Lean Cuisine Culinary Collection — Ranchero Braised Beef review

This one made it straight from the New shelf at Kroger into my cart without any actual thought as to the reality, or the magnification, of the really pretty cover art.

The Chef’s Pick line is LC’s attempt to give us something resembling really good restaurant meals, appropriately spiced, pretty, with memorable ingredients and a savory experience.

This particular meal is confusing; a really good red chili sauce, but thickened with something vaguely not food, maybe corn starch — plenty of sauce, enough to cover my pile of veggies which makes this into an actual meal, but somehow the big chunks of beef on the pretty picture did not make it into my bowl.  It’s not a mistake, these things are weighed and tabulated and cross-checked before the package is sealed.  There were, count ’em, four little rectangles of meat.

Frozen beef meals have issues, which is why there are so many chicken entrees at LC.  It’s hard to get a good cut of meat in there in an assembly line way at an affordable price, and the freezing process takes out some of the flavor.   But hey, the sauce is good and plentiful and actually spicy enough that you may not like it if you’re not a chili sauce kind of person.

The potatoes were whippy and actually had a nice little chipotle zing mixed in with the sweetness, and were enough of a pleasurable experience that they set me in search of something more like this: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-chipotle-sweet-potatoes/detail.aspx which is sitting happily in my Grilling folder waiting its turn.

The quantity was fair; with only 2 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein it would not have been filling without the vegetables.

All in all, better than the generalized bland, numb, deprivational experience of living on freezer meals; quite a bit better than some, and an interesting good try.

We’ll give it a 6.5 out of 10.  7 out of 10 when you add green beans to use up the extra sauce.



One response to this post.

  1. I had this for lunch today. Loved it. Filled me up quite nice. I agree with the lack of beef but it worked enough. I wish they didn’t have the separation between the two parts because the sauce fits great with the sweet potato.


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