My friends refer to me as the coupon queen. I know how to save money, and always find amazing deals – mostly because I happen to be a the right place at the right time. This was the case earlier in the week when I was doing my grocery shopping at Walmart, and found a display of frozen foods at a low one dollar each! I stocked up and have a freezer of convenience foods.
I just finished eating a Creamy Pasta Carbonara frozen dinner, made by Banquet. The picture on the box reminds me of a tuna noodle casserole, and the right corner of the box reads “NEW!”. This is the first time I have seen this version of Banquet frozen dinners in my local stores.
Banquet describes the meal as Linguine Pasta with a Cream Sauce, Parmesan Cheese, Peas and Bacon Bits. The picture shows a lot of peas and bacon bits, and I was anxious to give this meal a try. It comes in an 8 ounce box, and the meal itself is contained in a black tray that looks like plastic.
Preparation can be either in the microwave or conventional oven, but the conventional oven requires 25-28 minutes of cooking time, on top of the time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I chose the microwave method, since the meal is cooked in as little as four minutes. Cook it for 2 minutes, remove film and stir the contents, then cook for up to 2 minutes more.
I like meals that are low in calories, and Banquet Creamy Pasta Carbonara contains only 290 calories, which is a pretty low number. The fat grams are a little high, 12 grams or 10% of your daily allowance. 5 grams of fat are saturated, but there are no trans fats. Other nutritional facts are 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 720 milligrams of sodium (a little high at 30% of the daily value), 60 milligrams of potassium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and a generous 12 grams of protein.
When I took my Banquet Creamy Pasta Carbonara out of the oven, the white sauce had pooled into the corners of the container, so a good stirring was essential. The noodles are thin linguine noodles, free of egg yolks. They were tender and plentiful, as was the white sauce. I can’t say that I really tasted any Parmesan cheese, and the peas were not nearly as bountiful as the picture suggested. The bacon bits were hard and crunchy, and I felt like they tasted like those imitation bacon bits.
The meal by itself tasted a little bit bland, but a simple shake of salt and pepper really made a difference. I think if a meal such as this one as a comfort food. It was rich and creamy with plenty of rich sauce. My only complaints are that there were not enough peas and the bacon was too crunchy and hard.