Progresso Soup. Rich & Hearty Steak Burger & Country Vegetables, and Loaded Potato With Bacon; and Traditional Chicken & Orzo With Lemon, and Roasted Chicken Primavera. $2.49 per 18.5-ounce can.
Bonnie: I like both of Progresso's new Traditional chicken soups better than both its new Rich & Hearty ones. The Rich & Hearty Loaded Potato With Bacon left my tongue coated in fat; the beef in the Steak Burger & Country Vegetables was spongy and inedible.
All four have too much sodium, with 660 to 830 milligrams per cupful, or about a third of the recommended daily limit. My favorite tastewise — the Chicken & Orzo With Lemon — is also the best nutritionally, with only 100 calories, no saturated fat and only 1 gram total fat per serving.
Carolyn: Progresso is three-for-four with its latest new product launch, which includes two chicken-based soups in its Traditional line and two new Rich & Heartys.
Like most foods, the Loaded Potato is enhanced by the bacon flavoring, although probably not enough to be worth all this soup's fat. The Steak Burger is reminiscent of any number of Campbell's Chunky offerings, but is better because it's not as glutinous and features good-quality hamburger instead of cheap chunked beef.
Tender chicken meat and hearty gemelli (twisted) pasta distinguish the Roasted Chicken Primavera from ordinary chicken soup. The Chicken & Orzo is even better. Its unusual lemon flavor should make this as big a hit as Progresso's Italian-style Wedding. It's interesting and tasty without being overly indulgent.
Crazy Cuizine Teriyaki Chicken. $8.99 per 20-ounce box of frozen chicken and teriyaki sauce.
Bonnie: Just heat these precooked chunks of chicken in a skillet or microwave along with teriyaki sauce, and spoon over your own rice or noodles, or over veggies or a salad for a quick Asian-style snack or meal, says Crazy Cuizine.
Although the box says "made with all-natural chicken breast," that's only half the story. The chicken also contains small amounts of not-natural additives, including potassium carbonate, sodium benzoate, yeast extract, carrageenan, locust bean gum and xanthan gum.
That, plus the teriyaki sauce, makes these so salty that I downed seltzer nonstop after sampling. One 5-ounce serving of chicken and sauce contains 620 milligrams of sodium, or a quarter of the recommended limit — for only the main part of your meal!
If you decide to eat this, I suggest doing so sparingly, and watching your salt the rest of that day.
Carolyn: "Tender breast meat chicken. All natural — minimally processed, no artificial ingredients. No preservatives. No MSG."
Sound good? So why then does Crazy Cuizine Teriyaki Chicken's chicken breast meat taste so awful?
Because all-natural water is second on this product's ingredient list, right after boneless chicken breast meat. And this chicken seems to be pumped full of it. That makes the chicken puffy and chewy — in short, as unappealing as the most processed, reconstituted frozen amalgam of chicken I have ever had the misfortune of eating.
The sauce is better — it's actually not as sweet as most teriyaki sauces. But the chicken it coats is too bad for me to recommend you ever try it.
This chicken is crazy, all right — crazy awful.
Folgers Filter Packs. $4.25 to $4.85 per 6.34-ounce box containing 10 coffee-filled filter packs.
Bonnie: The first pot of coffee made from a can of coffee is always the best because it's the freshest. Every one of these new individually wrapped, filled coffee filters has the potential to be as fresh as the coffee in a newly opened can.
At least, that's the idea. But who cares if coffee is fresh when it's weak? And these Folgers Filter Packs make weak coffee, even when using one packet for the minimum suggested four cups.
So these are only for people who like their coffee tepid, not for coffee aficionados like me.
Carolyn: One good thing you can say about hotel room coffee filters is that they're fast and convenient. Just pop one of the filter packs in the in-room coffee maker, and a few minutes later you have coffee — albeit usually pretty bad coffee.
These new Folgers coffee-filled filter packs for home use unfortunately live up to those low expectations.
On impact with the tiniest touch of half-and-half, the coffee I made with this filter pack using the recommended 24 ounces of water (for four very small cups) turned blinding white.
The Folgers Classic Roast coffee these contain is not bad. I know because I've prepared it from one of the flexible plastic canisters many times.
Folgers just needed to put a lot more coffee in these filter packs to make a decent-tasting drink. As it is, these can either be used to make one very bad pot or a single, palatable cup.
Bonnie Tandy Leblang is a registered dietitian and professional speaker. She has a blog (www.biteofthebest.com) about products she recommends; follow her on Twitter: @BonnieBOTB. Carolyn Wyman is a junk-food fanatic and author of "The Great Philly Cheesesteak Book" (Running Press). Each week they critique three new food items.
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