Gluten Free with Organic Bistro

Recently I got a coupon for a free Organic Bistro product, with the request that I try one of the new Bowls, and then write about it on my blog. Free food? No problem!

So I trotted over to Whole Paycheck er, I mean Foods, to pick up my free Organic Bistro Bowl. As well as about 5 other items on my list that only WF carries, which came to about $37. Which explains why I hardly ever go there. But I digress…

Anyhow, I was excited about the Bowls, because I had checked them out online and the flavors sounded great. Thai style Red Curry with Beef! Sesame Ginger Wild Salmon! To my delight, the store had all four versions. All gluten free. So it was just a matter of a quick check of the ingredients to see if there was anything else I couldn’t eat, and…

Oh…crap.

I quickly discovered that all four of the Bowls contain soy. Which is just as bad as gluten for me. So I’m not able to try them. Very disappointing, but I managed to find the silver lining in this cloud.

You see, WF also carries several of the Organic Bistro Meals. These are also frozen entrees, and available in many interesting varieties. After more careful label examination, I found one that didn’t have soy (or mushrooms, because David is allergic). So some Wild Salmon came home with me, free of charge, and David and I tried it.

Here are the pros and cons of the Organic Bistro Meals:

Pros
-Fast and easy to make – 5 minutes in the microwave, or about 45 in the oven (we chose microwave)
-Gourmet flavor combinations
-Many flavors available
-Carried by Whole Foods
-No artificial ingredients
-Low sodium
-Sensible portion size
-I particularly loved the orange sauce and the rice

Cons
-Pricey – one meal was $5.99
-Several entrees contain soy – yeah, I know, not everyone is sensitive to soy, but some of us are
-Salmon doesn’t hold up well to microwaving, it became rubbery and would have been better if cooked in the oven
-Bad packaging design – due to the shape of the microwavable dish and food distribution, when the package was heated according to the directions (without cutting a vent in the outer wrapping), the outer wrapper inflated with steam and became a huge sphere, causing the inner container to tip while cooking and spill sauce into the wrapper. Not a tragedy, but messy.

The final verdict from the Li Loves David team is that Organic Bistro Meals are a high quality, healthy, and reasonably tasty option. However, we didn’t enjoy the one we had well enough to justify the expense. And we make a damn tasty salmon already. But if you are more interested in “heat and eat” food, then these would be worth a try.

For more information, or to locate a store that carries Organic Bistro products, go to http://www.theorganicbistro.com/.

About Li

A writer, runner, and Gluten-Free Zealot, I've been helping others navigate the gluten-free lifestyle for many years. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and when you're gluten-free, it's even better!
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