by Marianne Plunkert
Overall rating: 5 0f 5
Meal Description and Cooking Instructions
The beef gumbo and rice came mixed together in a single-compartment plastic tray. Bite-sized chunks of beef, tomatoes, red and green peppers, celery, carrots, onion, and okra were swimming in red sauce with bits of parsley and looked both delectable and filling.
I had substituted a fruit for the non-fat dairy product at breakfast this morning, so I completed this meal with a serving of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt.
The heating instructions called for nuking the meal for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, so, as usual, I increased the time to 2 minutes 15 seconds, which worked perfectly.
New Orleans-Style Beef Gumbo with Confetti Rice
My General Impressions
I actually just finished eating this luncheon entrée seconds ago, and two words that immediately come to mind to describe it are “satisfying” and “filling.” It is robust, both in flavor and content.
Although this entrée was spicy (much to my delight), the textures and flavors of the various individual ingredients were not disguised. The tastes of the beef, green peppers, tomatoes, and celery were the most prominent, and each supplied a different texture to tantalize the tongue. The rice was cooked perfectly; it was tender, but still retained its distinctive texture.
Though subdued by the paprika-red color of the sauce, the primary colors of the individual ingredients were still distinguishable enough to provide the meal with a visual appeal.
Just over a fourth of this entrée’s calories are from fat—60 of the total 230. Total carbohydrates are relatively high at 31 grams, with 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of sugar. There are 13 grams of protein.
The meal is rich in vitamins and minerals, supplying 45% of the recommended daily average intake of Vitamin A, 35% of Vitamin C, 10% of iron, and 8% of calcium.
Since I reversed the breakfast and lunch accompaniments for the day, the meal contains no fruit, but it does contain a full serving of dairy, which it otherwise would not have. I’m pretty sure that the 6 bite-sized chunks of beef (yes, I counted them) do not constitute a full serving of protein, but you certainly get a sizable serving of vegetables and starch (enriched long-grain white rice) in this meal.
This meal gets a “5” on a scale of 1 to 5 from me. It had a rich, spicy flavor and a wonderful blend of textures, both of which were pleasing to my palate. This being said, those who eschew spicier foods will probably want to peruse eDiets’ list of substitute meals and replace this luncheon entrée with another.
It was very appealing to the eye as well. The ability to discern the different ingredients in the gumbo made it look particularly appetizing and hearty.
And hearty it was. I definitely won’t worry about getting hungry before dinner time after having consumed it. In fact, I couldn’t quite finish all my yogurt—not that I find that particular side dish that appealing any more, having had it so many times over the last ten days. I would order this luncheon entrée again, however. It would be especially good on a day on which I have a long afternoon hike or a couple of hours of pickleball planned.