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Kashi has a really good track record with us here at Dr. Gourmet, so I'm always on the lookout for new varieties from their frozen food line. As I say often, "At Dr. Gourmet, we're all about the food." The good food, that is. Despite what it may seem sometimes, I don't enjoy beating up on the frozen food companies. I'd much rather tell you about foods, frozen or otherwise, that taste great and are great for you.
So when I spotted two meals from Kashi that we hadn't tried before, I was pretty pleased. The first one we tried was their Lemongrass Coconut Chicken. This one is sliced chicken with broccoli, carrots and snap peas over their seven grain pilaf. That seven grain pilaf is good stuff - great flavor and texture and a whopping 7 grams of fiber. The good news is that the lemongrass sauce is wonderfully fragrant and adds a nice lemon flavor to the dish that is not overpowering. The carrots are nicely cooked and the amount of coconut flakes sprinkled over the top is just right.
The bad news, such as it is, is that the chicken ends up a bit dry and the snap peas lose their snap in the microwave. Not surprising, really - it's easy to overcook snap peas no matter how you cook them. Overall, though, this one's good - but not great. It's got just 300 calories, the aforementioned 7 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein. A little high in sodium at 680mg, but not too bad for a frozen meal.
With all the times I've wished for whole wheat pasta in frozen foods, I actually had high hopes for their Garden Vegetable Pasta. Whole grain penne pasta! From Kashi! I was ready to dig in to this one.
And with all that fanfare, this dish was... disappointing. The "7 Whole Grains Penne Pasta" is as good as you might expect: nutty-tasting with great texture. They give this dish 9 grams of fiber - lots more than the usual frozen pastas. And on paper the pasta accompaniments sound great - broccoli and yellow squash with white beans in a "Roasted Red Pepper, Garlic & Four Herb Sauce."
I only realized there was garlic in the dish after I read the box - after I tasted the meal. The broccoli is nearly non-existent, but the white beans and squash are firm and crunchy, respectively (as they should be).
The sauce is nothing to write home about, however - we've reviewed several pasta sauces that have far more flavor (not to mention garlic). Skip this one and cook up some whole wheat pasta at home, then put your favorite pasta sauce on it. It'll be cheaper and much more flavorful.
Reviewed: July 6, 2009