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Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

Three of Amy's Bowls

Country Cheddar Bowl, Teriyaki Bowl, and Brown Rice & Vegetables Bowl

Country CheddarLast week's review of the awful Lean Pockets got me to thinking about Amy's products and how they are pretty consistently good. Not all are perfect, mind you, and some are higher in sodium, but overall Amy's is a pretty reliable brand. Their "bowls" are a good quick choice and many are lower in calories, making them perfect for lunch (and a lot better than Lean Pockets).

This week's offering started with a tasting of the Country Cheddar bowl. This dish is made with organic pasta and has veggies in a cheddar cheese sauce. A pretty good product all the way around, but high in calories at 400 per serving and most of that from the 19 grams of fat. The pasta is not gummy, the veggies are crisp, the tofu is not overcooked and the flavor is rich. The one thing that I can't figure out is why they didn't use whole wheat pasta, as it would have added to the fiber content.

TeriyakiI also don't believe that it needs 690 milligrams (mg) of added sodium and could taste just as good with 1/3 less. This holds true for the Teriyaki bowl, another very good product that falls short of being excellent by having a whopping 780 mg of sodium.

The brown rice in the Teriyaki dish is not overdone, the veggies are good and the tofu also not overcooked (in spite of being microwaved). While the sauce is a bit sweet for my taste, this is much less of an issue than the fact that it is also very salty.

Brown Rice & VeggiesThe Brown Rice and Vegetables bowl, on the other hand, doesn't suffer from an overdose of sodium. The brown rice has a nice texture and the veggies are also crisp and flavorful. There's an herbaceous taste to the dish and a very light tahini sauce. This is a real winner (the best of the three) and only 550 mg of sodium.

Both of the bowls made with brown rice go a long way toward giving you a much better alternative to such products as the awful Lean Pockets. These both have about the same amount of calories, are higher in fiber, and they're full of things that are good for you rather than a processed piece of junk like the Lean Pockets.

Reviewed: May 23, 2008