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We discovered Evol Foods back in March with three of their bowls: Fire Grilled Steak, Chicken Enchilada and Teriyaki Chicken. Real foods, real ingredients, really good flavors. This week I had headed to the store specifically to get their burritos for reviewing, since that's what their business started with, but I got sidetracked when I discovered the items we're reviewing today: snack size burritos.
What a great idea! Need a snack? Rather than reaching for a candy bar, have a snack-size burrito! All of the burritos we reviewed for today (four out of five of the available varieties) are 180 calories or less with 5-8 grams of protein and as much as 3 grams of fiber, and the most sugar any of them contain is 1 gram. ONE. Compare that to a candy bar. Instead of a big hit of sugar, you get protein and quality carbohydrates that will satisfy you and keep you going for a lot longer than the candy bar from the vending machine.
Sure, these have to be kept frozen so you can't put them in a standard vending machine. But all of them cook in one minute in the microwave and I'll tell you right away - they're great-tasting.
The mini-burritos (I guess in Spanish you'd call them burrititos?) are wrapped in a flour tortilla with the exception of the Veggie Fajita, which is in a whole wheat tortilla. I'll get to that in a moment, but for now you should know that the flour tortillas do what flour tortillas do when they are frozen and reheated: they get a little doughy and chewy. That's just to be expected.
The fillings, however! The first one we tried was the Shredded Beef. This is a mix of tender shredded beef with just a moderate amount of spice and a good roasted corn flavor. The pinto beans and jack cheese come through nicely - I wouldn't be surprised to get something that tasted like this from a taco truck in Los Angeles (although it would be a lot bigger, of course). It would be easy for this to be soupy, but it's not - it holds together well. This flavorful little guy has 180 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 310 milligrams of sodium.
Second was the Chicken & Black Bean. This has more of what I think of as a Tex-Mex flavor: overtones of lime and cilantro liven up the good-sized chunks of chicken, but there's a nice roasted corn flavor there, too. This one's lower in sodium at 290 milligrams, with 170 calories and 2 grams of fiber.
Third, the Veggie Fajita. This one comes in a whole wheat tortilla which doesn't get quite as chewy in the microwave and lends it the highest amount of fiber of all of the burritos we tried: 3 grams. It also has the lowest amount of sodium at 280 milligrams and the lowest calories: 160. That said, it doesn't lack in flavor with plenty of roasted green and red bell peppers, black beans and that roasted corn. The lime and cilantro notes aren't quite as strong as the Chicken & Black Bean, but it's still present and makes for a very satisfying vegan burrito. (In fact, I didn't realize it was vegan until I looked at the package again while writing this review.)
Finally, the Chicken, Bean & Rice has the most spice of the four we tried today. The chicken is cooked with Guajilla chilies and that comes through nicely with the tender chicken chunks. The pinto beans and jack cheese make this one particularly satisfying and I enjoyed this one the most of the four. It does, however, have the most sodium at 340 milligrams, but at 180 calories and 2 grams of fiber it's still far and away better than any candy bar or bag of pretzels. Indeed, all of these are.
More excellence from Evol Foods and boy are we happy about it.
Reviewed: April 29, 2011