Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bad Girl Review: Voila! Garlic Chicken

Want an honest product review? You'll always find them here.

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I received a free sample of Birds Eye Voila! which are "delicious skillet meals made in minutes." Thank you Foodbuzz and Birds Eye! Birds Eye's website says there are 17 varieties of Voila! available, including chicken, shrimp or beef meals. My teeny tiny grocery store currently carries two varieties: Garlic Chicken and Three Cheese Chicken. For tonight's dinner, we chose Garlic Chicken. There was 1 pound and 6 ounces in what I assume is the "regular size" package, just under 4 servings, according to the nutritional information.

The chicken and vegetables come out of the bag looking bright and fresh. It's easy to make, just add 1/4 cup of water to a pan along with the contents of the bag, and start heating! The instructions said to reduce heat to medium-high and cover. This turned out to be too high, after half of the 7-9 minutes, it started to stick a bit when I opened the cover to stir. I ended up reducing the heat to low to finish cooking, and despite frequent stirring, it still stuck just a bit. Not too bad though.

As you can see, the dinner looks appetizing and fresh, even after cooking. I asked my family to report their opinions.

I thought the chicken, pasta and vegetable combo was surprisingly fresh-tasting, and had a light sauce with good flavor. The chicken had a good texture, not chewy or rubbery, and even the pasta was good. It makes a decent, quick, last-minute weeknight option. I would rather throw it together from scratch, a fresh meal from fresh ingredients, but I sure couldn't do that in 10 minutes!

H-Bomb, age 8, possessing a truly sophisticated palate, said that the chicken had "a spicy aftertaste," and he didn't care for the pasta, but he finished his dinner. He said "I just liked the broccoli."

Sawed Off, age 5, tasted only one bite and said he didn't like it. Even the promise of dessert couldn't convince him to clean his plate. It's possible they would prefer the Three Cheese Chicken, but I don't know.

Number One, my husband, said it was "good, for a frozen dinner." He would eat it again.

I may use one of the coupons I have, just to stash a couple bags in the freezer for a desperate school night. Speaking of which,

I do have a BUNCH of
Buy-One-Get-One-Free COUPONS
from Foodbuzz and Birds Eye,
so if you're interested in trying Voila!,
"like" my page on facebook
& leave a wall post about Voila!
I'll give coupons to
the FIRST 15 people to do so,
and will contact you to find out
where to send your coupon!


Now to the ingredients. I feel like I need to disclose this, even though I am submitting this post to the Birds Eye people and to Foodbuzz. Food companies have to know how consumers truly feel. Even though we did eat this ONE meal.

It doesn't help that we received this product after we'd recently taken a stand against ultra-processed, ubiquitous corn and soy products. Last year, we may not have given it a second thought. But it's been nagging at me to the point I just can't stand it anymore: I just don't understand WHY every single processed food product MUST include corn AND soy in MULTIPLE variations.

If you don't care about the abundance of corn and soy in every single food product in the USA, by all means, go buy this one, it tastes better than a lot of things.

I do care. So for your information, should you choose to read it, here's the breakdown of soy/corn from the ingredients list:

(*I haven't gotten so far as to analyze or discover the chemical or other names for soy or corn, so these are only the obviously listed "corn" and "soy" products. For all I know, there could be even more*)

  • Isolated soy protein
  • Corn flour
  • Corn starch
  • Defatted soy flour
  • MORE Corn starch
  • Partially hydrogenated soybean oil
  • MORE Partially hydrogenated soybean oil
  • Soy lecithin

Do you see what I mean? EIGHT various forms of corn and soy?? There aren't even that many REAL ingredients, at least there shouldn't be: Chicken. Pasta. Broccoli. Corn (kernels!). Carrots. Garlic Sauce.

Add all eight forms to all the other processed foods a person in America likely eats in a day, and it's staggering. I don't like it. I don't trust it. I don't see how it's necessary or why it's done, and it must stop. There is a reason so many of us are unhealthy. And I didn't even touch the sodium or sugar levels. I'll just say they're both more than in there, Read The Labels for yourself.

The end.

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