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One of our panelists brought in the items for this week's reviews. They were quite pleased with themselves, having found two items we hadn't previously reviewed from one of our more favored companies, Sweet Earth Foods.
About a month ago we discovered Sweet Earth Foods' empanadas and were happy to see that for the most part Sweet Earth Foods lived up to the good reputation they enjoy with us, with two out of three empanadas enjoying positive marks from our panelists.
We first chose to review the bowl with the least amount of sodium: the Moroccan Tagine (280 calories, 520mg sodium, 10g fiber - impressive!).
One of the three empanadas we reviewed last month was their Moroccan Empanada, which we said had a "sweet, dry, sticky filling" that quite frankly turned us all off. There was far more sweetness than spice or savor. Here the bowl version isn't dry, but it does tend toward the sweet side: we'd expected the curry seitan to be more savory to balance out the sweet potatoes and raisins, but in truth it has its own sweet note.
That said, the seitan has a meaty texture and the bulgur wheat base ("almost like couscous... but whole grain") lends a bit of crunch to the dish. The garbanzo beans might be a little overcooked and soft, but the butter beans hold up well to cooking and also have a firm bite.
Overall, we liked the bowl version much better than the empanada version: it has better overall texture and is thus not nearly as sweet as the empanada. If you like the flavors of allspice, cinnamon, and clove, you might enjoy this one.
The General Tso's Tofu bowl (330 calories, 690mg sodium, 4g fiber) seemed tantalizingly familiar, but we went ahead with testing, reasoning that if we had tasted it before, it might well have improved.
Well, it didn't.
As it happens, we reviewed this bowl back in December of last year (sorry; we do our best not to re-review items quite so quickly), and while the broccoli florets in the bowl we ate for this review might be larger and better cooked than it was last year, the tofu still has the texture "of fried sponge" and the sauce is more sweet than spicy.
The non-vegan panelists felt that this sort of a dish - honestly, this sort of treatment of tofu - was another of the reasons that eating vegan had a reputation for flavorlessness. We still can't recommend it, unless you like spongy tofu.
Reviewed: May 18, 2018