This page includes my own personal experience with the various Nutrisystem foods. As I eat them, I’ll describe my take on the packaging, preparation, appearance, smell, taste, and texture.
Crispy Rice Cereal comes in a single serving packet and looks like Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. I emptied the packet into a bowl, added milk and tried it. Yuck! The first spoon tasted like little pellets of paper. I added some Splenda and tried it again. It STILL tasted like paper pellets! This is labeled as a new product from Nutrisystem, but I’d have to add that it’s also the worst tasting. Time to update the reorder form and make sure it’s not on the list anymore :(
Nutrichocolates come in a package like M&Ms. They’re little round drops of milk chocolates, about a nickle size in diameter. I’d say there were about 20 of them in the bag (I lost count after eating the fourth or fifth one). If there is a heavenly food amongst Nutrisystem foods, this is it! As I let the chocolate melt into my mouth, I thought, “Wow! I could melt these in a double boiler and pour the chocolate over the Nutrisystem Low Fat Granola Cereal, or on the Nutrisystem Chocolate Chip Scone. Really, the applications of this dessert food are as limitless as actual chocolate. I think I’m in love.
Stroganoff Sauce with Beef and Noodles is another TV style dinner. It cooks up in a minute and a half but it doesn’t smell like stroganoff. It doesn’t look like stroganoff either. And, you guessed it, it certainly doesn’t taste anything like stroganoff . If I had to relate the taste to anything, it would be Beef in a Hunter sauce, without the mushrooms. The beef was surprisingly tender. The noodles were well past al dente. I was able to finish the meal, but once I had, I went to my re-order page and took it off. I don’t want to ever eat this again.
Chicken Tortilla Soup is listed as a Nutrisystems member favorite. I’ve never had Chicken Tortilla soup before, so I didn’t know what to expect. It comes in a heat and serve microaveable container. There’s over a cup of soup here, actually 10.5 ounces. It smells great, a lot like chili. And it tastes a lot like chili too…there’s cumin, some cayenne pepper I think, chunks of chicken, rice, and beans. I can see why it’s a favorite, it’s got spice, but not too much. Lots of flavor! As I got to the bottom, I came across what looked like corn tamale crust, which I’m guessing is the ‘tortilla’ part of this entrée. I love this soup! I can see why it’s a member favorite.
Meatloaf & Tomato Sauce with Mashed Potatoes is another TV dinner style dinner. Just heat and serve. This one didn’t heat completely and the middle was still cold after the full cooking time, so I had to cook it for another 30 seconds in the microwave. The tomato sauce covered the entire dish. Underneath the sauce was the meatloaf and under that, were the potatoes. Although the sauce was tasty, there was too much of it. It drowned out the flavor of the meatloaf and potatoes. I scraped off the sauce and the meatloaf was pretty good. The potatoes were good too. So, if I had a complaint, it would be that there’s too much sauce. Other than that, I like this meal.
Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal prepares like Quaker Instant Oats. It comes in a packet that you empty into a bowl, add water or milk, heat and serve. When I opened the packet, I could instantly smell the maple and brown sugar. But when I pulled it from the microwave, my stomach knew it was getting something good. It cooked up to be about a cup of oats in my bowl. I grabbed some Splenda (in case it needed some sweetening), but it was fine the way it was. This was good…really good. I could really taste the maple and brown sugar. Served with a banana and a cup of milk and this was a really tasty and fulfilling breakfast!
Black Beans and Rice comes in another Cup-O-Noodles style package. Just add water and microwave for a minute and a half. This one, like a couple of others before, overflowed in the microwave. I guess I’ll have to cut down the cooking time to 1:15 minutes. After cooking, it looked like most other black bean dishes I’ve seen…kind of pasty, kind of black, with specks of white rice in it. I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m not a big black beans and rice fan. So, I decided to make this into a burrito. I poured the beans and rice into a tortilla and scarfed away. It was good. Add a little salsa, some cheese, and a small dollop or sour cream and it was downright right tastey!
Pasta Primavera with Tofu comes in a TV dinner style package. Just heat and serve. The portion size is also what I would expect from a TV dinner, roughly about a cup of food. It smells a lot like canned ravioli in tomato sauce…it’s pretty nice actually. It comes out steaming hot, so I’m giving it a minute to cool off to a point where I can eat it. The tomato based sauce is somewhat thick and the taste is pretty good. The texture of the tofu reminds me of chicken, so this is an easy dish to eat. The taste of the edemame, carrots, and bell pepper are slight but noticeable too.
Cranberry Orange Pastry tastes like an oranged flavored Twinkie without the cream filling. Actually, if I were blind-folded, I’d probably say it could be any individually packaged pastry from a gas station. Wait, ‘pastry’ doesn’t describe this appropriately because it’s really a cake. A pastry would have been flakey. The major difference is that this pastry (cake) is loaded with 7g of fiber. It would have been a home-run hit if it had some white frosting on top :)
White Chocolate Chunk Cookie comes in a package with one cookie that’s about 2.5″ in diameter. It’s a chewy cookie with white chocolate a hazelnut mixed into it. If you need something to crave a sweet tooth, this might do it. I wouldn’t classify this as a world-class cookie, but it’s part of the program and it’s nice to have when you’re looking for something to go with that milk. Oh yeah, we can have milk too!
Pasta Parmesan with Broccoli is prepared like all of the other Cup-O-Noodles style packages. Just add water to the line, nuke for 45 seconds, and let sit for 6 – 8 minutes. After preparation, the sauce was creamy and the smell was wonderful. Alas, the taste left me a bit disappointed. It reminded me of something that was created from a powder mix, which it was, but I hoped otherwise none-the-less.
Sloppy Joe mix comes in a packet that you have to empty into a bowl and rehydrate with water. After cooking in the microwave for 5 minutes, it’s ready to serve. For my entrée, I served it on two slices of Sara Lee 45 calorie toast.
I didn’t realize this, but the Nutrisystem Sloppy Joe mix is a meatless dish. My first impression was that it was a little sweet. I guess I’m just used to the taste of Manwich. When I finished though, I noticed that my tongue was tingling from the spices, which were so subtle, I barely noticed them. All-in-all, I’d say it was a good substitute for regular sloppy joes.
Cheesy Homestyle Potatoes come in a Cup-O-Noodles style container. For this particular product, there’s a “fill-to” line, which makes them easy to prepare. All you need to do is add boiling water, stir, close the cover, and let sit for 3 minutes.
The smell is awesome and they look a little like mashed potato filling for twice-baked potatoes. The potatoes are thick but unfortunately, they still have a slight powdery texture to them. They’re buttery with a hint of chives and sour cream. The taste is pretty good and I’d eat them again.
Chocolate Chip Scone is a type of cake-like bread, about 1/2″ thick and 3″ square. It has a milky-sweet flavor to it with miniature chocolate chips baked into it. The texture of the bread itself is between a chewy chocolate chip cookie and pound cake. Served with a glass of milk, it’s pretty good. Warmed up and served with milk is even better. Try dunking! Mmmm.
Noodles with Chicken & Vegetables come in a self-serve container. Just heat and serve. The package is small and convenient to take on road trips, but it’s not oven safe and will melt when placed on direct heat, so it’s probably not a good choice for bicycling and backpacking trips.
The texture is creamy and the smell reminds me of Campbell’s Creamy Chicken Noodle soup. The taste is good.
Grilled Chicken Breast comes pre-cooked in a sealed pouch. Preparation is simple, just 30 – 45 seconds in a microwave. It’s packed in water (or some other liquid) and tastes like canned chicken. Served on toast with onion, tomato, and a bit of mayo, it’s a great chicken sandwich.
Split Pea Soup is not something I would normally eat. But, being the adventurous type, I thought I’d give it a try. This is another Cup-O-Noodles style container with a “fill-to” line, which makes it easy to prepare. All you need to do is add water, cook on 50% power for 2:30 minutes, and let sit for 3 minutes.
It smells good, with a mild bacony scent and a creamy texture. It’s not as bad as I was expecting, but I don’t know how to convey the taste. I guess it’s a little on the bland side if anything but adding a little pepper helped that out. Actually, it’s quite tasty.
Buffalo Chicken Wrap comes in two pouches, one for the Buffalo Chicken and one for the wrap. Preparation is easy, simply open and microwave the Buffalo Chicken pouch for 30 seconds, then remove the wrap and nuke it for 10 seconds. The Buffalo Chicken squeezes like a thick soup onto the wrap and doesn’t look very appetizing. The chicken was shredded…there weren’t any chunks at all. In fact, it doesn’t look anything like the picture on the package which has chunks of white meat chicken coated with a light red buffalo sauce, like you would expect from Buffalo Chicken.
It was sooo liquidy (is that a word?) that is was difficult to eat. Imagine pouring a thick soup onto a tortilla and trying to eat it. It just doesn’t work very well. And it wasn’t very Buffalo tasting either. When I think of Buffalo Chicken, I think of spicy and this wasn’t spicy at all. It wasn’t bad tasting, but it wasn’t Buffalo tasting either. I’m a little disappointed in this item.
Hearty Minestrone Soup is another Cup-O-Noodles style container. Just add water to the “fill-to” line, microwave for 45 seconds, and let sit for 6 minutes. It still has a slight powdery texture to it but the flavor is awesome. This would be a great item to pack for a road trip. If your not traveling in an RV (like me), you could pull into a truck stop or quickie-mart, add water, and nuke it. Or, bring a thermos of hot water and prepare it at a picnic.
Thick Crust Pizza is something I’ve been dying to try. It’s an assemble-yourself style pizza where the pizza crust is separate from the sauce and cheese. Just put it all together and nuke it for a minute in the microwave. It’s a simple cheese pizza that’s about 6″ in diameter. The crust reminds me of a thick pita bread that has the same texture as a Boboli pizza crust.
The crust was really chewy, but that’s probably the result of microwaving it. Tomorrow, I’ll use the alternate oven cooking method to see if that makes a difference (I get 4 pizzas in my kit). As far as instant cheese pizzas go, it was ok. The sauce was…sauce. The cheese was…wait…there was cheese on it? I didn’t really notice the cheese. I would have like to seen some pepperoni on it!
UPDATE: Preparing the pizza in the oven using a pizza stone really made a difference. It takes a few minutes longer, but the crust was lightly crispy and really added to the experience.