Wednesday, July 31, 2013

#BlogHer13: Lunch with @LeanCuisine was #HonestlyGood (#AD) (#Giveaway)

UPDATE (8/1/13): There is now a giveaway at the end of this post! And just so we're clear, LeanCuisine did not pay me to write this post. I attended this BlogHer event on my own, and all opinions are my own. 

I had no idea that invite-only parties at BlogHer were a thing until I started getting some invites myself. It's a way for brands to target specific bloggers that might be interested in their products. This is obviously why I heard about Best Buy's 5K and Yasso's Yoga in the Park. Clearly I said "yes" to those in a heartbeat. But when an invite came through from Lean Cuisine, I hesitated. They invited me to lunch with them, during which they'd introduce me (and a bunch of other bloggers, obvi) to their new line of Honestly Good frozen meals.

I don't really do frozen meals.

While I admire them for their flavor-filled convenience, I don't like the amount of sodium they typically dish up. But I was intrigued by the Honestly Good line because 1) they looked completely delicious, and 2) because the sodium is sub-500mg in all but two of the six options, which is rare. Plus, they are 100% natural and without preservatives or artificial ingredients. Yet another rarity. But still, could they really convince me—a fan of fresh food and cooking—that frozen can be delicious and healthy?

I accepted the invite.

And got my picture taken with all the chefs behind the creations I was about to taste:

These guys (and gals) are the real thing. Michelle Berenstein is to my right. She beat Bobby Flay on Iron Chef. Paul Kahan, for those of you that live near me, has a number of successful restaurants in Chicago (The Publican, Big Star, Avec and Blackbird). And the rest, well...Michelin-rated, multiple restaurants in New York City and beyond. I mean, my stomach grumbles just thinking about all the good food they must make. And I got to taste some of it because, once again, they created the Honestly Good line for Lean Cuisine. 

Shannon and I sat together in the front row.

Say what you will about frozen meals, this really was an awesome event. It started off with some background information from the team. 

They took us on a culinary journey, so to speak. They were all about innovation and taking it from table to freezer to table again. And I quote: "We cook fresh food and freeze it. We don't do frozen food." Maybe that's just fancy marketing speak, but with a lack of preservatives and natural ingredients, I believe them.

And then came the taste-testing.

Each tray came out on its own. Produce, grains and sauces. All of which combine (with the addition of a protein source) to make the frozen meals you can buy in the store. 

Each tray was better than the previous one, and the culmination of our taste-testing journey was half a typical serving of two different meals, which equaled out to be one complete meal.

Pomegranate Chicken
Grilled chicken breast with a pomegranate glaze; green beans, yellow
beans and ribbon cut carrots; whole grain pilaf with currants.
Lemongrass Salmon
Coconut-crusted salmon with a ginger lemongrass sauce; snap peas, orange
and yellow carrots and edamame; brown rice with wheatberries.
Make note: I don't like ginger and I'm really picky when it comes to salmon and coconut. But this was just ridiculous. In fact, I ate it for lunch today. If only I had this for dessert:

Come on already with the cute cocoa powder accent! And the brownie? Totally made with black beans, which was delicious but I ended up regretting  eating it because black beans wreck my insides. 


It was a great lunch.

Other flavors from the Honestly Good line include Roasted Red Pepper Chicken, Plum-Ginger Grain-Crusted Fish, Pineapple Black Pepper Beef and Honey Citrus Chicken. I think they all sound good, don't you? We walked away with a few coups to try them in our own homes, which I obviously did today as previously mentioned. Now, I don't think I'll ever really come to rely on frozen foods as a regular meal option, but in a pinch...definitely in a pinch I will turn to these guys if I don't have frozen meals of my own in my freezer.

UPDATE (8/1/13):The good people behind these delicious meals would like to offer one Daily Dose reader a set of six coupons for six free Honestly Good meals. Yum, right? 

Please use the Rafflecopter system below to enter. Contest will remain open until 8/8/13. US only, thanks and so sorry to those of you that live outside the US. One winner will be announced on Saturday, 8/10/13. 


Mitch said...

I tasted these and they are delcious!

Pua RF said...

I actually like Lean Cuisine, but I agree with you on the sodium! These sound like a great solution. I'd love to try the Honey Citrus Chicken!

Tami said...

Are they gluten free?

June L said...

I love salmon so I would love to try the Lemongrass Salmon

Jennie Sanderson said...

Plum-Ginger fish! Yummy!

adailydoseoffit said...

Unfortunately, they are not.

Kristy H. said...

The coconut crusted salmon sounds good.

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