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Sometimes you just can't make it into the kitchen to cook. Dr. Gourmet has reviewed over 800 common convenience foods, ingredients, and restaurant selections so that you know what's worth eating - and what's not. View the Index of all Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

Just Tell Me What to Eat!

Just Tell Me What to Eat!

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Two New Dishes From Amy's

I have criticized the folks at Amy's for putting more salt in their products than necessary. I doubt that they care much what I say but I'd like to think they are paying attention. That's why I was interested when I came across their Thai Stir Fry. Usually they label their items "Lower in Sodium" but this one was not - yet it has right at 400 mg of sodium per serving. And this turned out pretty good.

Thai Stir FryThe dish has a light spicy Thai flavor with veggies and tofu over jasmine rice. The sauce is not overly spiced and is certainly not too salty at only 420 mg of sodium for the serving. The veggies taste fairly fresh and the tofu is firm. The one drawback is the rice. It's a bit overcooked and gummy. This might have been a better dish using brown rice (it would have added to the 5 grams of fiber too). All in all a good effort from Amy's (but better if it had been brown jasmine rice).

They also have a new Tamale Verde with Black Beans. This dish is served with a side of brown rice, and as with all Amy's products, it is made with organic, non-GMO containing ingredients.

Black Bean Tamale VerdeWe liked the tamales by Amy's that we reviewed previously (the Cheese Tamale Verde and the Roasted Vegetable Tamale) but only rated them "pretty good" and "fairly good." While that may seem overly vague, it means that these are acceptable but not great products. The Tamale Verde is about the same, being good but not great. The interior filling of the corn and black beans is better than the other two because there seems to be more filling than with the cheese or roasted veggies. The tomatillo sauce tastes pretty fresh and there's a nice tang. All of this is served with a side of Mexican style brown rice that has a slight spiciness, but is not gummy, as with their white rice dishes. (Clearly brown rice is the key for frozen meals: not just because it is better for you, but it holds up well to freezing.)

Under the best of circumstances it's a challenge to get the masa coating of a tamale right, and they do a respectable job given that this is a frozen meal. This version didn't seem as dry as the others we tasted, with a much creamier texture.

There's only 330 calories, making this a good choice, and with 8 grams of fiber one feels even better about it. As usual, there's too much sodium at almost 800 mg per serving (they could almost always get by with less). The need to take a lesson from the Thai Stir Fry and how well that dish works with less salt.

Reviewed: April 9, 2010