Lean, Mean, On-the-Go Meals from Snap Kitchen

Categories: Fast Times

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Photos by Christina Uticone
Literally "a snap."
So I do this thing when my husband goes out of town where I become a slovenly, lazier version of myself. Cooking for two is challenge enough, but cooking for myself is a chore I do not relish, so I end up eating a lot of nachos and breakfasts-for-dinner. I was recently left to my own devices for four days, which quickly got out of hand, devolving into a revolving plate of nachos, French toast and leftover pizza. It wasn't pretty.

I decided to literally snap out of it with a trip to Snap Kitchen. I still didn't have to cook any meals for myself, but I was able to move back toward portion control and balanced nutritional content without touching a pot or a pan. I picked up three meals' worth -- two lunches and a breakfast -- along with a couple of Kickin' Kombucha teas for a grand total of $27. A lunch portion plus a small salad is a good dinner for me, which is why I went with two lunch portions rather than the larger SNAP dinners. What can I say? I like salad. Crazy.

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Spaghetti "Bolognese" -- spot on with those quotes.
I started things off with the Spaghetti & Turkey "Bolognese," which also happens to be gluten-free, though I have no problem with gluten. Bring on the gluten, I say. I was craving pasta so I went for it, though I can't say this particular dish really scratches the pasta itch. I suppose gluten-free pasta is bound to differ significantly from semolina or whole wheat, which is what I normally cook for myself. This pasta is brown rice pasta, and the texture was too soft and mushy for me. The sauce was a little bland, too -- the package is marked "lower sodium," but the tomatoes didn't offer up even a little acidity. An hour later and no agita? Weird. Paired with a small spinach salad, this 300-calorie portion of pasta was filling enough, but not something I would choose again.

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Chili & Eggs. More like "peanut butter and jelly" than one might expect.
The next morning, I crossed my fingers and popped a Snap Kitchen Chili & Eggs breakfast into the microwave. Ninety seconds later, I was digging into a much more satisfying meal than the one I had the night before. When I was in the Snap store, I hesitated over this dish -- I've been way more into cold cereal and fruit lately as the weather warms up -- but I liked the idea of chili and scrambled eggs. I have put many a sunny-side up egg on chili, but never tried scrambled. The scrambled egg whites were a pretty good consistency considering they came out of the microwave, much fluffier than I expected. The chili, made with turkey meat, kidney beans and red and green peppers, had a really nice kick. What a relief after the relatively bland "Bolognese" sauce the night before. I was really full after this breakfast -- I didn't even finish all of the eggs -- so I was pretty shocked when I noticed the total calories for the portion is 190. This tastes great and fills you right up for less than 200 calories? Big win, a definite "buy again." This meal is also gluten-free, lower in sodium and "diabetic friendly."

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Pasta-free veggie lasagna? Yes.
Last but not least was the Snap Vegetarian Lasagna. Let's face it -- this was not a beautiful-looking piece of lasagna. Luckily it tasted a lot better than it looked. I am a big fan of noodle-free, "mock" lasagna and I make it a lot; it's a great way to use up extra zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, squash and roasted peppers, all of which are present in the Snap Kitchen version. On its own the sauce was a little thin and weak, but the layers of cheese and vegetables were well-seasoned with basil, garlic, salt and pepper, so taken as a whole, the flavors were fuller and more rounded out. There was enough ricotta cheese to stand out, and the top layer of broiled parmesan gave the whole thing that salty/toasty satisfaction we all expect from lasagna. Maybe there was not quite enough sauce at the end, and the result was a few last, dry-ish bites, but at 150 calories, the veggie lasagna is another winner.

I will say each dish needed slightly more time in the microwave than the instructions suggested. Adding two or three 15-second increments seemed to do the trick, without overcooking anything.

Do you have any Snap Kitchen favorites? Leave your suggestions in the comments section, because I'll be returning soon.



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Snap Kitchen

3600 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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7 comments
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Jannar79
Jannar79

The "Chili & Eggs" is my favorite dish here. Although I recently was surprised by some extra crunch in my eggs. I love you Snap Kitchen but I could go without the egg shells. Keep it clean!

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I'm a big fan of Snap, mostly the juices and protein drinks, but I've had really good luck with the Mayan pork and the ginger-glazed salmon.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

I was tempted to pick up the whole juice line and do a one-day cleanse while I was there. I'm going to go back for it, I think. I almost picked up the Mayan pork--definitely giving that a go, too.

S.Regal
S.Regal

I will have to try! I was always curious about this place and it makes perfect sense for a girl on the go like me. Glad you gave it a chance and reported on it!

Stacy
Stacy

My favorite item is the whole wheat spagetti with chicken, goat cheese, and butternut squash. Delicious and very filling. I also like the Chinese chicken salad and turkey meat loaf.

PM
PM

We need you as a guest contributor to the excellent "cooking this week" so that you can share your veggie lasagna recipe.

The bean medley was surprisingly good at Snap Kitchen.  It was not bland at all. 

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

:) My veggie lasagna is pretty simple: oven-roast all the odds and ends (eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, onions, squash, etc.), layer 'em with herbs, cheese and tomato sauce, bake at 350 for 25 minutes; top with unhealthy amounts of mozz, broil top til brown.

Nothing fancy!

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