Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
One of these things is not like the other
You see, this is a chief reason people who are trying to "eat light" or "eat healthy" or "eat right" - whatever positive euphemism you want to call your diet - this is why we get so very, very discouraged.
You take this box. It looks pretty good. The chicken portion is decent, not too large, not miniscule. It is sporting a deeply colored rich looking glaze which promises something other than the too typically dried out tough microwaved poultry pieces many frozen entreés rely upon.The green beans are nice, thin, delicate even, sprinkled with almond slivers for interest.
Overall, not a bad looking meal, going by the photo. As we eat first with our eyes, I am already halfway into this.
Then come the stats.
Great numbers, yeah? 250 calories and 27 grams of protein.
Oooh, you got me going, now! Moist chicken and a good sized portion of tender green beans, what's not to like? And when you open the box, more good news, the box is compartmentalized so your meat/glaze has one side while the green beans/almonds have their own little nest on the other side.
Sidebar: That is one of my daughter's primary complaints about most frozen entreés. She is one of those people who likes it when each part of her meal stays in its own place, never mingling pieces or juices unless, or until, she deems it appropriate. She is the kind of gal they invented those plates with the ridges to keep the sections separated for.
So this packaging concept would make her happy.
Once I opened the box, about one third of the green beans had apparently exchanged angry words with the remaining two thirds of the beans and had migrated in a huff over the divider to the chicken side of the box.
The sauce, well we won't ever really know what went on with the sauce but let's just say "something happened" and the sauce was everywhere. Eh. Ver. Ree. Where. On the chicken, on the green beans, on the dividing line between the chicken and the green beans, all over the place.
So when I reached the halfway cooking point and was instructed to "lift the film off the box, stir the sauce and spoon it over the chicken", I hit my first snag.
I faked it, but even so, what I ended up with, even after sorting things mostly back where they belonged (that sauce wasn't going back in its compartment so I didn't even try) was a dish that looked like this.Now, take a gander at the photo on the box one more time. And then look again at what I ended up with.
Everything tastes ok. But just ok. The chicken is moist, the sauce, well. I am glad the sauce is not particularly strongly flavored because did I mention it spread everywhere? The beans are, not too sucky. I liked the almonds.
This sort of bait and switch is precisely why people who are trying to eat healthy often lock themselves into a closet with a quart of ice cream and a spoon and keep eating until the screaming noise in their head stops.
The outside of the box says to you "eating healthy is a good thing, you are a good person for eating this, you will not suffer if you buy this product - just LOOK!".
The inside of the box says to you "you are a total loser for being too heavy and having no self control and having to eat this instead of a nice lunch consisting of real food. This is your punishment for taking up space and using up the air the skinny people might need later to breathe in deeply after they exercise the second time for today.".
I was actually hungry when I opened this box. I didn't finish it. That nearly never happens. So yeah. If I bought a bunch of these? I would totally lose weight. And eventually probably my will to live.
That is all.