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Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

evol Foods and Angel Bowls

Vegetable Enchiladas and Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Gratin

Dr. Gourmet reviews Vegetable Enchiladas from evol FoodsWe last reviewed something from evol Foods almost a year and a half ago with their breakfast sandwiches, which weren't very good. We observed at the time that evol Foods just doesn't do very well when they stray away from what we saw as their core competency: burritos. Their macaroni and cheese varieties are terrible and their "flatbreads," which are basically personal-sized pizzas, are labeled as two servings, leading you to believe you're consuming a reasonable amount of sodium rather than a truly appalling amount.

And that's why we haven't reviewed anything from them in so long: the sodium. Back in 2011 we called their bowls a "game changer" because their foods had "no wacky ingredients" and pretty low sodium. Then a couple of years ago we noticed that their meals just weren't meeting our sodium standards any more. Their Sriracha Chicken Bowl has 750 milligrams of sodium. The Chicken Tikka Masala has 680mg. Ziti and Meat Sauce? 750mg. The ravioli bowls have about 650mg and their new Butternut Squash Lasagna has 810 milligrams of sodium. Eight hundred and ten!

So it was not without some sense of relief when I saw that their Vegetable Enchiladas have 330 calories and 7 grams of fiber, which is great, along with a reasonable amount of sodium (for frozen foods) of 570 milligrams. After today we might have to call their core competency Mexican foods, because these Vegetable Enchiladas reminded us of everything we like about evol Foods when we first discovered them.

These are two good-sized enchiladas wrapped in corn tortillas topped with tomatillo sauce and garnished with a little cheese. The tomatillo sauce tastes fresh and melds the tangy tomatillos with a hint of lime juice, while the corn tortillas have a soft and delicate corn flavor. The enchiladas themselves are well stuffed with a mix of savory black beans, corn, rice, diced zucchini, and and poblano peppers in a cheesey sauce. This is not a case of two flattened tortillas with a tablespoon of filling in each - these are well and truly stuffed. Overall, this is some "darn fine food," as the panelists agreed. We've missed you, evol Foods.

Dr. Gourmet reviews the Roasted Vegetable & Goat Cheese Gratin from Angel FoodsWe discovered Angel Bowls a couple of years ago and were frankly delighted with their quality and consistency: every meal we tried had savory breaded eggplant with a well-balanced sauce and good numbers. We've kept an eye out for more varieties at our local Rouse's, but found nothing new until this week's Roasted Vegetable & Goat Cheese Gratin (260 calories, 390mg sodium, 5g fiber). The manufacturers admit right on the box that a "gratin" is a layered dish, not a mixed bowl as this is, but we won't hold it against them. Nor will we hold the meal's appearance against them: this dish of diced, breaded eggplant, diced potatoes, diced red bell peppers and a sprinkling of goat cheese looks, as one panelist observed, "like the dog's breakfast."

But we don't care, because it tastes great: the eggplant still has a nice bite, the potatoes are cooked just enough to still have a touch of crunch (and a dish like this really needs some texture), and the sauce is honestly one of the better tomato sauces we've come across in frozen foods: bright, true tomato flavor with a balance of oregano and basil and touched with red bell pepper for sweetness and a little bit of zing. While the goat cheese disappears into the dish the moment you stir it (the instructions are quite explicit about stirring), the flavor doesn't disappear, lending a savory flavor note and creamy mouthfeel to the dish. Another winner from Angel Bowls/Dominex Foods.

Reviewed: May 20, 2016