Dietitian's Top Pick: Weight Watcher's Smart Ones Smart Creations Chicken Santa Fe

Today's Dietitian's Top Pick is a frozen meal.  Weight Watcher's Smart Ones Smart Creations Chicken Santa Fe earned a NuVal score of 42.  You may be surprised to find a Dietitian's Top Pick in the frozen meal section.  Yes, a lot of frozen meals are very high in sodium and fat.  But several brands make an effort to reduce fat, sodium and offer a couple vegetable servings in their meals (like Weight Watcher's Smart Ones, Stouffer's Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice and Amy's Light & Lean).

There can be some benefits to eating a frozen meal.  The bigest one is conveneince.  Many people are overwhelmed with the planning it takes to prepare meals at home or work.  Being able to grab a frozen meal can save you a lot of time.  They also are great for portion control.  You may think that frozen meals are too small or not enough food.  They actually have pretty great portion sizes!  Feel free to add in extra veggies if you do need more substance at meal time.  A dark green, leafy salad or even an additional frozen vegetable can increase the volume without compromising calories.

The Chicken Santa Fe is "white meat chicken with a blend of zucchini, bell peppers, onions and black beans, tossed in a Santa Fe style sauce."  This would even be great served over a 1/2 cup of brown rice for additional fiber.  This meal is also gluten-free.

Here's a closer look at the nutrition of this frozen meal:

Nutrition Information:
Serving size: 225 g (1 package)
Calories: 140
Total Fat: 2.5g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 30mg
Sodium: 800 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 11g
Dietary Fiber: 4g
Sugars: 6g
Protein: 20g
Vitamin A: 10%
Vitamin C: 25%
Calcium: 4%
Iron: 10%

Ingredients: Sauce (Diced Tomatoes [Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Citric Acid, Calcium Chloride], Water, Onions, Dijon Mustard [Water, Vinegar, Mustard Seed, Salt, White Wine, Fruit Pectin, Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Sugar, Spice], Ketchup [Tomato Concentrate, Distilled Vinegar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Salt, Spice, Onion Powder, Natural Flavoring], Chicken Broth Powder [Chicken Broth, Salt, Flavoring], Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic, Corn Oil, Green Chiles [Green Chile Peppers, Citric Acid], Modified Cornstarch, Chili Powder [Chili Peppers, Cumin, Oregano, Salt, Garlic, Ethoxyquin], Cilantro), Cooked White Meat Chicken (White Meat Chicken, Water, Modified Tapioca Starch, Sugar, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Glazed with Water, Caramel Coloring, Modified Potato Starch), Zucchini, Green Bell Peppers, Black Beans, Red Bell Peppers.

Unique Ways to Use Frozen Meals:
You could also use this frozen meal with other ingredients to make a great appetizer like Santa Fe Queso Dip or a meal Santa Fe Chicken Chili.  "Semi-homemade!"  

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