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Eating convenience meals can sometimes be expensive, but I am never prepared for $6.50 per portion. This is a lot no matter how good the meal might be. When I first saw the Caesar's Gluten Free Vegetable Lasagna I figured it was about the same price as other meals, in the four to five dollar range. Nope. These are gluten free, however, and that's been a bit of a mission here at Dr. Gourmet lately so we decided to try them.
I had not heard of Caesar's, and from looking at their website it appears that they are a smaller family owned company based in New Jersey. Even so, they sell products widely. Their history encouraged me, because another family owned company, Michael Angelo's, sells consistently good frozen foods.
The Vegetable Lasagna doesn't disappoint. The sauce has a great tomato flavor that's not too bright or sweet. Well herbed, it tops a lasagna made from rice noodles. The noodles are not as gummy or gelatinous as many gluten free meals, but they're not quite the al dente that one gets from wheat pastas. Even so, the whole meal is really good for a frozen meal, having finely chopped veggies folded into ricotta cheese sandwiched between the noodles. This is almost as good as the Michael Angelo's and if you take into account that they are gluten free, those with celiac disease have a lot to be happy about.
The Cheese Lasagna offering is just as good. There's not a lot of difference between the two except that the Cheese Lasagna is cheesier (in a good way). Same good noodles, same good sauce but with more cheese.
These are higher in calories but still within reason for a dinner meal (maybe too much for some at lunch). They come in at just over 500 calories. There's a little more fiber in the veggie version – 4 grams vs. 5 grams in the Cheese Lasagna. Best of all, there's not much sodium. The Vegetable Lasagna has only 510 mg - 570 for the cheese version. (And proof that frozen meals don't have to be outrageously high in sodium.)
Expensive? Yes. Good? Yes. The best of the two is the Vegetable Lasagna and offers those looking for better quality gluten free foods a great choice.
Reviewed: March 27, 2009