Lean Cuisine Review

Editor's Review: 3.6 / 5.0

What You Should Know

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Frozen meals have come a long way since the dreaded TV dinner from the seventies and eighties that our mothers used to serve us in a pinch. The choices were pretty limited then but today’s frozen meals offer a much greater variety and the taste has definitely improved. One of the most popular frozen meal lines is Lean Cuisine, made by Stouffers. Lean Cuisine offers several categories of meals including “One Dish Classics”, “Comfort Classics”, “Café Classics”, “Spa Cuisine Classics”, “Skillets”, “Dinnertime Selects” and “Casual Eating”.

The problem with many so called “diet” foods is that they do not cater to everyone’s needs. Many people are on low sodium diets and while many of the Lean Cuisine entrees are low in fat and calories, they are generally high in sodium. The official Lean Cuisine website does offer a menu planner, a fitness planner, recipes and the option to ask a nutritionist questions as well as browse through some of the previously asked questions and answers. There are success stories where dieters can read about other peoples struggles with their weight and get inspiration from their achievements.

Ingredients

Lean Cuisine entrees feature both meat and vegetarian options.

Product Features

Over 85 of Lean Cuisines entrees have received an endorsement from fitness coach Bob Greene, author of “The Best Life Diets”. Many of the frozen meals now include whole grains, twice the vegetables and omega 3’s to give them greater nutritional value.

See Our Featured Diet

Advantages

  • Lean Cuisine offers a variety of meals for everyone’s taste.
  • Lean Cuisine meals are low in fat and calories.

Disadvantages

  • Lean Cuisine frozen entrees may be high in sodium and not healthy for those on a low sodium diet.
  • The entrees must be kept frozen and require a microwave to cook them and may not be convenient for those on the go.
  • Dieters must add other food items to the diet plan to have a complete meal.

Conclusion

Lean Cuisine may be good for dieters who want a quick alternative to cooking their own meals. All one has to do is pop the meal in the microwave and in minutes you have a hot meal on your table. However it may not be a good option for those on the go, since the entrees must be kept frozen and preparing them requires a microwave oven. Unfortunately if you are on a low sodium diet, you may want to stick with cooking for yourself. Lean Cuisine is not the best choice for those who prefer low sodium options. When dieters prepare their own meals at home, they are in better control of what goes into them especially the salt. Spices like garlic powder, pepper and others can add a lot of flavor without the sodium.

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60 User Reviews about Lean Cuisine

  • 1
    Catherine Stanford

    Correction: Lean Cuisine is made by Nestle, not Stouffer’s. Did you say Stouffer’s because it used to be owned by that company? Anyway, I like Lean Cuisine meals quite a lot. The new Salad Additions are great–four different toppings to put on your lettuce sala. I don’t use all the salad dressing that comes with each forzen package of veggies and chicken. They have tried the Bistro Chicken with roasted veggies, Southwest, Asian-themed, and Cranberry and Chicken. I guess there are more now, but that’s all that my local grocery store has ever carried.

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  • 2
    maria

    when the 14 day diet plan first came out, I tried it and lost about 30 lbs on it. I thought the food was pretty good. true, its not for everyone and its not meant to be long term, just to maybe get you going in the right direction.

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  • 3
    Mary Ann

    I can’t find a way to find out if any of your ingredients come from China, particularly the fish and chicken. Other than that haunting question, I think Lean Cuisine dinner are delicious.

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  • 4
    Katy

    I enjoy most of the Lean Cuisine items and love the variety. The Cheese Ravioli is yummy!

    Although I really like green beans, I’m always disappointed with those in the LC meals. About 1/3 will have ugly brown areas on the skins. I hope it’s not rot, but the beans look like they’re rejects from someplace else and I just can’t make myself eat them.

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  • 5
    Anonymous

    I just bought the baked chicken with stuffing and mashed potatoes. It was the worst tv dinner I have ever had. The chicken reminded me of McDonalds old chicken nuggets. The texture was like meat that had been ground up and mixed with other bi products. Needless to say, I will not try that one again. For the most part, I have liked the other dinners.

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  • 6
    Lynn

    There has recently been a barrage of Lean Cuisine commercials selling the idea of custom meals. I thought “what a great idea, give options on sauce, no sauce etc.” but those initial commercials were the most insulting, demeaning commercials I have ever seen. When the guy starts mimicking the lady asking for the same thing as another woman, it made me change the channel in disgust. I could not believe a company trying to sell a product to woman would release that. It would be no surprise to me that the add person was a man and the person/s who were in authority at Lean Cuisine were men. Men completely out of touch with what and who a woman is. I wish I could say that the commercial used to replace that original disaster of a commercial was better but it is still my opinion that the commercial is horribly demeaning. The male voice sounds exacerbated with the woman and not only do I dislike the commercial, I certainly would never choose this product. There are so many ways to approach such a good idea. Too bad you chose to insult the very people you want to sell to.

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    Cathy

    Lynn,I agree with you 100%!When I first saw the ad I was appalled at how disrespectful his mimicking tone was. They must have had a lot of negative feedback because it’s been changed…still a terrible ad. Whoever approved that ad campaign should be fired!!

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  • 7
    Rene Craig

    I have been deathly ill for 3 days after consuming 4 Lean Cuisine meals, The only change in my diet. I have been up all night for 2 nights straight with diareahha (however you spell that) and horrifying stomach pain that I thought I was dying. Do not eat this crap it has been recalled over and over and the bad reviews outnumber the good ones heed the warning, yeah you will be lean allright after you have emptied your entire intestine system!! YIKES and no Not the FLU I was seen by a doctor and he said food poisening………….

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    Anonymous

    Hi. I have been trying Lean Cuisene for years now & while some are tasty a warning these diet meals are not for everyone. I’ve been having about 1 LC frozen meal a day alobg with yogurt fruit & other healthy foods. Three weeks of this & its caught up with me. Having gas & lower intestinal pain..feels like I may get diareeha. The meals are tempting but my opinion is to have these diet type meals onlyhon occasion. This goes for the diet frozen ice cream treats too. Its better to eat one tuna sandwich w/ a tiny bit of mayo than these meals. Not feeling well! Btw..my fav was the spring rolls & sweet & sour ckn. Take care.

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  • 8
    Molly

    cooking times for microwaving two spaghetti with meat sauce at one time

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  • 9
    Anonymous

    can you cook two spaghetti with meat sauce entrees at one time in the microwave. and if so what are the cooking times?

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  • 10
    Eduardo

    I’m starting to think that the lean cuisine meals aren’t supposed to be about the taste. I personally have had much better tasting food at some local restaurants. The sizes of the meals could be a lot bigger also. I’m a grown man that normally eats a couple of large plates of spaghetti to be satisfied or perhaps a 12-16 oz steak with potatoes.

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  • 11
    Betty Lamont

    Is it okay to cook at full power for less time when the directions are 9 minutes at 50% power? They do this at my office to save time and free up the microwave for others.

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  • 12
    Sydney

    I’ve been eating LCs for about 6 months now — they are especially helpful while in college. While the other girls go to Taco Bell or McDonalds, I can have a cheaper, healthier meal and feel better about myself. I’ve recently started eating them more often (twice a day, instead of just for lunch) because I’d like to drop from 130 to 120 in 6 months. I know, long time to lose not so much weight but I don’t want to stress about it.

    The endless options of LC is making this really easy for me, I especially love their Cheese Raviolis and Meat Lasagna. Try a few different varieties before making up your mind. So far the only ones I don’t care for are the BBQ Chicken Pizza and Honey Chicken — just not for me. Paired with Crystal Light instead of soda, I think I’m doing pretty good. Now, if I can only convince myself to have yogurt for breakfast…

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  • 13
    aya

    i purchasd the bbq-recei chicken pizza . unable to eat the worst taste

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  • 14
    kathy bray

    i purchasd the bbq-recei chicken pizza . unable to eat the worst taste . sweet bbq sauce crust too soft

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  • 15
    Marv

    Recently,your dishes made with meat have become poor tasting. Esp. Salisbury Steak.
    The quality is gone. What is happening?

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  • 16
    CB

    It works! Lost 5.4 lbs. in 9 days eating utilizing one “Spa” Lien Cuisine meal per day. At least temporarily, it helps toward controlled eating, just knowing what is you’re eating and providing at least a short term method to the madness. Combining with Slim Fast shakes and snacks committing to hyper- controlled eating for a couple of weeks. I was already fit, but had a few extra lbs. I actually really enjoy all the meals and not having to think too much or prepare for now. I do not expect 5-star cuisine, but still feel some of meal are delicious and treats. I feel this is a good jump start toward reaching an improved weight level. I am exercising 1 hour daily, also, which sweats out water weight daily of 2-4 lbs. I do not find the sodium so high and I am within acceptable limits. However, overall my total sugars intake could be less, but still acceptable for now. The daily ratio of protein, fats and carbs is in line. If I was doing more endurance exercising than I am, I would probably need to add some protein supplement, but am OK for now. Very satisfied!

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  • 17
    PAT

    I am a 56 year old single woman who has been very successful dieting with Lean Cuisine. I love all the “Comfort Classics” because they have beef and potatoes that I crave. The less time I spend in the kitchen cooking, the less likely I am to cheat. The bonuses are very few dishes to wash and grocery shopping is easy and fast. Works for me!

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  • 18
    Kara Price

    I’m a 22 year old woman and I love all of their meals!!!! They are so good!!!! I haven’t lost weight but thats my own fault because I have a self control problem!!!! Hey, what can I say, their meals are incredible!!! I promise I don’t work for them!!! I’m just a stay at home mommy!!!! But I would like some advice on how to make their meals work to my advantage!!! I need to lose alot of weight!!! About 90 pounds to be exact!!! And if anyone has any tips I’d love to hear them!!!

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    pasquale

    KARA,try eateing more veg,and fruit cut your carbs to almost nothing,,eat more fish,chicken or turkey,small portions also cut most sugar,like sweets ,cakes ext,and walk at least 40 minutes a day at a fast pace,,and you should see some change in a few months

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    Steve

    Try adding seasoning to the meals. Like. Pepper, Smoked Paprika and a dash of Red Pepper, if you like heat!! I also add a handful of Cashews or Sunflower seeds to the meals!!

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  • 19
    Joe

    I am a 41-year-old man. I am in the best shape of my life. I eat small portions, exercise, and power walk every day. I eat a Lean Cuisine for lunch at work every day. I have lost 75 pounds, and I look and feel incredible. Folks, all this negative sodium content talk is crazy. I believe in Lean Cuisine, and I will continue to make them a part of my diet. If you are in your 40′s and would like to look and feel great, change your eating habits..

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  • 20
    Krissi

    so just to clear some things up for those of you who are complaining about portion sizes…The reason the portions are small is because your so used to over eating to begin with. The portions are exactly what you should be eating at every meal regardless of what the food your consuming is. THIS is how you lose weight…portion control! Your body just need to become accustomed to the change in portion size your consuming. Once you have trained your stomach to only eat a certain amount at meal times, it will shrink and you wont be over stuffing your face with food hence, you’ll lose weight! If you don’t like the portions..don’t eat it…THAT SIMPLE! Thanks!

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  • 21
    jad

    I have tried 2 kinds of Lean Cuisine – Butternut Squash Ravioli, and Apple Cranberry Chicken. Both were excellent.

    I was surprised at the many textures, flavors, and ingredients in the apple cranberry chicken, including sunflower seeds, whole wheat orzo, cranberries, wheat berries, apples…I had actually bought this item by mistake, and ended up liking it a lot.

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  • 22
    kmd

    Shea, I can read and I have a microwave that has 50% power. However, their Market Creations do NOT cook in time given on the packages. This is a serious problem considering they include chicken and shrimp.

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    Anonymous

    The meat is already cooked, all you are doing is warming it up. So there is no issue of salmonella. As for the times different altitudes require different cook times as well as different microwaves.

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  • 23
    Beck

    Sophia~ WHAT!!! Diet food??? I boguht Lean Cuisine cause I love it. JK But seriously I really love the taste and wide variety off meals. I am not trying to diet, but hey, if it makes me loose weight in the process than yay! For those people that have said just keep trying different selections until you find ones you like. There are really amazing dishes. My favorite is the 4 cheese ravioli. Good luck!!!

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    Kara Price

    I actually did star out buying them just because I like them!!! Actually these are the best mic meals I’ve ever had!!!!

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  • 24
    American girl

    I just ate the turkey with apples. The apples were so good but the turkey and stuffing had too much salt and too much poultry seasoning in them. Was disappointed in the portion of the turkey, especially for the price. I don’t know why all the salt was added, I do use salt but that was a little too much. Is there any way you can change that? Thank You

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  • 25
    sophie

    I agree, alot of people on here whine and want to be reimbursed. What they need to understand is that by freezing food, it looses some of its taste to begin with. Second is that it is DIET food which is why it does not have the rich flavor that it would have if you cooked it yourself but the plus is that it does not have the calories as well. Do what my husband and I do… Two white scramble eggs for breakfast or cereal with low fat milk or cereal bars, make sure to follow to serving size when eating cereal, and for lunch we eat one lean cuisine and for dinner I cook making sure the meal that is cooked is vegies, fruits, and meat or fish only which always ALWAYS ends up being under 500 calories and we are not hungry after words because vegies are your number one thing that you can really eat alot of without having the worry about the calories. We make sure to excercise once to twice a day. And I have a 3 1/2 year old and a one month old and my hubby is in the Navy and gone 12 hours a day. If we can do it so can you. Exercise TV is the best for work out if you cant go to the gym. This option also keeps us away from all the sodium of having lean cuisine twice a day. You just have to make the effort to cook your meal. If you dont have time, on weekends or on your day off chop all the vegies you will have for the week and seperate them into ziploc bags and store them this way. this cuts down on time. Just make sure your preping work is done.

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  • 26
    shirley Davis

    In the 80s you published a diet booklet that came in a magazine. Is it still available? It was so easy to follow! Others might enjoy it as much as I did.

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  • 27
    jojo

    Shea is soo right. What a bunch of whiners! LIke that guy who wants to get reimbursed for burning his own meal! Dude they cost like 2 bucks, seriously! CHEAPO!! And as far as the taste, this is LEAN cuisine people, as in its not gonna have all the fat and rich taste you all are used to…thats why it helps you lose weight! Just be grateful there’s a brand that aids in weight loss, tastes as good as it can given what its for and we dont have to cook it!And stop being so spoiled and picky people! GEEZ!!!!!!!

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  • 28
    Judith Payne

    I purchased the Lean cuisine Spinach and Mushroom Pizza. it has got to be the worst frozen pizza i have ever eaten it has no taste at all

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    beth

    Oh my goodness!!!! I love these and have turned some of my colleagues on to these!!! Very cheesy, good mushrooms and so satisfying!!! So surprised to see this post!!

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    Angela

    Those pizzas are one of my favourite meals from Lean Cuisine! I can’t get enough of them! But everyone has different taste preferences.

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  • 29
    FRANCINE VOGIN

    i recently ate your product
    salmon with basil
    the salmon had a very fishy taste and smell.
    there was so much spinach that was all i could taste
    i felt i was eating a package of frozen chopped spinach
    needs improvement badly

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    Shea

    In response to Francine…Did you expect your FISH meal to not be FISHY?
    Honestly people, seems like the only reason people don’t like lean cuisine is because 1.) they picked meals they didn’t like anyway, 2.) they can not read directions(we are in 2010–maybe you need to update you microwave if it doesn’t offer 50% power??) and 3.) the meal did not have enough “good stuff in it”…often times the good stuff is why people are so fat..those 4 pieces of turkey are all you need—you shouldn’t eat more meat than the size of your fist anyway.

    If you really want to lose weight, lean cuisine makes it easy. Add some exercise and you’ll be so happy with the results that you’ll eat the “small” meals to keep your small waistline.

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    Krissi

    Honestly…I laughed at this lol Hate to break it to you Shea, but Salmon IS fish…maybe that’s why it smells like fish?

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    Krissi

    Sorry Shea, I meant Francine…My mistake!

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    Ms Pays attention

    Well said.

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    ganell

    Actually a good, fresh peice of Salmon does not have that much of a fishy taste, but I wouldn’t expect Lean Cuisine to have an incredibly fresh peice of Fish. If your ever in the Pacific NorthWest – try a Fresh Salmon Filet – best one I ever had was at the Hyatt Olive 8 In seattle. YUM YUM

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  • 30
    DeborahClark

    I started eating 1200 calories a day and its all lean crusine with veg and salads will this help my weight loss

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    JoeAlmostThere

    1200 calories should be enough to provide weight loss over a good length of time (4-8 weeks). The problem with your choice is like other have itterated, you will be taking in high sodium. This will cause you to hold onto water wait, which isn’t really a big deal unless you are a person that needs instance results once they begin a diet.

    Good odds the diet will work if you stick to it and incorporate some workouts into you week, my warning and advice is to put that scale away after your first weigh in and don’t look at it for 7-14 days. Avoid the daily measure, because somedays with the amount of sodium you’ll be taking, you’ll be holding water wait…which in time if you notice it a lot can get discouraging. Good luck!

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    Debra

    Thanks Joe, for the past 4 days I have been eating Lean Cuisines for 1 to 2 meals per day and trying to stay around 1200 to 1300 calories, and I haven’t seen any weight loss yet, so your comment about the water weight factor is appreciated. Patience!!!

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  • 31
    Deborah

    does it matter what dish you eat so long as its at lease 1200 calories

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  • 32
    hooch

    i like your meal the only thing i don’t like is the sodium is so high but i only eat one a day so thats not to bad i like your variety and with a daily work out at the gym i have lost 4lb in one week

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  • 33
    Vicki La Fever

    I think your meals are wonderful. Taste great, good balance, but I am allergic to wheat, and will have to quit eating them, unless you can come up with a wheat or gluten free section. Thank You for the many varieties you have. I know you can’t please everyone. I esp would like to thank you for the perservative free meals.

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  • 34
    Maria Jennings

    I like Lean Cuisine but I was appalled when tried to read the ingrediants list on the lastest batch I bought. Guess what? None in English on the box. I will stop buying it if they don’t fix that.

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    Vhana

    It’s on the other side of the box! I thought the same thing for a few minutes but then turned it around. :)

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  • 35
    Sean Elkins

    I absolutely love Lean Cuisine.. Every morning I have a fat free yogurt and piece of fruit for breakfast, followed by a low fat cheese stick for mid morning snack. Lunch is always a Lean Cuisine and a side salad with low fat or fat free dressing.. Afternoon snack is a piece of fruit and dinner is a Lean Cuisine and side salad.. I have lost nearly 80 pounds following this simple plan and feel better than ever. Lean Cuisine does seem to have a bit of sodium, however, drink your daily recommended intake of water and you will have no worries. TIP: I always buy the Lean Cuisines that have 5g of fat or less. I wish they would come out with some =good, low fat breakfast selections!

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    Megan

    Jimmy dean has a turkey sausage scramble that’s under 300 calories and 7g of fat. It’s a Sramble with eggs and potatoes. Quite satifying and sustaining.

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  • 36
    Gay Fairris

    HERB ROASTED CHICKEN. Directions call for 11 min & 30 sec. cooking. Needless to say,the whole meal was burned and had to be pitched. I noticed, afterwards, directions called for “50% power” which most microwaves do not have. I’d appreciate being reimbursed, and perhaps you can change the directions.Thank you.

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    Ms Pays attention

    ummm… really?? You want a refund because you didn’t bother to read the directions. And yes, most microwaves have power settings, unless you’ve somehow managed to keep your original from 1980 something.

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    Kara Price

    My microwave doesn’t offer the 50% power thing either!!! And I haven’t burnt a meal yet!!!! So maybe it was something you did not them!!!!

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    Me Again

    All microwaves have 50% power, you just don’t know how to set it. I bet there is a Power button on your microwave that you simply haven’t ‘observed’. Typically, one types in the time then presses the Power button and then the number ’50′ to get 50% power.

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  • 37
    Cynthia

    Krogers had lean cuisine on sale this past month. I bought several varieties to see if I liked them. After two weeks, I have lost 10-pounds and have never been hungry or dissatisfied. I cook one in the morning to take work, then only warm it at work. I really appreciate the spaghetti and meatballs, and the beef with portobello mushrooms and red potato combination! As I write this, I am eating their swedish meatball with pasta selection while my “dieting friends” are eating rice cakes. The have an enormous selection to suit any taste. I teach and am not affiliated with this company.

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  • 38
    Ruby

    I love all the varieties of foods. The paninies/pizza’s are a great option to regular sandwiches/pizza.

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  • 39
    Ann Sullivan

    Your roasted turkey breast was a disaster. It contained 4 tiny pieces of turkey, half the size shown on box. The stuffing was dryed bread with pieces of celery. (yuk)
    the green beans should have been thrown away instead of serving them in a meal. Very disappointed. Will not buy this product again.

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  • 40
    Albert Rothman

    I am a heart failure patient but a very fit man of 86 years. I hike regularly and eat healthily– low sat. fat, etc.

    I have stopped buying your dinners because of the following:

    Your foods are OK, but salt is too high. As a “healthy food organization, shouldn’t you have a food with a sodium option of 250 mg sodium or less.

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