Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Scream for Lean Cuisine!

I have not enjoyed a Lean Cuisine pizza for going on ten days now, and it has been tough. Quite tough. Lean Cuisine pizzas are the center of my culinary universe during the week and sometimes on the weekend as well. When they are in stock in my home (NTB, but I have a chest freezer in the pantry), I eat one for breakfast each morning. When I know there is a Lean Cuisine Margherita pizza waiting for me in the freezer, I hop out of bed a little more quickly and start the day with a sense of comfort, ease, and optimism. When the pizzas are stocked, I revel in their abundance (I will buy twenty or more at a time, which often results in my giving testimony about them to the cashier who checks me out) and will eat the LC pizzas for breakfast and for lunch, maybe for a snack as well. There have been only a few three-pizza days, but a two-pizza or one-pizza day is definitely more common than a no-pizza day . . . until now. Now it's been ten days in the desert with no end in sight.

I know what some of you may be wondering, "What's the appeal? Why not just have a bowl of cereal for breakfast? Couldn't you buy another brand of frozen pizza?"

First off, if I ate a bowl of cereal of breakfast, I would be eating the leather of my couch 25 minutes later. Just doesn't fill me up, at all. I have tried other brands, and they don't do it for me.

The appeal is first and foremost the taste. I honestly find them very tasty. My favorite is the margherita pizza, followed by the spinach and mushroom pizza. Sometimes I change things up and buy a couple of BBQ chicken pizzas, roasted chicken garlic pizzas*, gourmet mushroom pizzas, or roasted vegetable pizzas. LC also makes a four cheese, a supreme, and a pepperoni, but I don't have the same passion for them (though, right this minute, I would accept one of these third tier varieties happily).

I also love the texture. You may not be aware that LC utilizes some special crisping technology. When you microwave your pizza on top of the silver tray lining the box it gets a crispy bottom (you can control the crisp by adjusting the cook time). I had stayed away from microwave pizzas for years because, unaware of the crisping technology, I assumed they would taste like reheated pizza (which is not terrible, but also not what my dreams are made of). Truly, it is an ideal blend of softness and crunch.

I also love the beautiful pairing of a LC pizza and a Diet Coke (my breakfast beverage of choice). In fact, if I had LC pizzas in the freezer but not DC, I would not bother to eat the pizza. For me, LC and DC are a package deal.

In addition, I am both fond and in need of the portion control built into the LC pizza. Most of the varieties I enjoy are less than 350 calories. I am not a calorie counter, per se, but I have always struggled with eating beyond my hunger level. I'm going to snack no matter what size my breakfast or lunch is. With the LC pizza, I can at least control my damage at meal times. I cut that pizza into eight small pizzas and it really feels like a complete meal.

But now, my freezer is bare (well, bare of LC pizzas) and my DC's are in search of a perfect partner. I'm scraping by during breakfast, making mini pizzas on English muffins or pita bread, but I can't do it for much longer. Why, you may be wondering, don't you just go buy some more LC pizzas if you love them so much? Well, they're not on sale. Not on sale at the Jewel. Not on sale at Strack and VanTil. Not on sale at Dominicks. I reached a new low this morning when I checked the Dominicks sale circular online because I don't get it in my mailbox. With a habit like mine, I can't justify paying $3.66 per pizza. Instead, I will wait until they are 4/10 or, in the rarest of sale cycles, 5/10. I do have the option of going to Target, where they are typically $2.59, but I won't save any money walking through the doors of Target. So, I'm going to sit here and hold on tight until the new sale cycles begin on Sunday. Maybe I will learn and grow through my sojourn in the desert of no-Lean-Cuisine-pizzas or maybe I will just feel hungry and eat much more than I need to try to fill the void left by the LC pizzas. Probably the latter.

*roasted garlic pizzas are not a good breakfast food


PITA said...

Although I am not quite as passionate about LC pizzas as you are. I, too, enjoy them immensely. During the school year, I scout out the 4/10 specials as well. I find if I know I have a LC in my lunch waiting for me, the morning goes by just a little faster. However, what you consider the third tier selections - I find they are my first tier. My first choice is the four cheese definitely. My last choice would be the roasted garlic and chicken. Too potent, and I will second not a breakfast pizza.

Regan said...

I think you are missing the boat. Only Hungry Man Boneless Fried Chicken Dinners boast "Over one pound of FOOD" right on the package. The 1445mg of sodium is also a huge selling point. The brownie? Divine. CJR

PS -- My secret sauce is to butter the frozen potatoes before cooking -- try this and you will not be sorry.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome. I knew of your love for LC pizzas but not of this newest kink in the buying system. Hold Out the back to school sales should get you through.

B Fesenmeier

Anonymous said...

I have LC pizzas in my freezer. I have tired of them and have resorted to the fattening leftover pizza or actually leftover anything. Problem is, I have chips and a Classic Coke with them. I was doing a boycott on Lays chips for a while, I found I really missed those trans fats. I'm back with the Lays but always in search of the doubled over chips. With this pitiful commentary, I find there is nothing to brag about for myself except my prowess at finding a bargain. Here's hoping your next "door Store", always a source of entertainment to me, will feature BOGO LC pizzas. After you buy out the pizzas, be sure to get a rain check or two to tide you over so there will be no dark days in the desert in between sales. M

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