I admit I’m a skeptic when it comes to most packaged prepared foods.
I often don’t think they’re a time-saver.
Plus, the sodium levels are usually frighteningly through the roof.
Recently, I had a chance to sample the new Foster Farms Oven Ready Entrees, which feature chicken breasts that are already marinated. You just put the recyclable, oven-proof tray in the oven and they’re ready in about 30 minutes.
They come in four varieties: Chile Verde, Roasted Red Pepper, Zesty Thai and Honey Roasted Garlic.
What I most appreciated was the reasonable sodium level — 210 to 270 per serving, depending upon the variety. The entrees also have a moderate 120 to 130 calories per serving, though, it’s hard to tell exactly how much a serving constitutes as the nutrition label states “servings per container varied” because, of course, not all chicken breasts are exactly the same size. A publicist I checked with said that one package will serve 4 to 6. I think it’s more like 4 servings at most — or even 2 if you have very big eaters in the house.
The large chicken breasts, which are 99 percent fat free, bake up very moist and juicy. My husband only wished it came with the skin, though. But of course, that would add to the calorie count.
The Roasted Red Pepper has sweet Mediterranean flavors. The Honey Roasted Garlic would be a favorite of kids because of the pronounced honey sweetness. The Zesty Thai has a nice savoriness but lacks the boldness of authentic Thai food. The Chile Verde is again on the mild side, but makes a fine meal with some tortillas and sliced avocado.
If you’re a from-scratch cook, you may not be tempted by these products. But if you’re a harried cook always looking for a new shortcut to getting dinner on the table, these are definitely worth considering.