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Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

Tattooed Chef

Veggie Hemp Bowl and Buddha Bowl

Veggie Hemp Bowl from Tattooed Chef

It's purely coincidental, but we discovered Tattooed Chef at about the same time last year that we discovered last week's standout frozen food company, Ayo Foods.

The first two products we reviewed from Tattooed Chef were really good: a Plant Based Burrito Bowl and a Spicy Thai Bowl, which we called "compulsively edible". A few weeks ago we also tested their Huevos Rancheros, which we thought were better than a Huevos Rancheros from Sweet Earth Foods.

Today we're delighted to have two of their vegan bowls, both with impressively low levels of sodium.

The Veggie Hemp Bowl has 330 calories, only 260 milligrams of sodium, and an impressive 8 grams of fiber.

Veggie Hemp Bowl from Tattooed Chef, after cooking

This seems like a great idea: sweet potatoes, kale, red quinoa and riced cauliflower with a turmeric almond butter dressing.

The reality, as one of our panelists put it, is "Kind of meh."

Our panelists felt that although the texture of this dish is good - both crunchy and chewy - the flavor tends too far toward the sweet. This might be because of the sweet potatoes, but we noted as well that the bitter kale, which might have helped offset the sweetness, is nearly unnoticeable in both volume and flavor.

The chickpeas are part of that crunchy-ish texture and the turmeric sauce is pleasant. We concluded that what this dish lacks is umami: it's sweet and sour and not much more. "It's not offensive," was another of the positive reviews. Disappointing.

The Buddha Bowl has 320 calories, 310 milligrams of sodium, and 9 grams of fiber.

BBQ Seasoned Chicken Cauliflower Crust Pizza from Healthy Choice

...and we couldn't find much that was materially different from the Veggie Hemp Bowl except no, there's no hemp, and yes, there's a bit of heat to it.

BBQ Seasoned Chicken Cauliflower Crust Pizza from Healthy Choice, after cooking

The sauce is a "creamy tahini sauce" and yes, it tastes of tahini, but it's far more watery than we expected, even after allowing the dish to cool a bit.

There's some umami flavor from the onion, but the main flavor here is vinegar.

The overall review for these two dishes is best summed up as "They're good - real ingredients and everything - but they're not blowing me away." At $5.39 each we think you can find something better.

Posted: July 29, 2022