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Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

Saffron Road Food

Grilled Vegetable Tortilla Bake and Verde Tortilla Bake with Chicken

Dr. Gourmet reviews the gluten-free Grilled Vegetable Tortilla Bake from Saffron Road Food

I like tacos. Mostly I like the flavor and texture of corn tortillas and putting yummy stuff in them is great. The bonus is that well-made corn tortillas are also whole grain and that makes them a great part of your Mediterranean diet.

We have recipes for tacos and tortilla bakes on the Dr. Gourmet website. They are pretty easy to make and darn tasty but for those of you reading this column you know that we here at Dr. Gourmet World Headquarters understand that you don't always have the time to cook. Saffron Road thinks they have a solution for you in a couple of frozen tortilla bakes.

The Grilled Vegetable Tortilla Bake comes with the added value of being vegetarian and at first look seems promising. The dish is 320 calories and contains only 500 milligrams of sodium but a respectable 5 grams of fiber (and it's gluten-free). It is described on the front of the package as having grilled zucchini, fire-roasted corn, red and poblano peppers, with Cotija and Oaxaca cheeses in a chipotle morita sauce.

A recent review of an evol product claimed to have fire-grilled ingredients but obviously did not. This one does and the flavor doesn't disappoint. It does not, however, overwhelm either. This is a fine tasting dish but way too salty. With all the great spice it simply doesn't need the added salt and this makes it a borderline yes in our opinion. Note that it has all the great flavors you would want with the veggies, smoky sauce, umami notes from the cheese and a good mixture of corn (it appears to be at least cooked in a way that makes it look fire-roasted) and beans.

The other problem is that it is a bit greasy. Even though there are only 10 grams of fat, the dish has an oily texture to it. A no to this one - but barely.

Dr. Gourmet reviews the Verde Tortilla Bake with Chicken from Saffron Road Food

The chicken version - Verde Tortilla Bake with Chicken - is equally greasy. Similar amount of fat, sodium, calories and fiber as the veggie version (and also gluten-free) but not as good. The dish is a bit bland with a sauce that is OK but not as flavorful as a good green sauce should be. It might be better if there were more sauce but they seem to have skimped in that area.

The only redeeming factor in this dish is the dark meat chicken. This is something that I have felt would work better in frozen meals than the usual boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The additional fat in the dark meat keeps the chicken moister. Sad that this is as good a comment as we could come up with for this dish.

Every time I see a new Saffron Road product I get excited. Their dishes seem well conceived and always promising but as with these two tortilla bakes, they often fail with execution. Saffron Road is a bit pricy and their choices can be hit or miss but they have about a two to one ratio in our testing with one bad meal for every three tested. These two go in the no column.

More tortilla bakes and taco recipes:
Sausage and White Bean Tortilla Casserole
Chayote (Mirliton) Tacos
Chipotle Steak Tacos
Cajun Chicken Tacos
Portabello Tacos
Tacos al Pastor
Roasted Squash Tacos
Tomatillo Tofu Tacos
Soft Corn Tacos
Fish Tacos with Asparagus Salsa
Crab Salad Tacos | Low Sodium Version
Salmon Salad Tacos
Pulled Pork Tacos
Chopped Salad Tacos
White Bean and Spinach Tacos
Yellow Pepper and White Asparagus Soft Tacos

Reviewed: June 30, 2017