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Old 02-07-2014, 03:06 PM   #1
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TV dinners

Okay, so I hope I don't get flamed for this...

But I bought some of those TV dinners and looked on te back on the Banquet Salisbury steak meal and was surprised it had only 250 calories. Now I KNOW TV dinners are not nutritionally great, and eating 250 calories of veggies would be a much better bet, but at $1.25 a piece they are a good solution for someone like me who works full time, attends school, is a single mom and doesn't have a whole lot of time or energy to put into cooking.

Again I know there's probably zilch vitamin-wise in them but I thought I would share for those struggling with dd meals or keeping a budget.
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:27 PM   #2
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Michelina's has some good low calorie (150-180 calorie) meals. Lean Cuisine is a bit pricier, but has a better selection and many lower calorie options. There are others, but those two are ALWAYS in my freezer. I even have them for lunch on UDs sometimes if I'm pressed for time. (ETA: I just brought 3 to work today "just in case.")

Nobody will flame you here. I've been here over 2 years and everyone knows I don't cook. I live on fast food or TV dinners, or DH cooks (often he cooks dinners, but the rest of the day is up to me). I've never been criticized for my choices.
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Last edited by KeirasMom; 02-07-2014 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:43 PM   #3
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The Lean Cuisine Chicken in Wine Sauce (160 calories) has saved me many a night. I enjoy cooking and do it most nights, but on those nights when I just dont feel like it, I think a tv dinner works wonders. Let us know if you find some real tasty ones!
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:25 PM   #4
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The only problem I have with frozen dinners is the price. I prefer the Lean Cuisines when dieting, because most of the others are too high calories (for DDs). I didn't realize there were "regular" frozen dinners with so few calories and that were so inexpensive! Thank you for sharing.

However, with my university discount, Wendy's is pretty darn cheap.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:43 PM   #5
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There are a few Marie Callendars for around 300 calories. yes that is higher than some people like to go on a DD but those days when I'm just flat out HUNGRY with no time to shop and cook and would otherwise blow a DD sometimes that roasted chicken with gravy and mashed potatoes or turkey medallions with stuffing just really hit the spot.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaisMama View Post
Okay, so I hope I don't get flamed for this...

But I bought some of those TV dinners and looked on te back on the Banquet Salisbury steak meal and was surprised it had only 250 calories. Now I KNOW TV dinners are not nutritionally great, and eating 250 calories of veggies would be a much better bet, but at $1.25 a piece they are a good solution for someone like me who works full time, attends school, is a single mom and doesn't have a whole lot of time or energy to put into cooking.

Again I know there's probably zilch vitamin-wise in them but I thought I would share for those struggling with dd meals or keeping a budget.
No! You won't be flamed! My favorite is Banquet turkey/gravy/mashed potatoes/stuffing dinner. I think it's 275 calories or something like that.

What I do is use Steam Fresh veggies to go along with it. I usually do the brocolli, put the whole bag into a big bowl after microwaving it, and then dump the Banquet turkey dinner over the brocolli.

I find it super delicious and filling and it's something I have eaten on UDs as well.

So, think about pouring your tv dinner over steamed veggies. You will increase the nutrition, get nice and full, and won't add too many calories.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:08 PM   #7
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Oh, and I have paid as little as 98 cents for banquet dinners!
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:09 PM   #8
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WW Santa Fe Chicken is only 140. Add a package of miracle rice and it is 2 DD meals.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:29 PM   #9
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No flames! Sometimes something easy with the calories right there on the box saves your day.

Thanks for the tips, BUDDDs! I love the ideas I got from this thread.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:46 PM   #10
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I had no idea those were so low in calories! I used to love the Salisbury steak one as a kid. Back in the olden days when you cooked them in the foil pan in the oven, and there was always a pea or piece of carrot in your brownie.

No, you'll not see flames here. We all do what we gotta do on DDs, and sometimes that means packaged, easy, cheap. Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:51 PM   #11
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I like TV dinners I just don't have a microwave. I'm not sure if you can make them in the oven since the trays are plastic? LOL!
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:52 PM   #12
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PS. I like your Homer Simpson avi!
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:55 AM   #13
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No flaming from me.
I am a widow and live alone.
I eat these frozen meals quite often.
On DDs I like to spend as little time in the Kitchen as possible and on UDs they are just so quick and easy. On UDs I add extra veggies and a slice of 35 cal. bread. Some of them are just flat out delicious. I always need help w/ portion control.
There is a Lean Cuisine one that just has some kind of beef and broccoli on an UD I will add a baked sweet potato and feel very satisfied.
I eat these convenience foods even when I am not on any plan.
No flaming from me.
In fact: Big HUG for bringing the topic up!
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:05 AM   #14
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Nope, no flaming here!

I like canned soup on DDs. And since i've become a obsessive label reader, I do get a little leery about what's in them, but heck, if they help me lose weight, so be it. There's worse things I could be doing to myself.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:36 AM   #15
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You guys are so sweet, those honestly aren't the responses I was expecting! I think I've been in other forums where people were pretty judgemental on others eating habits.

Keirasmom- whatever you're doing seems to be working so I'll take your advice any day!

Macci and Carly- those kinds sound delicious I'm gonna have to try them!

Yam-yam- that is an excellent idea about the steamed veggies I will have to do that.

Lowcarbgal- I was really surprised when I read that too. It seems like the portions have gone down some and maybe that's the reason but I really think it's enough especially if you did an additional veggie side. So far I've just found the Salisbury steak and turkey medallions to be lower.

Pat kid- hugs back! I know when my son is visitng with his dad I'm not about to cook a big meal for one and do all the dishes afterwards. Much easier to pop one of those in and watch a good show!

Ladykt- I just bought a ton of progresso soups in the larger cans for a buck a piece! I thought that was a good deal and would come in handy if I didn't know what to make.

Broadway- thank you I love all things Simpsons and you can pop them in the oven oddly enough the plastic doesn't melt.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:31 PM   #16
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It's funny, about 10 years ago, I used to eat 1 cup of soup (1/2 the can pretty much) for lunch every.single.day. I didn't calorie count, cycle, nothing. Sure I ran ~2 miles a day and had a slightly fast thyroid, but I was down to the low 130's. I haven't been there since, but considering I didn't have to track and was still losing weight, I wonder if the soups played a part in that.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:22 PM   #17
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I just want to plug my favorite Lean Cuisine Dinner, which I eat for lunch every down day. Herb Roasted Chicken has 180 calories and includes broccoli, red peppers, and potatoes in a mushroom sauce. Yummy! I watch for sales and stock up, usually for $1.97/ea.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:30 PM   #18
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The Lean Cuisine Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce over angel hair pasta, and the one with creamed spinach and chopped grilled chicken are my absolute favorites. I shouldn't eat the pasta one now (with my LC diet), but I'm going to look for the one with the creamed spinach--difficult to find sometimes.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:25 PM   #19
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I have frozen meals at least 3 days per week, mostly for late lunch when I just can't handle cooking. My kids would live on them....IF I let them.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:59 PM   #20
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This one reason I love my JBs. We are here to support each other nt to criticize.

If it works for you, do it. I think you are an amazing woman doing a wonderful job, TvV dinners ain't going to damage your health a couple of times a week. Or more!

And, as per your other thread, not counting on an UD is not a problem either, as long as that doesn't mean you head for a free for all UUAD.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:12 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yam-Yam View Post
No! You won't be flamed! My favorite is Banquet turkey/gravy/mashed potatoes/stuffing dinner. I think it's 275 calories or something like that.

What I do is use Steam Fresh veggies to go along with it. I usually do the brocolli, put the whole bag into a big bowl after microwaving it, and then dump the Banquet turkey dinner over the brocolli.

I find it super delicious and filling and it's something I have eaten on UDs as well.

So, think about pouring your tv dinner over steamed veggies. You will increase the nutrition, get nice and full, and won't add too many calories.
Great idea! As I was trying to go LC over the last couple of years I got used to experimenting with odd meat/veggie combos but never really thought of using a tv dinner like this. Now, I'm inspired. Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:55 PM   #22
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I need to get me a few of these. That sante fe sounds really good and I have bags of miracle noodles in my fridge.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:10 PM   #23
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Some of the frozen ones are easy to convert into a soup, too. Just heat like normal then add them to some broth or whatever and warm through
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:26 PM   #24
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I don't eat them very often anymore because they're too carby for me but way back in the day I used to really enjoy Amy's Tamale Pie which has about 150 calories. It's filling and with a little greek yogurt and some salsa it really tastes great. You could have it over miracle rice or veggies too.

For the record I also don't think there's anything wrong with eating some frozen meals as part of your diet. You certainly could do a lot worse. If it helps keep you from eating more than you want to eat or makes it easier to track your calories, I think it's all good.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:31 PM   #25
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Great idea! As I was trying to go LC over the last couple of years I got used to experimenting with odd meat/veggie combos but never really thought of using a tv dinner like this. Now, I'm inspired. Thanks!
I think that's one of the neatest things about JUDDD-- you can do it any way you want.
LC, Paleo, Zone, WW, vegetarian... Love it!

And you can now shop in any area of the store-- no food is off limit.

It BLEW my mind when I started doing JUDDD! I can use whatever recipe I want. I can buy whatever food I want.

I've not bought hamburger helper yet. I looked at the box, but didn't take it home.

I've had ramen, I've had kraft macaroni and cheese (called Kraft Dinner here in Canada ), I'm having sushi regularly (and often, supermarket sushi)...

back to frozen dinners-- I like the Healthy Choice steamers. And when we were renovating the kitchen last summer, bought a ton of boxed stuff-- all we had was the microwave and plastic forks.

we TOTALLY had hungryman dinners-- walk down memory lane.

My grocery store used to sell (I hope they continue) a cauliflower-topped shepherd's pie. A big tray, so 1/2 is 480 cals, and that's a whole DD dinner!
The potato topped isn't much more in calories, just in carbs

OH, THE FREEDOM!
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:48 PM   #26
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I have to say I have never bought, or eaten a TV dinner.
To think in 15 mins or less? u can have a full course meal! Just makes me giggle.
I'm not making fun,.
We didn't grow up eating them I guess
Now frozen fruit pies count me in!
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:52 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locarbarella View Post
I don't eat them very often anymore because they're too carby for me but way back in the day I used to really enjoy Amy's Tamale Pie which has about 150 calories. It's filling and with a little greek yogurt and some salsa it really tastes great. You could have it over miracle rice or veggies too.

For the record I also don't think there's anything wrong with eating some frozen meals as part of your diet. You certainly could do a lot worse. If it helps keep you from eating more than you want to eat or makes it easier to track your calories, I think it's all good.
I love Amy's tamale pie. I just went to the store to get some more, and saw their calorie count changed. It's now 170 calories. I know 20 more calories isn't a lot, but it is on a DD.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:03 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeirasMom View Post
I love Amy's tamale pie. I just went to the store to get some more, and saw their calorie count changed. It's now 170 calories. I know 20 more calories isn't a lot, but it is on a DD.
bummer Oh well, maybe cut a little off the cornmeal top ???

I forgot. I used to eat them over lettuce too for a "taco salad" vibe. yummy.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:15 PM   #29
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I miss the convenience of TV dinners and frozen food. I used to take the Swanson Hungry Man dinners for lunch all the time (like Salisbury steak or the Mexican ones). I also used to stock up on Hot Pockets when they went on sale. They were awesome for lunch, despite the difficulty in heating them evenly in the microwave.

I also used to get these great frozen burritos at Costco that were really good.

Unfortunately, no one really makes a decent frozen gluten free dinners that don't cost an arm and a leg. On the other hand, I'm probably a lot healthier because of what I don't eat any more.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:20 PM   #30
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Quote:
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I like TV dinners I just don't have a microwave. I'm not sure if you can make them in the oven since the trays are plastic? LOL!
Didn't you have a microwave thread?

Some of the frozen meals in paper trays (maybe all of them) also have oven instructions. I know I've cooked some of them in the oven and they cook well.
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