Frozen diet meals cater to that particular — and vast — demographic of people who are at once lazy and calorie-conscious. Like some of us here. Despite common sense, we believe that we're popping a healthy and satisfying dinner in the microwave; the box show us so! That dinner looks so delicious, so fresh, doesn't it? In reality, however, it's all just a big pile of soft wet stuff that, with any luck, is at least made with "convincing" ingredients — like when the fake cheese actually tastes like real cheese. See, we're buying into the fantasy of a suitable dinner. Sound familiar? It should, because these frozen dinners are marketed to ladies like pretty much everything else: fantasy eyelashes, fantasy skin, fantasy fashion...fantasy dinners. Herewith, the reality of what eating three weeks worth of Smart Ones and Lean Cuisines actually looks like.
The box says: "Savory meatloaf with gravy & creamy red skin mashed potatoes."
Real talk: Beef steamed in Alli poop with a side of white stuff, the consistency of which changes the closer you get to the center.
The box says: "Roasted white meat chicken with fettuccini, asparagus & bacon in a creamy sauce."
Real talk: A couple of asparagus stalks and three chicken strips drowning in pus.
The box says: "Tender chunks of tuna & linguini in a creamy sauce topped with toasted breadcrumbs."
Real talk: No words can actually describe what microwaved creamy tuna smells like, but if you want a hint, go jogging on a 90-degree day while you're on your period and wearing a pad, and then put your face in the crotch of your sweatpants afterward.
The box says: "In a savory onion gravy with creamy macaroni and cheese."
Real talk: Meat composite in a brown gel with a side of a Simpsons character's lower intestines.
The box says: "Grilled white meat chicken, zucchini, tomatoes, and whole wheat pasta in a tomato sauce."
Real talk: The Where's Waldo? of microwavable dinner entrees: Can you spot the grilled chicken amongst the heap of spaghetti?
The box says: "Roasted turkey medallions topped with a lightly spiced cranberry sauce served with roasted potato wedges, sliced carrots and green beans."
Real talk: A magenta gel inexplicably coats an otherwise decent mix of turkey and vegetables.
The box says: "Tender bow tie pasta with broccoli florets and julienne-cut carrots in a creamy parmesan sauce."
Real talk: Tender bow tie pasta and vibrant vegetables soaking in vaginal discharge.
The box says: "Roasted russet potatoes topped with broccoli and cheddar cheese sauce."
Real talk: Wrinkled potatoes and bendy broccoli dance to sad music in a yellow sauce.
The box says: "Casserole favorite bursting with cheese flavor."
Real talk: Melted yellow plastic over squishy noodles.
The box says: "Wild salmon, whole wheat orzo pasta, spinach & carrots in a basil sauce."
Real talk: Fish chunks and carrot sticks overwhelmed by limp leaves.
The box says: "In a creamy seafood sauce."
Real talk: A dollar's worth of quarter-sized shrimp on top of "fiercely-real" sized angel hair pasta, in a thick broth.
The box says: "Grilled white meat chicken and Asian-style vegetables in a sweet & spicy teriyaki sauce over white rice."
Real talk: One and a half broccoli tops mixed with carrot shards, red squares, sticks that resemble something that (we hope?) came from the Earth, on top of rice and chicken cubes.
The box says: "Rich, five layer lasagna with ricotta cheese, zucchini & spinach."
Real talk: Thick cuts of pasta floating in a tomato-based soup with a radiation-toasted crust.
The box says: "With pasta in a savory gravy sauce."
Real talk: Something from the second challenge of Fear Factor served with noodles.
The box says: "Roasted white meat chicken in a spicy Thai-style sauce & creamy rice with toasted coconut."
Real talk: Some orange sauce with some tan "white rice" and invisible coconut shavings.
The box says: "With classic herb-bread stuffing, gravy and buttery vegetables."
Real talk: Wet discs of turkey with a side of wet veggies and wet stuffing.
The box says: "Lightly breaded white meat chicken with cheese lasagna rollatini in a robust tomato sauce."
Real talk: Slimy chicken and dry lasagna in a pock-marked tomato sauce.
The box says: "Breaded white meat chicken patty with spaghetti in a chunky tomato basil sauce."
Real talk: Don't expect any Parmesan. Or even really much chicken.
The box says: "Whole grain fettucini noodles tossed with tender broccoli florets in a creamy alfredo sauce."
Real talk: Watery cream-covered limp noodles and floppy broccoli.
The box says: "Tender ravioli filled with creamy ricotta cheese and tossed in a hearty spinach marinara sauce."
Real talk: Thick orange tomato sauce, chock full of brown spinach bits, covers these 1/8-inch thick pasta pockets.
The box says: "Ziti pasta in a delicious marinara sauce topped with mozzarella, monterey jack and parmesan cheese."
Real talk: Pasta e' scotta—the opposite of al dente—swimming in something similar to ketchup, with some indeterminate, stringy white stuff clinging to it.
The box says: "Spicy rice & beans with a zesty green chile & sour cream sauce, topped with cheddar cheese."
Real talk: It looks the same going in as it does coming out.