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Healthy Choice Mediterranean Pasta Review

Reviewed by Tanya Jackson | Oct 21, 2009
Rating:

Healthy Choice Mediterranean Pasta

Healthy Choice has a line of "All Natural" entrees which they describe as featuring, "all-natural ingredients such as pumpkin, asparagus, nine-grain pastas, and 100% extra virgin olive oil" plus they are meals are high in fiber and antioxidants such as lycopene and vitamins A and C, plus low in fat and saturated fat. I was really curious to see if Healthy Choice could make a tasty, nutritious and all natural meal as a frozen entree, so I picked up the Healthy Choice Mediterranean Pasta.

NUTRITION FACTS
Serving Size: 1 package, 9.5 oz.
Calories: 380
Total Fat: 5 grams, 8%
Saturated Fat: 2.5 grams, 13%
Sodium: 410 mg, 17%
Protein: 13 grams
Carbohydrates: 65 grams
Fiber: 12 grams, 48%
Sugar: 17 grams
Price: $2.00 (on sale)

Healthy Choice describes this vegetarian option as, "Nine-grain orzo with beans, sautéed onions, diced tomatoes, and savory spinach packed with 12 grams of fiber. Topped with a cinnamon sauce, sweet apples, fontina cheese, and cranberries for a low-fat vegetarian delight."

I followed the directions for microwaving, and was rewarding with a meal that looked very similar to what's pictured on the box. The orzo pasta, Northern beans (a lot of them) & wild rice had a firm, slightly crunchy texture; the cranberries provided a nice contrasting sweetness and since there were a lot of cranberries, it was almost in every bite. When you didn't get a sweet bite from the cranberries, the mouthful would have a pleasant musky taste from the fontina cheese. Unfortunately, the spinach wasn't really savory and didn't add much in terms of taste. There was a lot going on with this meal from the many different components, and I think while some might not like this at first - give it a chance and you'll probably come around.

The ingredients (courtesy of Wegmans) are, "Cooked Enriched Pasta (Water, Whole Grain Flours [Wheat {Ultragrain}, Barley {Sustagrain}, Rye, Oats, Amaranth, Quinoa, Millet, Sorghum, Teff], Wheat Semolina, Egg White, Niacin, Iron (Ferrous Sulfate), Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Northern Beans, Water, Cooked Red Rice, Apples, Spinach, Onions, Tomatoes, Sugar, Fontina Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Apple Juice Concentrate, Dried Cranberries, Corn Starch, Olive Oil, Salt, Spice, Brown Sugar, Citric Acid, Elderberry Juice."

The ingredients list while long (it is a frozen product with a long shelf life after all), is filled with the names we expect to see (you know ... the names of the actual components of the meal). Overall, the nutrition facts, convenience and decent ingredients list and decent flavor make this a worthy option to reach for when you need a quick lunch. You might not be bowled over by this, but neither will you be disappointed.

Rating
Taste: 4
Nutrition: 5
Price: 5
Overall: 4
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Welcome to the internet home of Tanya Taylor, PhD. Here I review food products marketed as healthy and diet friendly options. I also share my weekly meal plans as I strive to get more creative in the kitchen.

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