~~ 5 Star Selection from Go Dairy Free ~~
This product was chosen as one of our top picks for quality and taste.
A picture says the wrong words in the case of Amy’s Baked Ziti Bowls. The one on the box inaccurately shows a perfectly laid out bowl of appealing pasta. In reality, our results weren’t so pretty. However, before scrolling down, take note .. the picture we took really doesn’t do the incredible taste of this entrée one bit of justice.
Granted, if we had the patience to bake them for 15 minutes in the oven (cooking option one) they may have retained a more presentable image. But lets face it; if I am going for frozen entrées, patience isn’t my virtue. I am hungry and feel like making next to no effort to cook. So into the microwave they went (cooking option two).
Luckily, the sacrifice in looks did not affect the taste of these absolutely wonderful “bowls.” After waiting, not so patiently, for me to snap this less than attractive photo, my husband grabbed a fork and dove in. With a note of surprise in his voice he announced, “It tastes really good, healthy, but really good.”
Suddenly I was extremely antsy for mine to emerge from the microwave. To be honest, neither of us was expecting much. Sure it was made with gluten-free pasta, which passes the taste and texture test easily, but nothing else looked special or out of the ordinary. It simply appeared to be a bowl of pasta topped with tomato sauce and a sprinkling of soy cheese. But in reality, it was so much more.
The tomato base had just a hint of warm black pepper like spice (the type that I loved as a kid), but the real surprise came in the form of soy ricotta. Within the bright red sauce lurked a fabulous soy based “ricotta cheese.” It was sensational! “Was” being the operative word. We plowed through those bowls quickly. Even my husband began scraping the sides of his empty bowl for every last bit of sauce (a trait typically reserved for myself). As he licked the bowl clean, he mumbled, “I think it was the ricotta, mmm, really good.” It was true, the small soy cheese topping was really just a nice bonus; it was the concealed ricotta that propelled this product.
Beyond my own, my husband’s opinion may not seem like much. However, I must state that he is a self-proclaimed “meat man.” This is the first meatless entrée he has ever really liked, frozen or homemade. I sense a breakthrough!
Worth noting, a handful or two of peas were thrown in for that veggie hit. If it weren’t for the noticeable color, you might be able to sneak these past little ones, as they do not obviously present themselves in taste or texture. Unfortunately, they are easy to spot. It was a good idea though, one which might work on those not yet experienced with peas.
We only had two minor tragedies in our Baked Ziti experience, both due to the microwaving. Mine had a few gummy pasta pieces around the edge, and my husband quickly burned his mouth due to the uneven cooking. But hey, we knew the risks of that shortcut; so complaining was not an option.
My Extra Notes & Tips:
- The soy ricotta is made with non-GMO whole soybeans, rather than concentrates or isolates.
- With only 390 calories and 12 grams of fat (zero trans fats and cholesterol) for the entire bowl, this is a good light option. We were both satisfied with just the entrée alone, but a salad could easily be added for a more substantial meal. I liked that they put one bowl as the serving size, rather than a half a bowl!
- Like any good meal, the Baked Ziti bowl had a good dose of vitamins and minerals, including 20% of the RDI for Vitamin A, 40% for Vitamin C, 10% for Calcium, and 15% for Iron.
- Oh yes, the Baked Ziti bowl is gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, non-GMO, kosher certified, AND made in a nut-free facility.
Where to Purchase: This Baked Ziti bowl is quickly appearing in grocery stores throughout the U.S. See their website for a store locator. Amy's products are distributed in Canada, the U.K., and Thailand, though I am not sure when this product will be rolling out internationally.