It’s been about 4 months since my last review, and I really don’t have a good reason for that. Obviously, I’ve purchased things since then. Things I could have reviewed. I’m just a world-class procrastinator, so I haven’t been motivated enough to tackle the monumental task of typing words on a computer. Yeah, I’m a winner! Seriously, I should get some kind of championship belt for procrastination. Wal-Mart sells these cheap foam/plastic championship belts so that you can pretend to be a wrestler or UFC fighter. I should get one of those, and paint “Procrastination Federation Heavyweight Champion” on it. Nah, I’m not motivated enough for that, either. I’ll just be happy that I’m actually sitting here now, typing up a new review 🙂
Up on the chopping block today is:
I realize that Lean Pockets aren’t the greatest choice when looking for a sensible meal. But dammit, they’re healthier than regular Hot Pockets! These were on sale at Wal-Mart for $2.50 per box, so I tossed one in the cart. Regular readers know that I’m a sucker for a new product, so I opted for the “Garlic Chicken White Pizza” variety. These come from Lean Pockets’ new “Chef Inspired” line of products. Before diving into the actual review, I have to share with you something that I read on the Lean Pockets website. Their description of the “Chef Inspired” pockets reads thusly:
“All the flavor and foodie fanciness a celebrity chef could provide – only unpretentious and portable. Get the flavorful herb toppings and creamy sauces inspired by chefs to go – in 8 grams of fat or less.”
Seriously? What kind of bullshit is that? I couldn’t help but laugh at that crap. “All the flavor… a celebrity chef could provide…” What the hell does that even mean? They’re obviously trying to cash in on the current trend of restaurants and food companies selling special celebrity chef-inspired dishes and products Food Network’s Guy Fieri and TGI Friday’s comes to mind. Hell, you can even find Rachel Ray olive oil and chicken stock at the grocery store now. Emeril Lagasse has all kinds of shit with his face on it. Guess what? His pasta sauce SUCKS. Maybe some people are falling for that crap, but I’m not. At least Lean Pockets didn’t plaster a picture of faux-chef Rachel Ray or someone on their box. I wouldn’t have bought it if that were the case. So yeah, lame marketing strategy. But on with the food review!
I am by no means a food snob. I love my junk food, convenience food, fast food, and fancy-shmancy food equally. So, I do like Hot Pockets. They’re like big, souped-up pizza rolls. This particular Hot Pocket won’t be making it into my favorites list, but it’s decent. First off, let’s cover the white sauce/cheese combo. Listed in the ingredients are parmesan, fontina, and mozzarella cheeses. They all kind of get lost together and become one with the white sauce, but the end result is palatable enough. Garlic is in full effect, but the sauce is a little too pasty and thick. I would not describe it as “creamy” for anything less than $25, lol. I just LOL’d in a product review; how professional. So, the sauce isn’t bad at all.
The chicken was plentiful enough, considering how cheap these pockets are. The flavor of the chicken was a little weak, but on par with most other, similar frozen foods. The sauce definitely overpowered the chicken, but the texture was there. I was pleased to find little onion bits inside the Lean Pocket. If it were legal to marry vegetables, I’d hook it up with onions in a heartbeat. I love onions. They’re definitely a nice addition to this product.
The crust….where to begin with the crust? Hot Pockets are never as crispy as I’d like. I suppose I could bake them in the oven, but I’m not waiting 30 minutes for a damned Hot Pocket. The crisping sleeve helps, but the crust still comes out more chewy than crispy. That being said, the crust was pretty tasty. It’s made with whole grains, and provides 3 grams (12%) of dietary fiber. The crust is seasoned/sprinkled with herbs and spices, which is a good thing. Hot/Lean Pocket crusts can suffer from lack of flavor sometimes, so it’s nice to see them making an effort to jazz it up a bit.
Regarding nutrition, these aren’t terrible at all. They’re marketed as a “lean” product, so I’m paying attention to the calories and fat. Here’s a shot of the nutrition info:
My dad always tells me that a good general rule is to try not to eat a lot of foods that have more than 1/3 of the total calories from fat. This one falls well below that guideline, so I’m giving it a thumbs up. If you could manage to eat just one of these with a serving of pretzels or baked chips (or a piece of fruit) for lunch, you’d probably be doing just fine if you’re trying to watch your weight.
Overall, I give the Garlic Chicken White Pizza Lean Pockets the thumbs-up. My one gripe is the sauce texture. Not a huge problem, but it’s something they could work on. I’ll probably try one of the other new varieties of Lean Pockets next time if the price is right.
I had to poop the entire time I was writing this review, by the way.