Sometimes you just can't make it into the kitchen to cook. Dr. Gourmet has reviewed over 1,000 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
The Delicious 6-Week Weight Loss Plan for the Real World
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP has counseled thousands of his patients on healthy, sustainable weight loss. Now he's compiled his best tips and recipes into a six-week plan for you to learn how to eat great food that just happens to be great for you.
Get the prescription for better health as well as healthy weight loss, including:
I have seen St. Dalfour's Gourmet on the Go meals on the shelf for some time at Whole Foods Market. The first time I saw them I thought it strange, because St. Dalfour is a company that primarily produces preserves, and the meals in a can seemed out of place. I will admit that I was hesitant to purchase them for a tasting review because of the somewhat higher amounts of sodium.
The packages are a bit deceptive because the Nutrition Facts and front of the package claim only 105 calories per serving. There are, however, 2 servings in the can (which is effectively a single serving). That doesn't bother me much, however, because 210 calories is still a pretty great start for lunch, and the fact that they are canned salads makes them perfect emergency meals for your desk drawer.
What does bother me is the sodium, at 300 mg per serving or 600 mg for the real serving of the whole can. After looking at these for about the tenth time in the market, I noticed the fine print saying that the package contains a salt and pepper packet. I thought that this could be a significant part of the added salt and picked up two of their meals – the Wild Pink Salmon with Vegetables and the Three Beans with Sweetcorn.
Starting with the salmon, we measured the salt in the packet and it is right at 1/8 teaspoon, meaning that 300 mg of the sodium could be in the packet of added salt. That would reduce the overall sodium to only 300 milligrams – a reasonable amount. Truthfully, I wasn't sure about whether the salt in the packet is included in the Nutrition Facts, but we didn't add the salt because it seemed like a lot of added sodium either way.
The salad was pretty good. Potatoes, carrots and beans in a light vinaigrette. Very simple and pretty tasty. Not overly greasy, but it did taste fairly salty even without the packet of added salt. The fish had the flavor of a fair quality canned salmon.
The bean and sweetcorn version is much better. Instead of being sold with a salt and pepper packet, this meal comes with a "gourmet culinary sauce." Tasting the salad without the sauce was fine, with a light mustard and tarragon flavor. The beans and corn are not overdone and there is only a lightly salty flavor in spite of this one being listed at 300 mg per serving (600 mg per real serving). The 45 calorie sauce really ruined this, adding a sickeningly sweet pineapple flavor to the meal.
Leave out the additives, but as I mentioned, you might pick up a couple of these to keep in your desk drawer for those days that you forget to bring your lunch or are so busy you never leave your desk. They even come with their own fork.
Reviewed: May 3, 2013