Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Healthy, but Not Necessarily Their Choice; Only a Few of Our Tasters Enjoyed the Cafe Steamers Entree

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Healthy, but Not Necessarily Their Choice; Only a Few of Our Tasters Enjoyed the Cafe Steamers Entree

Article excerpt

Byline: ANN J. KELLEY

There's nothing run-of-the-mill about Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers Grilled Vegetables Mediterranean.

The imaginative entree is a marriage of the usual (broccoli, red peppers, mushrooms and onions) with the unexpected (grilled eggplant and garbanzo beans) and combined with whole grain brown rice, barley and olive oil in a "mild" tomato sauce.

Only two members of the Times-Union Consumer Panel gave the steamed entree high marks, but when it comes to its nutritional makeup, all consider it a pretty healthful choice.

One meal contains 220 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 600 milligrams of sodium, 7 grams of sugars, 40 grams of whole grains and no cholesterol or trans fat.

"We really liked the Cafe Steamers," registered nurse Marie Zimmerman said. "It's very tasty and well seasoned. You can see the vegetables, they're very prominent and you can tell what you're eating."

She described the Mediterranean entree as a great mix with a fair amount of rice and a thick flavorful sauce. "The ingredients list is short. I could recognize most of them, a plus for me, and most everything is a healthy item."

Although she thinks the price is a little high, Zimmerman said she'd rather pay more and get a quality product.

Shop manager John Darnell thought the price of the entree would be more reasonable if under $3, but he still plans to buy it again.

He described the vegetables as a little mushy, although not too bad, and said the sauce had an excellent tomato flavor. "It was delicious. The majority of the dish is brown rice, but it's a perfect combination of ingredients. Steaming brought it all together."

The entree didn't fare as well with probation officer Robin Bridge, who described the dish as having a lot of brown rice and a sauce with an overwhelming tomato flavor. "It's definitely low fat and the amount of carbs isn't bad, but it's kind of bland for something Mediterranean. …

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