Friday, February 8, 2013

Lean Cuisine's Culinary Collection

If you've been reading this blog for a while, it's probably clear that I'm not a huge fan of frozen, packaged foods or meals. While the occasional frozen product has surprised me, I'm the type of person that would much rather use fresh, whole foods in my cooking.

However, when DailyBuzz Food contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I'd be willing to sample one of Lean Cuisine's Culinary Collection dinners as part of their Tastemakers Program, I was surprisingly intrigued. The "Chef's Pick" Culinary Collection meals were crafted by talented chefs like Michelle Bernstein, Paul Kahan, Anita Lo, and Brad Farmerie, to name a few. I figured, with big names like that behind these frozen meals, they must be somewhat tasty.

For my pick, I decided to sample the Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli, which consists of ravioli filled with portobello and button mushrooms and romano and ricotta cheeses, smothered in a marsala wine sauce with spinach and red peppers.

Like all Lean Cuisines, the preparation for this dish was easy: Remove plastic bowl from carton, heat for 2 1/2 minutes in the microwave, remove plastic wrap and stir, replace plastic wrap and heat for an additional 2 minutes.

My favorite aspects of this meal were the creamy marsala wine sauce, the abundant pieces of spinach and red pepper, and the fluffy, large raviolis.

What I didn't love about this dish was the sodium content (610 mg), the fact that there was too much sauce (not a good ravioli to sauce ratio), and the extensive ingredient list. 

Lean Cuisine's Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli is definitely tasty, but not something I would eat on a regular basis - mainly because of its sodium content and scary ingredients. It's also made with chicken broth, which would have been nice to know before eating it, as one would assume - given the description of the dish on the front of the box - that it was vegetarian.

Are you a fan of frozen meals like this one?

I have partnered with Lean Cuisine through DailyBuzz Food to help promote their new line of Chef's Pick products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to work with this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you Lean Cuisine!


  1. I'm with you... many of these dishes are usually oversalted and not balanced properly... but they do work in a pinch.

  2. i feel like meals like this are good once in a blue moon!

  3. Saw this and thought of your post:

    1. Ummm, that's definitely the one that I had! Thankfully, no glass...but still. Scary stuff. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. I agree sometimes you need something fast, easy, and not so fabulous for you. But I don't get why they haven't learned to make these meals without so much sodium! Maybe someday??


    1. I know, right?! Me either! I was hopeful this "Chef's Pick" variety would have less, but no dice. I think I chugged four glasses of water with this meal!