by Marianne Plunkert
Overall rating: 4.8
Meal Description and Cooking Instructions
My lunch on Day 3 was Chili Con Carne with Yellow Rice. Approximately ½ cup of chili was presented in a single-compartment plastic tray with a 1/8 cup mound of yellow rice on top. It looked to be a pretty meager meal, even when accompanied by the ½ red grapefruit that I provided.
The instructions indicated to heat the meal for 1 to 2 minutes in the microwave. Two minutes in my microwave was a sufficient amount of time.
Texas-Style Chili Con Carne with Yellow Rice
My General Impressions
When I removed the wrap from the plastic tray, my first impression was that this was a pretty puny lunch. When I spooned the meal into a bowl, my second impression was that this was a pretty puny lunch.
It didn’t score high points in the appearance category, either. After heating the meal, I mixed the yellow rice in with the chili con carne since the rice already had some of the chili mixed in with it. The contents of the bowl looked pretty much like a brown glob with a few kidney beans mixed in. The best looking item on the plate was the red grapefruit.
As they say, however, looks can be deceiving. The chili tasted a lot like my husband’s, and he makes a mean batch of chili. There were bits of onion throughout, and it was spicy and flavorful. The grapefruit proved to be the perfect accompaniment. (I would be negligent if I failed to point out here that I like things spicy. This dish may be a little too spicy for some palates; I know some people don’t care for the kick that my husband’s chili serves up.)
I was also pleased to discover that what I considered a fairly meager lunch kept me satiated until dinner.
I was shocked when I examined the nutrition label on the back of the plastic tray. Over 51% of the calories are from fat—150 of the total 290. (I wonder if this is why I thought it tasted so great.) The protein content is 15 grams, and the meal contains 25 grams of total carbs, with three grams of fiber and 4 grams of sugar.
The meal supplies 15% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamins A and C, 16% of the iron and 4% of the calcium. The eDiets entrée itself contains no dairy or fruit although the half a grapefruit that I supplied provides one serving of the latter. The chili does contain some vegetables; in addition to the normally-expected onions and tomatoes, carrots, spinach, and bell pepper are among the listed ingredients.
I am giving this meal a 4.8 on a scale of 5 only because it falls short in the appearance category and has a high fat content. It truly tasted like a fresh batch that came right off my stove. It had just the right amount of seasoning (to suit me) and kept me pleasantly satisfied until dinner. I honestly am unsure of how it could be made more visually appealing, however. Chili is chili, right?