Product: Sol Cuisine Organic BBQ Tofu Ribs – $5.49+
Being a gluten-free vegetarian isn’t always easy. When I had to go gluten-free…it meant that many of the faux-meat products out there, via Boca, Morningstar, Quorn, and Gardein were off limits to me. So, finding a replacement has been more than a challenge. Sure…there are some that exist…but they are few and far between…and mostly limited to veggie burgers.
Which is fine. Except when you’re tired of veggie burgers.
Imagine my excitement to walk into my favorite grocery store, Earth Fare, and find a product line called Sol Cuisine, which features gluten-free and vegan products. The one that immediately caught my eye, however, was the Organic BBQ Tofu Ribs.
Yes…BBQ Ribs. For gluten-free vegans.
*the gluten-free gods smile upon me*
I did what any clear-thinking gluten-free consumer would do. I grabbed one from the freezer section and tossed it into my cart. I mean…why not? If nothing else…it would be interesting.
Welcome, then, to the weekend…where my usually scheduled meal and snack times goes completely awry. Seriously. It’s not always a good thing…but that’s what happens when you’re constantly on-the-go on the weekend. It happens. After a long day out on Saturday, my roommate and I returned home, hungry and ready for dinner. I had plenty from my CSA bin to work with, but she was in the mood for fries. And I decided that the perfect compliment to homemade, baked “fries” would be…these Organic BBQ Tofu Ribs that were sitting in my freezer.
Why not? What did we have to lose?
The box actually indicates that these should be thawed in the fridge (whoops) or in the microwave…although no actual instructions for that are given. So I threw the package of ribs onto a microwave safe plate, and began to hit the defrost button until I felt I had reached a good level to continue with the cooking process.
Nothing could be simpler. Then…you get your choice of cooking method: Microwave, Stove top, or Oven. Since I had the oven going, I went ahead and opted for that method. So, into a casserole dish they went…and then into a 350° oven to cook for 20 minutes. About halfway through, I was to give them a good stir…so I did that and then let them finish cooking as directed by the box.
Once time was up…I happily pulled the casserole dish from the oven and began to serve up the ribs with the baked fries as well. Now, the box indicates that there are 3.5 servings inside…so my roommate and I decided we would split the difference and just make it into 2 servings. That meant we each got 4 of the tofu ribs. I set them alongside my homemade fries and dinner was served.
So…I dug in…very eager to taste.
And very confused.
Okay..not confused…but let down. Before I had to go gluten-free, I loved eating Morningstar Farms BBQ Ribs. They were amazing. These…these were…not as amazing. In fact, the texture was a bit spongy…but, let’s keep in mind, this is tofu. So…I can deal with that. Sadly, however, the sauce was rather bland. Bland enough that I went and grabbed my bottle of Stubbs Original BBQ Sauce and added to my plate. I think next time I get these, I will try to cook them in a pan, and maybe get a different and better texture on them.
For being made of tofu…these weren’t bad. They just weren’t the epic feast that I was hoping for. So…worth trying again, yes. Scream about them from the rooftop awesome? Not really.
Now…for the nutrition part…
Sol Cuisine Organic BBQ Tofu Ribs pack a caloric punch of only 130 calories per serving and 7 grams of fat. These have a very low sodium count, holding at 160 mg. And, even better, they pack a whopping 9 grams of protein per serving. Awesome! So, quite nutritionally sound…I will definitely give them that.
Despite the texture and lack of flavor, I’d be willing to try other products by Sol Cuisine…and I would happily eat these again…but probably seared off in a pan instead of cooked in the oven. Maybe work some of that spongy texture out.
Overall…not great…but definitely not bad.