by Marianne Plunkert
Overall rating: 4.5 of 5
Meal Description and Cooking Instructions
Dinner on the first day of my eDiets meal plan was Spicy Kung Pao Chicken Breast with Black Rice, Roasted Cashews and Peas. The entrée came in a 2-compartment plastic tray, with the chicken, black rice, and cashews in one section and the peas in the other.
The heating instructions called for microwaving the meal on high for 1 to 1 ½ minutes, but this amount of time was not adequate for my microwave. It was not heated through sufficiently, so I heated it for an additional 15 seconds.
The meal plan indicated that this entrée should be accompanied by a serving of fruit and a serving of a nonfat dairy product. I decided on apple slices and an ounce of nonfat cheese.
Spicy Kung Pao Chicken Breast
My General Impressions
Unlike the previous two meals I consumed today (Classic Flapjack for breakfast, Stuffed Shells for lunch), this Kung Pao Chicken meal was remarkably appealing from a visual standpoint, especially with the side dish of apple slices and cheese. And, for the most part, it was just as delicious and incredibly filling.
The Kung Pao Chicken was as succulent as any chicken entree I’ve had in a Chinese restaurant. Moist and tender chunks of chicken were served in a deliciously tangy sauce, along with slivers of green peppers. A handful of roasted cashews added crunch to the dish.
The black rice was equally wonderful. I will be looking for it in the grocery store in the future. I usually buy brown rice and have never before had black rice. I only hope that I will be able to prepare it as well as this was. It was cooked until it was tender and was neither sticky nor mushy. It was also nicely seasoned.
The green peas, on the other hand, were quite a different story. Even though I had heated the meal an extra 15 seconds, they were cold and on the hard side of crisp. I’m honestly unsure of what the problem was, but they were almost inedible, and I chose not to eat all of them.
Even so, this dinner was very filling. In fact, I also ate only half of the apple that I had cut up to accompany the meal.
It’s hard to believe that a meal this delicious and flavorful (with the notable exception of the side of peas) could be as low in calories and fat as it is. Only a little over 17% of its total 260 calories are from fat. It also offers a healthy dose of fiber (5 grams). Total carbs are 33 grams, and the protein content of the meal is 21 grams.
This entrée provides 30% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin A, 15% of Vitamin C, 4% of calcium, and 10% of iron. And when you count the fruit and nonfat dairy sides that the dieter supplies, the meal contains a full serving of all the food groups in the food pyramid.
If it weren’t for the peas, I would give this meal a “5” on a scale of 1 to 5. The peas were so bad, however, that I am giving it only a 4.5. The Kung Pao Chicken and the side of black rice were both excellent. Both dishes were moist and tender and deliciously flavored. And they were as appealing to the eye as they were to the taste buds.