Lean Cuisine's New Vegan Entrees Are Simple, Yet Satisfying

Published 07-23-2018

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Healthier options are expanding in the freezer aisle. Lean Cuisine has introduced "Origins," a sub-line of 14 new and "reinvented" meatless recipes made with 70 percent certified organic ingredients. The herbivorous offerings even include two vegan options - a first for the Nestlé subsidiary.

Never-before-seen vegetarian dishes available now include Butternut Squash Lasagna, Farmer's Market Pizza, Linguine with Ricotta and Spinach Meatless Meatballs, Mushroom and Vegetable Shepard's Pie, and Tuscan-Style Vegetable Lasagna.

Seven existing frozen meals from the Lean Cuisine line were rebranded with new Origins packaging. These include: Cheese and Bean Enchilada Verde, Cheese and Fire-Roasted Chile Tamale, Margherita Pizza, Ricotta Cheese and Spinach Ravioli, Roasted Garlic White Bean Alfredo, Spicy Penne Arrabbiata, and Tortellini with Red Pepper Sauce.

The Daily Meal sampled Lean Cuisine's new vegan options, Coconut Chickpea Curry and Sicilian-Style Pesto with Lentil Pasta. Both were fairly satisfying to the palate of an editor who loves butter, eggs, and cheese, and would otherwise turn away from any product labeled "vegan." Surprisingly, these dishes weren't that sad. The curry had nice spice flavors and an ample amount of sauce, which isn't always guaranteed in low-fat meals. It's also gluten-free and has only 260 calories with 11 grams of protein.The pesto pasta was fine; the lentil penne is light and was slathered in a liberal amount of pesto. The accompanying vegetables - roasted red peppers, yellow carrots, chopped tomatoes, and spinach - supplied sufficient flavor. It has 320 calories and 15 grams of protein. There's nothing fancy here. Both recipes are simple, but sometimes less is more.Both frozen dinners consist mostly of vegetables, so neither taste nor texture is compromised by forced substitutions. Each would likely satisfy dedicated vegans and those who want a break from from goopy noodles and overly sauced fare. If you're not so concerned about your calorie count (or your meat consumption) and prefer to treasure comfort food in all shapes and sizes, feast your eyes upon the very best pasta dish in every state.

Samples for review were provided to the writer at no cost.

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