Unboxing: Cooking Light FAST MEALS Cravebox

The past month has been insane! Anyone else feeling like they'll never get caught up on blogging and such? I have three unboxings to write, four recipe posts, two product reviews... and that's just for this blog. *phew* All the more reason to be loving the Cooking Light FAST MEALS Cravebox. I just have not had the time to cook quite as well as I prefer to. I hate admitting it but we've had fast food three times in the past week!
So what's inside the box eh? Read on...
I'm actually a Lean Cuisine fan already, but I cut back on buying them when the expense was getting to be too much. As a very busy mom and blogger I am really bad about eating a decent breakfast and lunch. For years I bought Lean Cuisine entrees so that I could entice myself to eat lunches that weren't ramen noodles and toast with butter. The box included coupons for their new Salad Additions, which I've wanted to try but haven't gotten around to. A coupon for Fresh Express salad was also included, so you can get the greens to go with, naturally. With five different types I was hoping they weren't all chicken (bleh!) but I think I'll probably try them anyway. The Harvest Fruit & Chicken sounds pretty yummy.

My husband had Popchips years ago when he was out of town and they've since become a family favorite. I wasn't so sure I'd dig the ones in the Cravebox though. The bag arrived flattened (as in the seal was popped, oh the irony!) and the chips were pretty crushed. They were actually pretty good, just not wowing. I wouldn't go for the Salsa ones again but I will be on the lookout for more of the tortilla Popchips, especially the Chili Limon ones, when I'm at the one store I can find them at locally.

One of my favorite items to find in Craveboxes is actually the coupons. One of the cashiers at my Walmart is a fellow coupon geek and she always asks where I get such great ones. The FREEBIE item ones are awesome, of course, but I also like high value ones that let me save $$ on products I already enjoy or have wanted to sample. This time it's Triscuit crackers, Belvita breakfast biscuits, and fruit Newtons! All products I enjoy and buy for my family.

And speaking of Fruit Newtons... I have to giggle because my daughter saw them and had to have them. So I gave her one and she took the other from me because she liked them so much! I'm pretty sure the 100% Whole Grain Triple Berry are new too, because they're not even listed on the Newtons website.

The other product that is shown here with them is the Zone Perfect nutrition bars. I've had these in past Craveboxes and they're okay but not something I would intentionally buy. Like most protein/energy/nutrition bars they're pretty chalky and I just don't enjoy them.
The most exciting addition to the box has to be the spice blends from McCormick. I'm already a big fan of McCormick's Gourmet Collection and their Recipe packets specifically—the Bourbon Spiced Pork with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Apples and Sweet Basil & Oregano Bruschetta Chicken are my favorites.

As a bit of a foodie I'm always excited to find new spice blends to make exotic dishes with, especially since they save me time by having the various spices pre-blended. I loved the Moroccan Seasoning and the Easy Moroccan Chicken recipe we got to try (sent in an email and part of a contest) it in.

The Perfect Pinch line of spices is awesome because many of them are salt free (something I'm trying to cut back on). Included in the box was the Perfect Pinch® Salt Free Southwest Sweet 'n Smoky Seasoning. I also made the recipe for the contest featuring it and while I only thought it was okay, my husband loved it. Follow me on twitter or here to see the recipe featured later this week!
One of the other items in the box that I was happy to see was an herbal tea sampler from Stash. If you've followed my blog for a while you know that I've had this from another product discovery box before and that I've been a Stash fan for more than a decade.  My favorite is the Licorice Spice, which is included in the box, and I am dying to try a couple of their new ones, Breakfast in Paris in particular.

If you're a tea drinker, you should definitely hop over to the Stash website. Not only do they have more teas than you can imagine AND they have an amazing selection of tea pots, strainers,  scones, honeys, and even chocolate! It has lots of gorgeous giftable items too so if you're still looking for a gift for your mom (Mother's Day is only two weeks away!) you might want to give it some consideration.

The final two items in the box were sweetener products, neither of which I can have. :\

Equal has recently redone their packaging and has a new product so if you need artificial sweetener info do check out their website. I don't do artificial sweeteners unless they're in chewing gum because they give me the shakes, a headache, or they leave a taste in my mouth—usually all three at once. I'm just not a fan at all. I think I might ask my grandmother—who is struggling with diabetes—if she uses it and send it her way. There are some nice recipes that came along with it that might be nice for her to try and you can find them on the website if you want to see more.

Stevia (as you've read in other unboxings here) and my digestive system do not mesh. Pure Via might be a good choice for those looking for a sugar and artificial sweetener alternative though. My mom is a big stevia lover and used to carry a little baggie of it in her purse for when we went out. lol

So there you have it Cravers. Another Cooking Light box featuring some good products and a few duds. It happens. Overall, I'd probably rate it a 4 star box because I didn't love it, but I liked most of it. While none of the products were new to me it was a great overall collection of products. We even got an email to receive a free digital issue of the magazine—which I've been too busy to get to yet. So as far as the value goes... it was a pretty good box.

Would you like to get this box for yourself? Check out the Instant Boxes page on Cravebox, it's currently available for $16 and be sure and grab the Girl's Night In box too... I'm going to write up an unboxing for it too and it was so good that 15 minutes after I opened mine I logged on and ordered one to be sent to my mom for Mother's Day. New to Cravebox? When you sign up tell them rhiviews referred you and I can earn Cravebucks too. :)



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