TV dinners, as disgusting and unfoodlike as they are, still can fill a viable role in the right person’s life. Take me, for example. I lost several pounds after being on a certain medication, and these usually offer just the right combination of cholesterol, fat, and sodium to help me get right back on track. They also function as a quick meal, or more likely in my case, a quick snack to hold me over between meals.
This reminds me of fettuccine alfredo TV dinners that I’ve had over the years, and have tended to like (although Aldi’s version, which they no longer sell, wasn’t very good at all), at least based on look. I was expecting a smell similar to rich, creamy alfredo, but this had a different smell entirely, one that said I should just put the fork down and walk away. But I decided to ignore the ominous scent and dove right in…
Sometimes, the nose can be a deceptive force. There are cheeses that smell like hell, but that taste delicious. Ditto for beverages, and any number of other edible items. Unfortunately, in this case, it was right…the sauce here tastes more like a gravy for dumplings than it does any kind of sauce that should be adorning a pasta. Even though there seems to be a lot of sauce, the flavor in each bite dissipates before the noodle is swallowed, leaving behind the bland taste of a lame, frozen fettuccine noodle, mixed with a taste that I could swear is cardboard packaging.
Ironically, the creepy chicken is probably the best component here, as it seems to be seasoned (or “naturally flavored”) with something that would approach “delicious” were the rest of the dish not so underpar. Worst of all, and the reason I haven’t bought a frozen dinner like this from Aldi in a long time, is the $1.19 price tag: similar brands with far more options offer the same kinds of meals for $1 elsewhere. Sure, you have to wait for them to be on sale, but they seem to be more often than not, at least on the rare occasions I wander into a supermarket. That’s one of the dwindling downsides to Aldi…with no sale prices on their items, it’s never less than this price.
Since this is Fit & Active, that would insinuate that these are at least slightly better for you than standard TV dinners, and at a quick glance (and with nothing to compare it too), I could see a case being made: Each carton has just 25% sodium, 11% fat, and 10% cholesterol. These are no doubt high numbers, but relatively low compared to others that I’ve seen; I wouldn’t call these “healthy”, but those that do stay active could probably easily burn off the 250 calories in a short time frame.
In short? Not very good at all.
Overall: 4/10. It looks like it will be a creamy alfredo-like pasta, but the sauce actually tastes more like the gravy in dumplings than anything that should be on a pasta. It’s pretty bad when the weird chicken ends up being the best thing in the entire dish. The price tag is also a letdown, with these retailing for $1.19…other supermarkets always have similar frozen meals on sale for $1, and they have a lot more flavor than this. Minor upside: this is “healthier” than most TV dinners, with only a quarter of your daily sodium intake (assuming 2,000 calorie diet) and a tenth cholesterol, but when the tradeoff is crappy flavor, it’s kind of hard to take that seriously. Been avoiding Aldi TV dinners for a while now, and this is just only cements my decision for the future.