Product Review: Tasty Bite

Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the products discussed here were provided to me for reviewing purposes at no cost.

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I was invited not long ago to sample a number of products from the Tasty Bite line of Indian and Asian foods.  Sold in microwave oven-safe 10-ounce pouches, these are typically ready in 60 to 90 seconds when prepared by microwave, and make a wonderful, no-fuss option for rounding out a weeknight meal or for building an entire lunch or dinner from just two or more selections.

Many of this line’s entrees, rices, and noodles are certified by the American Heart Association as meeting the criteria for “heart-healthy” meals.  The products focus a great deal on vegetable dishes centered around favorites like lentils, potatoes, barley, and eggplant, but also includes many rice and noodle dishes spanning a wide range of styles and  varying levels of intensity of flavor and heat. Most memorable about the tasting experience for me was how often and how ably the aromatics of various foods followed through onto the palate.  Each instance managed a balance between taste and aroma that met or more often than not, exceeded my expectations.  This proved especially true of dishes with whose flavors I am familiar, such as Pad Thai or Madras Lentils.

Beginning with the Thai Lime Rice, I found that strong aromas of lime and lemongrass presented immediately and remained as potent upon tasting. The lime flavor was light, present but unobtrusive, with faint lemongrass on the back, making it seem like a solid pairing option for poultry or seafood. The Ginger Lentil Rice, by comparison, offered up a strong aroma of ginger as prelude to a peppery ginger taste.  The spice heat level in this one could be a bit much for some people due to how long it lingers, but I found the smoldering to be pleasant.  Most memorable about the Channa Masala were its sweet, creamy flavor, perfectly cooked chickpeas, and aromatics of cumin and cooked tomato. Red beans were an unexpected but nicely-integrated addition to the Madras Lentils, providing a thicker, heartier texture than I’ve typically encountered for this dish but it worked well.  Of the noodle offerings, I sampled the Asian Noodles Kung Pao and Asian Noodles Pad Thai varieties.  Essences of tomato, Thai basil, and peanuts alluded to in the Pad Thai aromatics came through loud and clear on the tongue, with an added touch of sweetness to tie them all together. An impressive feature of both noodles is that despite being packaged in aromatic, fully-seasoned sauces, peanuts and veggies like carrots and baby corn retained their crunchiness as well as their flavor characteristics.

The Tasty Bite line is a reliable and affordable resource for healthy meals that taste great. With products available for sale both online and on supermarket shelves, it makes for an easily accessible alternative to cooking, and offers enough product variety to present endless meal inspirations at mealtime.

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