than a Cafe Classic entree without a hefty bump in calorie count. These meals are well rounded and typically include a serving of meat, starch (rice or pasta) and vegetables. Balsamic Glazed Chicken, Roasted Turkey and Orange Peel Chicken are a few entrees to choose from. The Dinnertime Select choice with the fewest calories is the Steak Tips Dijon (280 calories), while that with the highest is the Chicken Florentine (410 calories).