Thursday, March 18, 2010

Taste Test Challenge: Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake

Time for the Wednesday Thursday Taste Test Challenge...I took the day off yesterday to have dinner with my cousin, who's in town for her Spring Break. I decided to give my "tool box" a rest this week and tell you about a fantastic Kashi frozen meal that I had for lunch today instead: Mayan Harvest Bake.

I REALLY stepped outside of my comfort zone with this one, but decided to give it a try after reading about it on Hungry Girl's website recently. Mayan Harvest Bake is a vegan meal that has plantains, sweet pototoes, black beans, kale, seven-grain polenta with amaranth, ancho chili sauce, and pepitas. It may sound like a strange combination...but the flavors actually work really well together. I'm so glad I gave this meal a try, because I totally LOVED it!!

If you've never had plantains, they're related to bananas...but they're a bit more starchy and less sweet than a banana. The plantains paired very well with the sweet potatoes and the creamy polenta. I had to look up amaranth because I wasn't exactly sure what it was. Turns out that it's a seed that is high in protein (approximately 15-18%). It's also high in fiber and contains calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and Vitamins A and C.  

I didn't see a ton of black beans or kale in my meal today, but the overall flavor of the dish was wonderful. The meal was topped with a spicy ancho chili sauce that reminded me a bit of enchilada sauce. It had just enough kick to please my palate without overwhelming the plantain and sweet potato. I especially enjoyed the sprinkle of crunchy pepitas (pumpkin seeds) on top. This was a very filling meal as contains 340 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 8 grams of fiber (or 7 Weight Watchers points). I found it very satisfying, and it kept me feeling energetic all afternoon at work. 

Next time you feel like trying something a little exotic, I seriously urge you to step outside of YOUR comfort zone and give this tasty frozen meal a try. I rank this one right up there with Amy's Organic's amazing Mexican Tamale Pie. It's rather ironic that two of my favorite frozen meals also happen to be vegetarian. Bottom line: I'm a foodie who loves eating amazing food. When it's good for me and furthers my weight loss goals? Well, that's even better!!

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