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Two More from Organic Bistro

This is our second review of Organic Bistro convenience meals. Our first was a few weeks ago, with the Alaskan Salmon Cake getting a thumbs up. We were encouraged because it's hard to find fish meals that are good when reheated in the microwave. Today we review two more from their "Organic Bistro Bowls" line.

Our first was Asian Style Coconut Lemongrass with Chicken. The aroma coming out of the microwave was encouraging. A very distinct lemongrass scent is the first thing noticed along with an umami whiff of tamari sauce. Peeling back the plastic revealed a disappointing tableau, however. It was clear that the meal needed to be mixed up. The sauce was glopped in the center and surrounded by the rice, veggies and chicken. Even after stirring the meal was far too dry.

The flavor is pretty good with a sauce that's heavy on spicy lemongrass but just a bit too sweet. The chicken is too dry and rubbery and the veggies are as well . This combination brown rice and quinoa do have good texture though.

Overall this works OK. Not great and if there are better choices in the freezer, leave this one behind. The numbers are, however, pretty good. While there is 540 mg of sodium (it could have done with less given the flavorful sauce) there are only 290 calories and 7 grams of fiber.

A far better choice is their Sesame Ginger Wild Salmon. It's tough to make a microwave meal with fish but these folks pull it of pretty well. The fish will always be overcooked but we tested this at 4 1/2 minutes instead of the recommended 5 to 7 and the meal came out super hot but the salmon was still moist. Not anywhere near as good as if you cooked the salmon in a pan or the oven but acceptable.

Every thing that was wrong with the lemongrass chicken is made up for with this meal. (So much so that it made us think that the folks putting together the chicken meal may have been having a bad day.) There's the same brown rice and quinoa mixture with a flavorful ginger sauce. The veggies are not dry and this is plenty salty even though it comes in at only 500 mg. At 300 calories and 4 grams of fiber this one is a keeper.

We'd like to see this company work on more fish meals. They do it pretty well and not many other companies can pull this off.

Reviewed: February 4, 2011