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You have to hand it to Fat Rabbit's graphic design team: their products are eye-catching. We saw these on the shelves at a local grocery store and they looked so good we were really looking forward to testing them. It says on all the packages:
Some people call veggies rabbit food. Not me. My veggie bowls are smashed, slashed, roasted, toasted, sauced, and tossed until they're blasting with color and bursting with flavor. "Rabbit food?" Think again...
The varieties we saw on the shelf all were under 500 milligrams of sodium, so we picked two more or less at random for today's review.
We began our tasting with the Lemon Feta Frenzy (230 calories, 450mg sodium, 7g fiber), which is not gluten-free. It combines zucchini, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and chickpeas over quinoa with lentils and couscous and a lemon, feta, and parsley sauce.
On paper it sounds pretty good, right?
My wife wrinkled her nose and said, "It kind of smells like horse food." By which I think she meant that it has a very tart, grassy scent - likely from the lemon and feta - with a bit of an umami undertone that's probably from the quinoa and chickpeas.
She added, "It also smells sort of sour and vinegary... in a leftover vomit kind of way."
Ouch. She's right, though. While there are ludicrously big chunks of sweet potato and generously sized half-moons of zucchini, the overwhelming flavor profile of this dish is that of a particularly sour vinegar.
Sure, the sweet potatoes are pretty tender, but the chunks are so big that well-cooked sweet potatoes mean overcooked, rubbery zucchini and broccoli that's just teetering on the edge of being overcooked.
It's easy to have lemon and feta flavors overwhelm a dish, so I thought the Green Riot Verde (gluten-free, 240 calories, 480mg sodium, 9g fiber) had a decent chance of being good. Cauliflower with red and yellow bell peppers, beans, and a jalapeno/cilantro/lime sauce? That could be great.
It's certainly a brightly-colored dish, with a tart cilantro-lime scent and crunchy cauliflower florets.
Unfortunately, that's about the best you can say about it. The sauce is so overwhelmingly tart that the (undercooked) corn kernels' sweetness can't cut through the acid. The beans might have added an umami note, but they're also undercooked to the point of near-crunchiness.
Quite frankly, these are the sorts of things that give "rabbit food" a bad name. I would have expected to see something like this served at hippy-dippy organic food stores in the late 60's: full of fiber and overcooked vegetables, but not well thought out.
To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if these were the product of some nutrition committee's brainstorming session - without any actual cooking and tasting. Leave both of these on the shelf.
Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Review posted: June 19, 2020