Organic Bistro Gluten-Free Meals

Do you remember the days when you used to just open a box, stick a plastic-covered tray in the microwave, and voila! dinner?

Well, it seems like those days are starting to return – but in a much healthier way.

I picked up some Organic Bistro meals, courtesy of their advertising agency.  These aren’t your ordinary microwave dinners.  For starters, they’re gluten-free.  They are also made with organic vegetables and whole grains, and sustainable seafood (for the seafood varieties, of course). 

I sit here at my computer, eating the Wild Salmon meal – in Rosemary Orange Glaze with Cranberry Pilaf & Broccoli.  Thankfully, since I got stuck eating dinner so late tonight, I was able to eat something healthy.  Check out the nutrition facts.  Most of the fat comes from the salmon, walnuts, and flax.

Ingredients:
Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, organic broccoli, organic cooked brown rice, organic orange juice, organic cooked Japonica rice, organic walnuts, organic agave syrup, organic dried cranberries, organic flax meal, organic extra-virgin olive oil, organic rice flour, organic orange zest, organic onion powder, organic rosemary, lemon zest, xanthan gum, organic ground celery seed, organic orange extract, organic coriander.

The meal cooked in about 4 1/2 minutes in the microwave, and a couple of minutes to sit (while I checked facebook, of course).  Everything looked fine and smelled really good.

My first bite was of the pilaf.  I love the crunch of the walnuts and the sweet/tartness of the dried cranberries.  It was truly more than I expected from a microwave dinner.  The pilaf was not just one big clump, either.

The broccoli was a beautiful shade of green – another surprise from a microwave meal.  It’s just plain, steamed broccoli (which I happen to like), and it tastes like it should.  The pieces of broccoli that got some orange glaze were extra-tasty.

The salmon doesn’t look quite as pretty as the picture on the box (but it didn’t look bad).  There are directions for using a conventional oven, and it would probably be prettier, but where’s the fun in that?
The salmon was cooked thoroughly, probably a little extra, but not overdone.  Mine had lost much of its orange glaze (it ran toward the broccoli).  That may have been more of a side effect of having to drive an hour to get home from Whole Foods (I had a cooler bag and ice, but that doesn’t keep the food “cold”).  I was able to mop it up, though, so it was alright.  :)  The orange glaze was very good, both on its own and with the salmon.  It was slightly sweet, and rosemary-y.  (How do you describe rosemary?  I sure don’t know how.)

Overall, I thought it was really good, and really good for me, and it was so easy to prepare.

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