Healthy Choice meals have never been my favorite brand of healthy foods. I have tried their various soups, pizzas and other frozen meals in the past and have not been impressed. In fact, I don’t think I can recall the last time I finished a Healthy Choice brand meal. I usually have a couple of bites and then tell myself “yep. Still don’t like them.”
However, I noticed that Healthy Choice has come up with their own rival version of Lean Cuisine’s Panini. I also noticed that Healthy Choice also employs the same grill-in-the-microwave design with the nifty grey plate that makes grill marks magically appear on the sourdough bread. Could this change my mind about Healthy Choice meals? I decided to give it a shot, picking the Healthy Choice Philly Cheese Steak Panini.
Appearance and Nutrition. The Healthy Choice Philly Cheese Steak Panini looks very much like any other frozen Panini sandwich. There are bits of tomato, red peppers, mozzarella-looking cheese, and small slices of beef, all frozen up. Nothing appealing, but nothing revolting either.
Each serving comes with 310 calories with only 40 from fat since there are only 4.5 fat grams per serving. In addition to that, you can expect to get 24 grams of protein and 43 grams of carbohydrates as well as 6 grams of dietary fiber. The surprise nutrition for me was the 20% iron and 35% Vitamin A. I guess Healthy Choice wants you to see the Panini a little better when you are done eating it.
Taste. You know, this wasn’t too bad. I would say the taste was a little beyond good. I don’t think it was as tasty as some of the Lean Cuisine Panini flavors I’ve had, but the Healthy Choice Philly Cheese Steak Panini is worth a try. The vegetables stood out, adding some tang to each bite. I wasn’t too impressed with the mozzarella. It seemed like it was only there to bond the veggies and the small beef pieces. The bread didn’t get rock-hard; it was the perfect consistency to hold all the ingredients together. Did it have that “Panini” appeal? A little. I would buy the Healthy Choice Cheese Steak Panini if my grocery store ran out of the Lean Cuisine version and I wouldn’t feel too bad about it.
This wasn’t a bad Healthy Choice meal. I’d definitely eat it again and recommend others to try it. Just be sure to follow the microwave instructions or you’ll end up with stale, healthy food.