There is probably nothing more difficult than trying to cram as much crap as possible in an one hour lunch break. Normally, I just head home and grab something left over from dinner the night before, or make a salad. Filling? Yes. Healthy? Usually. Yummy? Most definitely. But today, heading home wasn’t an option as I needed a manicure for an event this weekend. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!
Enter the Lean Cuisine. I’m not sure what Keebler-like elf creates these things in Lean Cuisine Land, but honestly, what it lacks in total calories, it also lacks in total taste. I opted for the “Spa Collection Thai Noodles.” Spa? Really? I can almost guarantee there isn’t a spa on the face of this earth that would serve up one of these babies. The description on the box reads “Spa Collection. Gaining inspiration from wholesome and modern ingredients…made from vegetables, whole grains and no preservatives.” My Thai Noodles gourmet extravaganza boasts a low 300 calories, 7 grams of total fat and 41 grams of carbs. It also has about 580 mg of sodium, which I can pretty much assure you is off the chart in the sodium department. Still, I was hopeful. I was also hungry enough to chew my own arm off. You’d be surprised what you’d eat when your stomach starts to devour itself. By the way, it should be noted that there are all sorts of handy little tips about eating healthy on the back of a Lean Cuisine box. You can even sign up for “Rewards points.” What in the hell are they giving rewards for??? Is there some sort of prize for eating this crap? There should be.
Upon my arrival back at the office, I popped my very “efficient” looking Lean Cuisine in the microwave for 4 minutes, remembering to cut a slit in the top of the cellophane top, lest my meal explode under such heat and pressure. I stood there, STARING at the microwave, willing time to move at a lightening pace so I could dig in with wild abandon. Waiting…waiting…did you know that watching a microwave is much akin to watching water boil? In fact, since you are indeed watching each second tick by with amazing precision, I am pretty sure that it is even WORSE than waiting for water to boil. I paced, I tried to distract myself. I decided that if I went to pee then perhaps time would fly by more quickly. I had no idea I could pee, wash my hands and check my appearance in the mirror in less than 45 seconds. Seriously, that has got to be a world record someplace on God’s green earth. Back to the microwave. Another minute and a half. DEAR GOD THIS IS THE LONGEST FOUR MINUTES OF MY LIFE.
Ding! The waiting is finally over.
As I peeled back the cellophane and peered anxiously into the microwavable dish, a wave of utter disappointment passed over me. I sniffed it. It smelled like really bad Thai peanut sauce from a really crappy Thai restaurant. (I’ve been to several in my life, so I have experience with this sort of thing.) There were EXACTLY six cubes of what I assumed was chicken breast, some anemic looking red, yellow and green peppers, and a pile of noodles plopped on top of the stinky peanut sauce. I stirred and prayed it would all magically come together and take on the appearance of something whipped by Ming Tsi. It did not. Was it because I did not follow instruction exactly and cook on 3 minutes, then remove the cover, stir and recover, cooking for another minute and a half? It must be my fault, because I was never going to admit that I actually purchase such a food travesty.
I took my disappointing lunch back to my desk. Having no other option, I actually ate it. While it wasn’t the worst thing to ever pass my lips, it was damn close. But like I said before, you would be surprised what you’ll eat when you are pretty sure you are watching your life pass before your eyes from absolute hunger.
I know, I could have taken the time to make myself something yummy, I really could have. But sometimes that extra 15 minutes of sleep surpasses anything else, and I opted for the shuteye. Will I think better next time? Yeah, probably. But just in case, there is a Lean Cuisine Spa Collection Chicken and Tortellini with Basil Cream Sauce waiting for me in the freezer. I’m hoping that one will present as a more satisfying lunch. Maybe? Nahhhhh….