by Marianne Plunkert
Overall rating: 4 out of 5
Meal Description and Cooking Instructions
Dinner on my second day on the eDiets program was Chicken Carbonara and Seasonal Mixed Vegetables. The main entrée filled one section of a 2-compartment plastic tray and consisted of chunks of chicken and bits of turkey ham coated in a light sauce and served on a ½-cup bed of whole wheat pasta.
The second section of the tray held 3 baby carrots and 1/8 cup of peas. I was to provide a serving of fruit and a serving of non-fat dairy. I opted to add a few chunks of pineapple to a cup of plain non-fat yogurt.
Chicken Carbonara and Seasonal Mixed Vegetables
My General Impressions
The plate had a wonderful visual appeal, with the bright orange carrots and vibrant green peas complementing the main entrée and my fruit-laced yogurt.
I tried the chicken carbonara dish first and found it to be quite tasty. The meats were moist and tender, and the creamy sauce coating the chicken and turkey ham was delicately seasoned and had a hint of a chicken flavor itself. The pasta was cooked al dente and provided a bit of a nutty taste to the meal.
I wasn’t overly eager to try the vegetable side dish, given my previous experience with an eDiets’ side of peas (the Kung Pao Chicken meal); however, these peas were somewhat better. They were not cold, but I would have still preferred a softer texture. They were on the hard side of al dente.
I can’t say anything good about the carrots, other than that they had a nice color. They had a horrible texture—somewhat spongy and crunchy at the same time. They definitely didn’t have a fresh-from-the-garden taste.
Only 45 calories—or 18%– of this entrée’s total 250 calories are fat calories. And it has a relatively high protein and fiber content, with 24 grams of protein and 5 grams of dietary fiber. There are 4 grams of sugar, and total carbs are 26 grams.
This eDiets entrée provides 45% of the daily recommended dose of Vitamin A. It also supplies 8% of the recommended intake of Vitamin C, 4% of calcium, and 10% of iron. And all the food groups in the food pyramid are represented when the entrée is accompanied by fruit and non-fat dairy selections supplied by the dieter.
The chicken and turkey ham provide the protein, while the pasta is a starch. There are some dairy products mentioned in the list of ingredients: milk, half-and-half, parmesan cheese. Considered in combination with the non-fat yogurt I supplied, the meal provided me with more than 1 serving of dairy. The chunks of pineapple I added to the yogurt gave me a serving of fruit. The peas and carrots—albeit less than delectable—represented one serving of vegetables. And the fats group isn’t left out, either: canola oil and olive oil are among the ingredients.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I rate this meal as a “4.” The Chicken Carbonara itself was good. The meat was moist and tender, the sauce flavorful, and the pasta properly cooked and tasty itself. But the side of peas and carrots really detracted from the meal. The peas were better than the ones accompanying the Kung Pao Chicken dish, and both vegetables added color to the meal, but neither tasted fresh, and the texture of both was bad.