eDiets Lunch Review: Chicken Marinara on Linguini and Mozzarella Cheese

by Marianne Plunkert                                   

Overall rating:  3.8 of 5

Meal Description and Cooking Instructions

This luncheon entrée consisted of 6 small-to-medium chunks of chicken breast on about 1 cup of whole wheat linguini noodles and lightly coated with a marinara sauce.  It arrived in a single-compartment plastic tray.

I was to supplement the meal with an item from the fruit food group.  I decided on ½ cup of canned light mixed fruit, which is one of the items on the eDiets’ list of suggested fruits.

The instructions called for a microwave time of 1 to ½ minutes.  I opted to heat my meal for 1 minute 45 seconds, adding 15 seconds as I have done with similar eDiets’ entrées.

Chicken Marinara

My General Impressions

Although this meal wasn’t as colorful as some I’ve had since starting this program, it looked like a generous enough portion, a fact for which I was thankful since breakfast today was a blueberry muffin accompanied by an ounce of reduced-fat cream cheese that I had supplied.  Surprisingly, I hadn’t felt the urge to dive into my snack box before lunchtime, but I was definitely ready to eat when the time arrived.

And while it wasn’t very colorful, it looked attractive on the plate, with the reddish-sauce coating the chunks of chicken and linguini.  The chicken was moist and fork-tender, and the whole wheat pasta added a bit of a nutty flavor to the dish. 

The sauce, though scant, seemed sufficient enough.  It wasn’t as heavily seasoned as some of the other Italian-style sauces that have been served with the eDiets’ entrees I’ve tried thus far.  It was a tad on the bland side, with only a light hint of Italian spices. Like those other sauces, however, it had neither too much of a tomato nor too much of a sweet flavor.

The entrée offered only the barest suggestion of a mozzarella taste, which is fine, but I do wish that in instances when a meal contains only a wee bit of an ingredient, eDiets would refrain from including that ingredient prominently in the title.

Nutritional Content

Of this luncheon entrée’s total 230 calories, only a mere 35 are from fat—just slightly over 15%, a fact that I find phenomenal.  It contains a healthy 20 grams of protein, but it also contains 29 grams of carbs.  There are 6 grams of sugars and 4 grams of fiber.

The entrée supplies 10% of the recommended average daily dose of Vitamin A, 15% of Vitamin C, 6% of calcium, and 10% of iron. 

The side of mixed fruit I added to the meal represented a serving of fruit.  The chicken provides a serving of protein, and the linguini a serving of starch, but the meal is light in the vegetable and dairy categories.  The tomatoes used in the marinara sauce aren’t close to a full serving of the former, and the milk and scant amount of cheese used in the dish don’t combine to make a full serving of dairy. 

Food Rating/Quality

This meal rates a 3.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 with me.  It fell just short of what I would call “good.”  The sauce was a little too bland, and I take issue with the fact that a dish that has “cheese” in its title doesn’t seem to provide much, if any, of that ingredient on the plate.

Still, I enjoyed the texture of both the chicken and the whole wheat linguini, along with the slightly nutty taste that the latter provided.

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