According to the Lean Cuisine website, they’re promoting their new Casual Cuisine Spring Rolls as snacks. But, I’ve never thought of spring rolls as a snack. These potato chips I’m eating that are making my keyboard greasy while I’m typing this is a snack. This candy bar I’m also eating that makes my keyboard sticky while I’m typing this is a snack. These cookies I’m also eating that leave crumbs on my keyboard that find their way between the keys and cause them to jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam is also a snack. But spring rolls…no.
I’ve always thought of springs rolls as an appetizer, or as the French say, hors d’oeuvres. They’re also usually the only menu item I can pronounce without offending anyone at Vietnamese or Thai restaurants.
The Lean Cuisine Casual Cuisine Spring Rolls come in three varieties: Fajita-Style Chicken Spring Rolls with white meat chipotle chicken, corn, black beans, bell peppers and onions; Garlic Chicken Spring Rolls that contain white meat chicken, garlic, spinach, onions and parmesan cheese; and Thai-Style Spring Rolls that contain white meat chicken, shredded cabbage, julienne yellow carrots and spicy red coconut curry.
Each spring roll measures 4.25 inches long and about an inch wide, and they really don’t look like what’s pictured on the box, thanks to the burnt ends. But then again, what product in the history of frozen microwaveable foods looks like the picture on the front of the box. Each box comes with two servings of three spring rolls, and each serving comes with its own crisping sleeve, but no dipping sauce. The effectiveness of the crisping sleeve varies. They do a good job of crisping the ends of each roll, but the middle, not so much. Also, once prepared, the exterior is a little greasy.
The chipotle chicken in the Fajita-Style Chicken Spring Rolls has a smidgen of heat and a decent flavor. The black beans and onions were also noticeable, but despite being able to see chunks of corn and bell peppers, I couldn’t distinguish them from the other ingredients, and, although I’m not a lawyer, I think they’re just in there so they can legally be called “Fajita-style.”
After reading the front of its box, I thought the Garlic Chicken Spring Rolls would be really good, creating a spinach dip-like flavor. The garlic and parmesan cheese were the strongest flavors, but the combination of all the ingredients created a weird amalgamation of flavors that destroyed my hopes for these spring rolls and made them my least favorite of the three.
As for the Thai-Style Spring Rolls, I was equally as disappointed with them as the Garlic Chicken variety. I expected the spicy red coconut curry to be a strong flavor and for it to be spicy, but it wasn’t. The carrots stood out for some strange reason, which is fine for rabbits, but not for me. Also, with each bite, I didn’t taste the curry at first, but after chewing several times, the curry flavor starts to come out. It’s as if the curry needs the enzymes in my saliva to activate.
I can’t say I was blown away by any of these Lean Cuisine Spring Roll varieties, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be the Fajita-Style Spring Rolls because itâ€™s the only flavor doesn’t taste a bit off. The other two flavors aren’t god-awful, but I don’t think they’re worth getting my keyboard greasy because of them.
(Nutrition Facts – 3 spring rolls – Fajita-Style Chicken – 200 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 580 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein. Garlic Chicken – 200 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of sugar, 0 grams of trans fat, 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 580 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein. Thai-Style Chicken – 200 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 580 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein.)
Item: Lean Cuisine Casual Cuisine Spring Rolls (Fajita-Style Chicken, Garlic Chicken and Thai-Style Chicken)
Size: Six spring rolls
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Fajita-Style Chicken)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Garlic Chicken)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Thai-Style Chicken)
Pros: Two packs of three spring rolls per box. Fajita-Style Chicken was the best tasting of the three. Contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Being able to order something at a Thai restaurant without offending anyone.
Cons: Garlic Chicken and Thai-Style Chicken taste a bit off. Spring rolls aren’t snacks. Exterior is a little greasy. Crisping sleeve doesn’t do a thorough job of crisping. Curry flavor in Thai-Style Chicken takes awhile to come out. Garlic Chicken has a weird garlic flavor. Keyboard keys getting jammed due to crumbs.