Product Review: Garden Lites Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt

Garden Lites Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt
Garden Lites Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt

Product: Garden Lites Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt – $3.49+

It was getting so close to Christmas and the nights after work were hectic and frantic.  Lots to do…so little time to actually do it in.  And that’s when you need something quick, simple, and still nutritious.  It’s not always feasible to cook up a meal after a long day at the office or being on the go.  Thankfully, there is this great company called Garden Lites, and they make fantastic vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.

Some of my favorites happen to be their amazing soufflés.

There was something really intriguing and different about this soufflé, however.  It was one of their newer flavors, which had actually been out for awhile, but was only now turning up in my local natural food stores.  I had to purchase it (along with the previously mentioned Southwestern Soufflé) and try it out for myself.  I’ve loved most of the Garden Lites soufflés that I’ve eaten previously.  And with one that included chili and cornbread…well…this was awesomesauce waiting to happen.

Garden Lites Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt (cooked)
Garden Lites Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt (cooked)

Sure enough…I popped open the package, tossed the wrapped tray into the microwave for about 3 minutes.  Then, I removed the plastic wrap and gave another microwave session for 2 minutes…and viola…dinner was served.  My roommate and I were going to split this little dish, so I served it up with some hand-cut, homemade sweet potato fries…which I baked in the oven.

How was this little dish?  Well, all I can say is that Garden Lites really, really outdid themselves with this one.  The base is a cornbread soufflé, which is light, not dense, and really delicious.  Sitting on top of that is this healthy helping of veggie chili, which is packed with veggies and beans.  And then, on top…some cheese.  Just like the good, old-fashioned classic…but with a healthy twist.  The cheese is just an added touch that doesn’t overwhelm the dish at all.  The star is that cornbread base.  Light and airy…and a perfect match for that chili top.  So good.

So…now we get down to the science of this dish…mainly the ingredients and nutrition.  What I love about these soufflés is that they are so good…and good for you.  The Garden Lites Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt contains diced tomatoes, fire roasted corn, pasteurized egg whites, black beans, onion, low fat milk, crushed tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, evaporated cane juice, brown rice flower, red pepper, green pepper, corn starch, corn meal, cheddar cheese, baking powder, canola oil, lemon juice, sea salt, garlic, ancho pepper, cumin, chili powder, chipotle pepper, a blend of locust bean gum, guar gum, and xanthan gum, annatto extract (for color), and black pepper.  It sounds like a lot of ingredients, I know, but they are all ingredients I recognize by name…and not one single chemical.  Loving it.  It is gluten-free and nut-free.

As for nutrition, the Garden Lites Veggie Chili &  Cornbread Melt contains 200 calories for the entire soufflé.  Loving it.  The entire soufflé will also serve you up 4.5 grams of fat.  This one has 10 grams of cholesterol, 650 mg sodium, and 10 grams of sugar.  Finally, you will be devouring 4 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein.  You will not feel hungry after eating this.  Trust me.

Once again Garden Lites and served up a nutritious, easy-to-prepare, delicious little treat that goes from the freezer to the microwave.  It’s perfect for these cold nights.  And it’s so fast to prepare, and still so delicious.  This is, by far, my favorite one I have eaten so far.  A little bit of comfort food without the guilt.

This is food love…and it will love you back.

Half of a Garden Lites Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt
Half of a Garden Lites Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt

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