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Newest issue highlights ‘Best and Worst Frozen Meals’ in five categories.

Consumer Reports May/June issue gave its take on the 25 best and worst frozen meals based first on nutrition and then on taste. In blind tests, the magazine’s nutrition and taste experts gave 11 of the meals top marks for nutrition and judged 13 of them to be tasty.

The favored meals use less salt and are more likely to be spiced with ginger, red chili pepper and curry. The magazine noted that “A dish that is highly seasoned with lots of spices may have so much flavor that you might not miss the salt.” Top-ranked meals were also more likely to have lots of vegetables, whole grains and other plant-based foods, and to rely less on additives, thickeners and other processed ingredients.

Here are the magazine’s recommended meals, by category. 

• Chicken Enchiladas: Evol Chicken Enchilada Bake; Saffron Road Chicken Enchiladas Poblano.

• Indian-Inspired Meals: Healthy Choice Power Bowls Chicken Curry; Amy’s Indian Vegetable Korma; Saffron Road Vegetable Biryani.

• Lasagnas: None recommended. “Lasagnas were nutritional duds, devoid of whole grains and veggies (other than tomato sauce), and some were very high in sodium. But the best-tasting ones, Rao’s and Trader Joe’s, were also the lowest in sodium.”

• Riced Cauliflower Meals: Tattooed Chef Buddha Bowl. “Riced cauliflower meals fared pretty well. All had a cup of more vegetables, and had less than a third of the daily sodium limit.”

• Asian-Inspired Chicken Stir-Fries: None recommended. “Stir-fries might seem healthy, but not most of the ones we tested. Many had added sugars. And Michelina’s Stir-Fry Rice & Vegetables with White Chicken and Trader Joe’s Chicken Fried Rice were heavy on white rice but light on veggies.

To see how other brands ranked, see Consumer Reports May/June issue. n

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