Eat Well at fresh & easy beginning tomorrow

I have risen from my sick bed to give more details about Dine 909’s trip to fresh & easy HQ on Thursday.

The reason for the trip was a preview taste test of items from their new Eat Well line of prepared foods, which launches tomorrow (April 7).

A number of fresh & easy customers have requested that their prepared foods have a more health conscious alternative. fresh & easy already puts no artificial colors or flavors or added trans fat. The new line ups the ante.

Each item in the Eat Well line contains no more than 25% of the recommended daily allowance for calories, fat, saturated fat and sodium, based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

And as for taste?

Of the items we tasted, there were only a few that were in need of a little “sprucing up.”

In general, I liked Eat Well and would definitely be adding them to my basket next trip.

The winners?

  • Spicy tuna sushi square: Almost universally liked by all the invitees, it consists of layers of brown rice, roasted edamame, gingered carrots and a nicely-flavored spicy tuna mix. $3.99.
  • Teriyaki salmon: In a word, delicious! It’s a grilled salmon fillet on brown rice, with bell peppers, broccoli and teriyaki sauce. $4.99.
  • Farmer’s market salad: OK, it’s just a salad, but the combination of spring lettuce mix with garbanzo beans, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, carrots and yellow peppers was a hit. I think it was the low fat lemon hummus vinaigrette that put it over the top. $3.99.
  • Veggie hummus wrap: A sun-dried tomato tortilla filled with bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, spring mix lettuce and red pepper hummus. Similar to the Farmer’s market salad, I thought the bell peppers made it stand out. $2.99.

The lesser-liked

  • Turkey chili: With lean turkey, carrots, tomato, onions, kidney beans and bell peppers. The consensus seemed to be that it needed a little more spice. $1.99.
  • Bruschetta chicken: Whole wheat pasta with chicken breast, parmesan cheese, sunblushed tomatoes and sweet tomato sauce. Perhaps a bit too sweet for my taste. $3.99.

Split decision

  • Arroz con pollo: Seasoned chicken breast and rice with bell peppers, peas, crimini mushrooms and tomatoes. I liked the flavor. Others seemed to think it wasn’t authentic enough. $3.99.

There are 10 other items in the line that we didn’t get to sample. I’ll leave that up to you to wander over to your local fresh & easy tomorrow and check ’em out for yourself. Prices are reasonable, with nothing over $4.99.

Total disclosure

While participants weren’t paid to be part of the taste-testing, we were given goodie bags (a canvas bottle bag) filled with a $1.99 bottle of their new Saludas Spanish red wine, a coupon for $5 off when you spend $20 at fresh & easy and a $25 fresh & easy gift card for attending.

Follow the jump for pictures.

Update: The folks over at fresh & easy have posted on their own blog about the event, and have included links to writeups from Dine 909 and some the other bloggers who attended. Click here to read it.

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