Sometimes you just can't make it into the kitchen to cook. Dr. Gourmet has reviewed over 800 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
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 - and if losing weight is your goal, you can do that, too.
Get the prescription for better health as well as healthy weight loss, including:
Several months ago we reviewed two of Red's All Natural Burritos: their Bean & Rice Burrito and their Chicken Burrito. We were really impressed with their flavor, not to mention their amazingly low sodium (less than 350 milligrams apiece) and high levels of fiber. Good stuff!
We had noted that there were a number of cooking options on offer and chose to pursue the oven method, with excellent results. Today we return to try two more varieties, and as we promised in our previous review, this time we used the microwave method to see how the burritos fared.
The good news is that the Turkey Burrito and Steak burrito are every bit as good as the Bean & Cheese and the Chicken Burrito. We microwaved these separately, uncovered, on HIGH for 2 minutes, then turned them over and continued cooking for another 2 minutes. After cutting into them with a fork and knife (they were too hot to pick up), in both cases we found a slightly cool spot in the very center of the burrito. Everything else was quite hot. The directions call for 2-3 minutes on each side, so if your microwave is not as strong as ours (which is 1200 watts), I would go for the longer cook time.
Both of today's burritos are chock-full of generous amounts of ground (or in the case of the steak, shredded) meat, with black beans, brown rice, red and green peppers, and plenty of spice. The Turkey Burrito adds cocoa to its combination of spices to yield a savory mole flavor, but as we noted in our last review, these are essentially the same burritos with slight variations of meat and spicing. That could be a drawback, but it's not when those ingredients and flavors are so well-balanced and fresh tasting. You'd never know these were frozen. Indeed, you'd hardly know they were microwaved - the tortilla they're wrapped in remains tender and doesn't dry out as happens with so many microwaved burritos.
One caveat, however. I began our last review with the following observation:
"I was pretty surprised by what I found: these burritos are low in sodium. I mean, really low: all four of their varieties are under 350 milligrams of sodium each. Amazing!"
This was true at the time - we'd looked at all four of the available varieties although we didn't review all four - and both the Nutrition Information on the package as well as their website agreed. This time they don't: while the Turkey Burrito packaging states that there is 620 milligrams of sodium to go with the 510 calories and 11 grams of fiber, the website says there's only 340 milligrams of sodium. The Steak Burrito is similar: the package states 610 milligrams of sodium, the website only 320 milligrams. While the higher level of sodium isn't bad, considering the size of these burritos compared to other frozen meals, it's still something to keep in mind. I would suspect (and I'll try to check the next time I'm in the grocery) that the other two varieties have far more sodium than we first believed, as well.
Even with more sodium than we first believed, these are excellent burritos: full of flavor, filling, and fresh-tasting. As I said before, serve these with a side salad and you'll have an excellent dinner. Just keep an eye on the sodium.
Reviewed: June 7, 2013