by Marianne Plunkert
Overall rating: 5 of 5
Meal Description and Cooking Instructions
The Cheese Ravioli with Meat Sauce dinner entrée consisted of about a half dozen ravioli in a tomato-based meat sauce. It was accompanied by a mixture of sliced carrots, pearl onions and peas.
The meal arrived in a 2-compartment plastic tray. The directions indicated that the meal should be microwaved on high for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. I added an extra 15 seconds, as usual, and this was the right amount of time to heat the meal sufficiently, given my lower-wattage microwave oven.
Cheese Ravioli with Meat Sauce and a Trio of Vegetables
The dieter is instructed to augment the entrée with items from the dairy and fruit food groups. I decided to sprinkle some low-fat, shredded mozzarella cheese on my ravioli to fulfill the dairy requirement and had some slices of a fresh apple for my fruit.
My General Impressions
The meal had a nice visual appeal, with the blush-red sauce topping the ravioli, the green peas, orange carrots, and white pearl onions in the vegetable side, and my red apple slices providing for a colorful plate. It also appealed to the taste buds.
The ravioli was generously stuffed with ricotta cheese, and the flavor of the meat sauce complemented the pasta well. It didn’t contain an abundance of meat, but it was nicely seasoned and offered just a bit of tang to the dish.
The vegetables were perfectly cooked al dente and provided a wonderful blend of textures to tease the palate. There didn’t seem to be any seasoning used, but each of the three vegetables imparted its own distinct flavor, so none was really needed.
Even with the generous amount of cheese used in the ravioli, this meal is relatively low in fat. Only 60 of its 240 calories are from fat—25%. It is a fairly high-carb meal, however. Total carbs are 33 grams, with 6 grams of fiber and 9 grams of sugars. There are 12 grams of protein.
It is a nutrient-rich meal, supplying 50% of the recommended daily average intake of Vitamin A, 20% of Vitamin C, 10% of calcium, and 8% of iron.
The ricotta in the ravioli along with the low-fat mozzarella cheese I added provided a serving of dairy, and my apple slices were a serving of fruit. There wasn’t enough meat in the sauce to equate to a full serving of protein, even if considered in combination with the egg used in the preparation of the entrée. The tomatoes in the sauce and the vegetable trio supplied a serving from the vegetable section of the food pyramid.
On a scale of 1 to 5, this meal scores a perfect “5” with me. The meal tasted every bit as good as it looked on the plate. The ravioli tasted fresh, had an excellent texture, and were delightfully cheesy.
The savory meat sauce was superbly seasoned to provide the perfect accompaniment for the ravioli. While there wasn’t a large quantity of ground beef in it, the meat wasn’t missed at all.
Even the vegetables were wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed the trio of tastes and textures that they offered.