REVIEW: Birds Eye Steamfresh Sweet & Spicy Chicken Meals for Two

Like most children, I was picky when it came to food. I would bitch and moan if I found one tiny pea in my mother’s homemade beef stew, I would demand my sandwiches be cut in quarters and I would only eat raw vegetables. That selectiveness faded when I became a college student. My food qualifications have gone down significantly.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like to eat healthy, but if it’s a toss up between partying, books and gourmet food, I’m going to choose $2 You-Call-Its at the local sleazy establishment that always has some weird Willie Nelson look-alike in the back nursing Old Milwaukee over spending time preparing venison filets with a raspberry reduction.

Actually, I wouldn’t even know where to start when it comes to whipping up a meal, since my culinary expertise goes from grilling chicken breasts and steaks on my George Foreman grill to putting the right amount of water when making Easy Mac. However, learning how to cook is on my list of things I would like to accomplish. It’s pretty high up on the list since it is more useful than playing the didgeridoo.

Birds Eye Steamfresh Meals for Two masks somebody’s lack of cooking skills (all you do is toss it in the microwave for 10 minutes and open it up) when you need to impress the person you’ve been dating, because your profile is built upon lies.

“Why, yes, I am Egyptian royalty, and I’m wonderful in the kitchen…and the bedroom…*meow*”

But if you do serve this meal as apart of a romantic dinner that includes box wine, paper plates, and suppressed memories about that summer you spent with your crazy uncle who bragged about being a roadie for Whitesnake, don’t be surprised by the confusing stares your date will be giving the plate because of the random ingredients tossed in there. It’s like whatever extra was around in the food lab was thrown in. Tomatoes and onions? Sure, they go with chicken and pasta. Olives? Some people like them, others don’t. Raisins? Did you say raisins? Well, they’re in there as well.

Maybe I’m stereotyping things, but when I hear Sweet & Spicy, Asian-inspired meals from a mall food court come to mind. But there’s nothing Asian about this dish. There’s a heck of a lot more spice (a.k.a red pepper) than sweet, which I enjoyed. I can’t really define an exact flavor for it, but it did remind me of something I had on an international flight once. (Airline Gourmet maybe?)

The rigatoni was perfectly al dente, the chicken was plentiful and there were a lot of raisins, which I guess could be the “sweet” part, but they really didn’t add much flavor. Instead they added a “What the hell is this? Oh, it’s a raisin” element, because the raisins became shriveled up brown things at the bottom of the bowl (even when tossed around). The serving size is just about right when you feel like you could eat, but if you haven’t had anything in your stomach all day except a packet of old peanut butter crackers you found in your desk, then you can easily eat both portions, pretend the meal never existed and order take-out when your date comes over.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 bag – 370 calories, 10 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 930 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, 20 grams of protein, 15% vitamin A, 2% vitamin C, 6% calcium and 20% iron.)

Item: Birds Eye Steamfresh Sweet & Spicy Chicken Meals for Two
Price: $6.75
Size: 24 ounces
Purchased at: Market Basket
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Super easy to make. Pretending you know how to cook. Pretty healthy if you stick to the portion size. High in protein. The didgeridoo. Finding snacks that you didn’t know you had.
Cons: Random ingredients. Slightly misleading product name. Creepy old dudes at college bars. Waiting 10 minutes. Lots of sodium.

26 thoughts to “REVIEW: Birds Eye Steamfresh Sweet & Spicy Chicken Meals for Two”

  1. I don’t know if I am that big of a fan of raisins in my pasta. Though I have never had any in my pasta I don’t think that it would go over well with me. 😛

  2. Raisins???!! It that suppose to make the meal sweet? Hell why didnt they put something better like chocolate or maybe some red Hots in it? I luv many BirdEye products but strange with the raisins

  3. “….they added a “What the hell is this? Oh, it’s a raisin” element.” – Hahah. I’ve seen fruit and pasta (okay, okay, we all know tomatoes are technically a fruit) on several occasions including pear and apple but I’ve NEVER enjoyed it. I want my pasta to be nice and hearty…not sweet and not having me think, “What is that?”

    This seems like a very weird dish…makes you wonder about the taste testing and marketing research of Birds Eye.

  4. That is hideous. :p
    My mother makes a pasta dish that is healthy:penne, dried apricots, cranberries, and chicken in some sort of sauce. It is actually fairly good.

    I don’t do raisins though, yuck!

  5. My mom used to deliberatly put more peas in the beef stew lol, still as abominable as all that is, I think that I could probably stick to the portion size on this one.

  6. @as Are you aware about what this site is about? If you want hard hitting product reviews you’re at the wrong place. Consumer Reports might be more of your style.

  7. Yesterday, I had the Chicken Teriyaki from Steamfresh – only because it was on sale for $3.99. Even for that price, It would be worth it to make the same thing from scratch. The sauce was good and it was easy to make on a hot summer day. But there were very few veggies and A LOT of rice. Don’t know if I’d recommend it…

  8. I did want to try one of these steam microwaved cooked dishes but instead of being too picky on the contents, I was too picky on the price. Then again these meals are for two, supposedly, so I guess I’m not supposed to touch this product.

    If it was the other way around, it could be sweet from the sauce but the spicy would be a lot of cut up peppers that wouldn’t even give the dish a lot of flavor.

  9. I go away for a few days and come back to find you’ve picked up a couple of as-holes lately.

  10. @as: Ditto to what Kayla said. If you don’t like how we write reviews go somewhere else. We’re just trying to entertain people with them and that’s the reason why they’re written the way they are. Sure, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and I don’t expect it to be. I learned a long time ago that I can’t please everyone, and apparently we cannot please you, but I hope you can please yourself by jumping on any of the fine review blogs in the right hand column.

  11. Hmmm raisins suck, I’d like to try this but I can’t handle the raisins….still mabey I could give it just a tiny nibble.

  12. Great review, Kayla! I dig your style on here. It is a complement to Marvo’s. You are different, yet you still have the whole “Impulsive Buy” thing going on.

  13. This actually sounds pretty good and even looks somewhat like the picture on the label says it will look like when it’s prepared. But the raisins make it weird enough to make me doubt I’ll try it.

  14. Raisins? Yikes. Birds Eye really has to fire the ghost of my great grandmother from their culinary council and replace her with actors dressed as chefs a la Olive Garden. Who did raisins have to sleep with to earn ingredient status?

  15. Egyptian royalty, LOL! I love your reviews! The raisins, eck, I think they got a bit too creative and whoever did it will probably be canned for it.

    Oh my gosh MR. Comfort Wipe, ‘dingleberries’!!!!! Too funny!

  16. WOW! WHAT A GREAT DINNER FOR TWO! My wife (84) and I (87) followed the easy directions to prepare the greatest
    dinner this evening. Neither of us could prepare a Shrimp Alfredo to compare with yours! Our freezer will soon offer a medly of your steam products! Thank you

    Ed McClean & Mary Brann

  17. Chicken Teriyaki from Steamfresh??? never heard of it… maybe it’s their Voila meals?? Well you either love this meal or hate this personally I like it!!!

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