Assessing gourmet frozen meals.

How to be the best consumer you can be.
March 29 2005 7:27 AM

Cold Case

Are the new frozen dinners any good?

(Continued from Page 2)

Taste and presentation: 2.5
Nutrition: 1.8
Would you buy this: 0.5 ("maybe, if it's really cheap")
Value: -2.16
Total: 2.64

Amy's Teriyaki Bowl With Tofu (Amy's Kitchen)
Price:
$3.99

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Similarly underwhelming was Amy's foray into Asia, which panelists called "cloyingly sweet, too brown, saucy, and oatmeal-like"; one said that "the tofu looks and tastes like rubber." It did score some points for nutrition thanks to "good brown rice" and "lots of vegetables."

Taste and presentation: 2
Nutrition: 2.5
Would you buy this: 1
Value: -2.70
Total: 2.8

Chicken Santa Fe (Weight Watchers "Smart Ones")
Price:
$2.00

Weight Watchers assigns "points" to its meals for the millions participating in its weight-loss program, but this entree offers little for the masses. One taster called it a "failed gazpacho experiment"; another asked, "Is this called Ketchup Chicken?" As for nutrition, the veggies offered "some value," but most found them overcooked. How many points add up to dud?

Taste and presentation: 1.4
Nutrition: 2.5
Would you buy this: 0.5
Value: -0.40
Total: 4.0

Café Classics Teriyaki Steak Bowl (Lean Cuisine)
Price: $
1.75

"Colorful" presentation of confetti-cut red pepper and carrot made for a strong first impression, but tasters' responses quickly shifted. Some blamed the noodles ("OK texture, noodles not soggy but beef is bland"), some blamed the beef ("slimy"), and some blamed the flavor ("poison-like aftertaste"). The nutritionists were happy to see a few friends: "Some vegetables are here, at least."

Taste and presentation: 2.4
Nutrition: 2.5
Would you buy this: 1.5 ("No, but my wife would")
Value: -0.50
Total: 5.9

Chicken Tandoori With Spinach (Ethnic Gourmet)
Price:
$3.79

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