Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fit & Active Five Cheese Lasagna Frozen Single Serve Entree (Aldi)

"Healthier" than I would have expected, but otherwise not noteworthy.
It was crunch time. We were about to get in the line at Aldi, when I realized I didn't have anything for just myself in the cart—we had plenty of family meals, but nothing I could eat just as a snack, or a meal for just me in case my wife was working late. 

I will definitely have to say this is better than the Chicken Alfredo Florentine, but it's still with its own set of problems. Can something that literally only has two layers even be considered lasagna? That's right, all you get are two thin noodles with a small layer of cheese sandwiched in between them, and that's the “lasagna”. There are little specks of white on top of the lasagna that I'm also assuming is supposed to be cheese, but there's not enough of it to make any sort of impact anywhere.

One big saving grace is that they load you up on sauce—there's plenty of it, allowing you to drench each bite in sauce to avoid the blandness of the rest of the dish. It's not that the sauce is really all that good—it tastes just like liquid tomatoes and sugar—but it's certainly edible and probably the high point of the entire thing. The cheese sandwiched inside, which is the blend of four cheeses that the title of this product alludes to, is also pretty good, but there's not all that much of it in most bites.

Nutritionally, I have to say that I'm kind of impressed: There are 12g of protein per single-serve meal, while all the usual suspects of bad health for frozen TV dinners are kept at or below 15% of your daily intake, assuming a 2,000 calorie diet (sodium = 15%, carbohydrates = 14%, total fat = 7%, saturated fat = 10%). No, these numbers aren't going to give it a “Healthiest Product of the Year” award from the National Institute of World Health, but for a frozen dinner, those are some pretty modest stats. There's also 8% dietary fiber, thanks to those noodles, which is also a decent dose, as well as 15% of three vitamins (calcium, vitamin C, and iron). That's not to say you should be fooled into thinking this is healthy enough to eat all the time, but when compared to similar meals, this one is a lot better than a vast majority of them.

Overall: 5.5/10. It didn't fill me up, but these meals never do, so I wasn't really heading into this with that expectation. It's a little light on the flavor side, YET it's also relatively light in sodium, calories, fat, and cholesterol compared to similar frozen dinners, so I guess that's a trade that you just have to expect. The $1.19 price tag is okay, however it's not as spectacular as the savings on other Aldi products. I can see this filling a certain niche, though, with the high amount of protein (12g) and decent amount of dietary fiber (8%). It won't have a permanent spot in our freezer, but this is a decent little snack to fill the void of an empty stomach that I will continue to get occasionally.

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