Tags: Marie Callender’s

29 Jul 2011, Comments (6)

Marie Callender’s Cheesy Chicken & Rice

Author: Healthnuttxo

I  went to the store the other day to pick up some random things, including some frozen entrees for when I dont have time (or more likely, don’t feel like) cooking. I saw this meal, Marie Callender’s Cheesy Chicken & Rice, and knew I had to give it a try, especially since I liked the last Marie Callender meal I tried. The ingredients weren’t too bad, so I put it in my cart and bought it.

I was excited to try this. I picture a gooey, cheesy entree, with huge chunks of chicken and pieces of broccoli scattered throughout. Luckily, after I cooked it for the designated time, it looked pretty much as I had imagine it.

However, when I pictured cheesy, I pictured more of like a stringy, gooey cheese. In this meal, it was more like a cheese sauce, or something that had the consistency of a cheese dip that comes from a jar. But don’t get me wrong – it still looked delicious. And let me tell you, it was a long 8 or 9 minutes I waited for this entree to be done including rest time. Sort of like when I bake cookies – longest 8-10 minutes of my life.

So, moving on, I tried the pieces of chicken first. They were juicy and chewy, but also a tad salty. There was a good amount of them in the entree, which I liked. I think this help contribute to the 24 grams of protein in this meal, which made me and my gym-worked muscles quite happy.

Next up, the broccoli was tender, but not soggy, so it was perfect for me. I happy to be quite a fan of broccoli, so the fact that this was included in the meal made me happy on the spot.

Lastly, the rice was fluffy and delicious. There was white rice and some grains of wild rice. It thickened up with the sauce quite nicely, which had a cheddar flavor. The cheese sauce was actually a bit of a let down, as it had a bit of an artificial taste to it. I was expecting a real cheese flavor, and it had more of a cheese-from-a-can or jar flavor. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t my favorite.

Overall, pretty good. I would eat this again. I loved how it was high in protein, but it was VERY high in sodium for me, 1000 mg?! A bit more than I’d like in one meal.  All in all, I would give this 4 stars

What’s your favorite thing that’s CHEESY? I would have to argue that crunchy cheese doodles are one of my favorite cheesy things =)

Along with the tasty Biscuit Mix I was sent to try from Marie Callender’s, I was also given the All Natural Corn  Bread Muffin Mix in the 7oz variety.

Now I was excited for these. I LOOOVEE corn bread, and really rarely get to eat it! I love how it’s moist and super tasty with a little smear of butter. Delicious.

So, I preheated my oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and starting making this mix. I decided to go for the swaps suggested on the back of the mix “to make a healthier version”, and switched 1/4 cup applesauce for 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup skim milk for 1/4 cup milk, and 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg, and mixed them together. Then I added the corn bread muffin mix to the bowl, which mixed very easily. Hardly any lumps whatsoever!

Then I sprayed my muffin tin with some noncook spray and added the muffin mix. I cooked it for about 16 or 17 minutes, and let it cool slightly.

These muffins were moist and soft, which was a plus for me. They were mildly sweet as well. I do prefer my cornbread to be a bit sweeter, and I sort of wish they used honey over sugar since I prefer a honey taste as well. They also had a bit of a tang to them, that I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. Not super noticeable, but it had a bit of a tangy aftertaste. By themselves, I would assign this to be  a 3 star rating, but after I put a little butter on one, I liked it more, which would bring these muffins up to a 3 1/2 star rating. I did like that they were cute medium sized muffins, but didn’t like that they had 0 grams of fiber in the mix, and that the first ingredient was sugar.

Do you like cornbread? What’s your favorite way to eat it? Or do you have a favorite brand? *If you’d like to answer, please leave a comment below!*

Oh, yea. BISCUITS!

The people over at Marie Callender’s offered me to try some of their new mixes, like the All-Purpose Biscuit Mix. And the verdict? I’m sure glad I got to try them!

First off, these were really easy preparation. All I needed was a bowl, a spoon, the mix, and 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of water (and a pan with some non-stick spray to bake them on!).

The mix was beige and crumbly in color. After adding the water, I ended up adding just a little bit more to make it easier to stir. I noticed these sort of lumps that were there, sort of like flakes, that I had to stir a little extra to get smoother. The dough became very sticky and pasty, and sort of reminded me of the cheese in a mozzarella cheese stick how it was sort of gooey when I transferred the batter from the spoon to the pan.

Here’s what they looked like after I scooped them on the pan.

While cooking, they smelled DELICIOUS. The bottom of the mix bag says “Restaurant Style” and I thought the same from the smell- I felt like I was sitting in a restaurant!

Here’s what they looked like after baking!

So what about the taste? DELICIOUS!! Even as is, with nothing on them! Fluffy and doughy, slightly salty, and just like a biscuit should taste. The back of the bag said to “serve warm with butter, honey or preserves”, so since I was having these with my dinner, I opted for a little butter. Divine!

Overall? These get 4 1/2 stars! I love how the mix makes 8 biscuits- I think that’s perfect for a family dinner! I also love that 1 biscuit (1/4 cup dry mix)  is only 100 calories! I was a little disappointed that there was no fiber per serving, but these were really good. I would certainly eat them again- I’m tempted to maybe add cinnamon and sugar if I ever make them again!

Do you like biscuits? What’s your favorite way to eat them? (and does anyone else spell biscuit with a q like bisquit? It was so hard for me to write this because I kept writing bisquit the whole time!!) If you’d like to answer, please leave a comment below! =)

1/4 cup dry mix (25g) is 100 calories, 3 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour (niacin, iron, thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid), Palm Oil, Canola Oil (ascorbic acid and rosemary added to preserve freshness), Dextrose, Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate/leavinging), Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (leavening), Sea Salt, Buttermilk Powder, Natural Flavor, Monocalcium Phosphate (leavening).

What’s better than a big bowl of piping hot chili and some warm, moist cornbread on a cold, wintry night?

Aside from winning the lottery, I couldn’t think of anything! 😉
Tonight I decided to do a DOUBLE review, of Amy’s Organic Chili and, since I needed some cornbread, Marie Callender’s all natural cornbread mix. Normally I don’t (and can’t!) eat anything by Marie Callender- normally her products (although delicious…) are FULL of fat and bad ingredients. BUT!- Since my grocery store was out of buttermilk (I was going to make my own cornbread from scratch…) I picked this mix up because it was low in fat, and had all natural ingredients.

Now, how delicious does this look?

First I’ll start with the Chili.
Amy’s makes several versions of her chili, in Medium, Medium Chili with Vegetables, Spicy Chili, Black Bean Chili, and Southwestern Black Bean Chili. I decided to try the Medium Chili with Vegetables, because I’m not *totally* in love with spicy food, and it seemed the mildest of the choices provided. Now, the picture has white chunks in it- that was added by me, (it’s tofu!) and does NOT come in the chili can.

The chili, first of all, has A TON of red beans. Literally- it would be impossible for you to take a spoonful of it and not get a red bean on your spoon. The beans were delicious- tender and soft, but not mushy. There also are some vegetables- mostly peppers and corn, and I saw a few tiny carrots. I wish there was more vegetables- there are supposed to be potatoes in the chili, but I didn’t see any. I really wish they pumped up the potatoes & carrots though- I would have enjoyed that!
There definitely is some kick to it that leaves heat on your tongue. It’s not too spicy, so it was good for me, and with the addition of my tofu, it toned down the spice factor even more. It’s not too salty, but there isn’t much flavor, otherwise, unless you count the slightly overpowering peppers. It was, however, excellent with my cornbread. Spicy & sweet at it’s best. It would probably be very good topped off with some cheddar cheese as well. I’m giving it 3 1/2 stars by itself, 4 if you pair it with cornbread and tofu. I think I’ll try another variety, or stick to her cornbread & chili whole meal.

Marie Callender’s Cornbread
1 word. yum. yum. yum.! This cornbread ROCKS! I was a little skeptical because when I made the mix (super easy- just add 1 1/2 cups of water and mix together until the lumps are gone), there was a funky aftertaste- (yes- I like to eat raw batter of everything… 😀 ). I was afraid- was I going to be stuck with all this cornbread and not have it taste good?

But then again- you can’t judge something until it’s finished. I decided to make cornbread muffins (portion control!- except…I ate 3 anyway… oops.. 😀 ) instead of cornbread, so the cooking time was reduced, which meant I could enjoy these muffins quicker! They smelled delicious, and were perfectly golden yellow when they were done. I took a bite and it melted in my mouth. So fluffy, and sweet! I was happy, because I like my cornbread sweet! (Amy’s Kitchen always makes delicious cornbread sweetened with honey…yum!)The outer part of the muffin was slightly crispy, and the inside was fluffy and moist. No wonder I ate 3 😉 These muffins get 4 1/2 stars. They would get a 5, but unfortunately, they are made with enriched flour instead of whole wheat (so close- Marie!).

So that leaves me to ask you guys- what is your favorite type of chili? Do you have any yummy cornbread recipes?

Chili- 1 cup is 190 calories, 6 grams of fat, 29 carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein.

Organic Red Beans, Filtered Water, Organic  Onions, Organic Bell Peppers, Organic Potatoes, Organic  Carrots, Organic  Corn, Organic  Rice Flour, Organic High Oleic Safflower and/or Sunflower Oil, Organic  Jalapeno Peppers, Spices, Organic  Garlic, Sea Salt. *chili is gluten free

Cornbread- 1 piece ( 60 grams prepared) is 140 calories, 3 grams of fat, 26 carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.

Enriched Degermed Yellow Corn Cones, Unbleached Enriched Flours (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Sugar, Canola oil (ascorbic acid, rosemary), Milk, Enriched Degermed Corn Flour, Egg Yolks, Salt, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Dextrose, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate.

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