Product: Aldi liveGfree Gluten Free Cheese Ravioli – $3.29
I am still praising Aldi for their special gift to those of us who have to follow a gluten-free diet as May (also known as Celiac Awareness Month) kicked off. I had heard from numerous people that Aldi was going to test their gluten-free product line, called liveGfree, in their stores to see how it did. Two coworkers of mine snatched up a few products and told me I had to get over there. And then my mom called and said she had gone to Aldi and stocked up on quite a few things as well and that I really, really needed to check out my Aldi.
So, on that very same day…Mother’s Day…my roomie and I did just that. And we pretty much bought one of everything. We didn’t get the flour and dessert mixes because I am overloaded with those…but one of practically everything else. We even found the frozen items in the freezer near the back. Sometimes walking the aisles does pay off. Hey…we were in no hurry and I hadn’t been to Aldi in at least a year…if not longer. Lucky us…we spotted the frozen meals from the liveGfree line…and picked up the vegetarian ones. One of everything. Including the frozen pancakes. Because…pancakes…HELLO!
Well, World Cup is currently going on…a month later. And with busy days and wanting to catch matches…even on a Sunday like today…we had a full morning and it was leading into an afternoon of World Cup watching and chores around the house. Much of my day was spent in the kitchen, prepping meals for this coming week. Just makes life a lot easier. Trust me.
So, for lunch…Cathy and I decided that we’d keep it light (because with the USA World Cup match against Portugal tonight…we’re doing vegan fish and chips)…and thought we’d each of one of the (previous reviewed) Rudi’s Gluten-Free Rosemary and Olive Oil Ciabatta Rolls and split one of the frozen meals in the freezer. I asked if she was feeling ravioli or lasagna…
Well…as you can tell…she went for the ravioli.
Here’s the best thing about these meals…they are so convenient. Sure, frozen food is never as good as fresh, but I don’t have the time nor the skills to make my own gluten-free ravioli. I’d love to…but…seriously…no. Not right now. Life is far too busy. With the rolls toasting in the oven, I plucked the box of Aldi’s liveGfree Gluten Free Cheese Ravioli from the freezer and opened it up.
Like most microwave meals, this comes in a microwave-safe tray. I could see the large (loved the size) ravioli and the red sauce and big flecks of cheese all over the dish. I cut a slit through the plastic as directed and popped it into the microwave for 5 minutes. Yep…five minutes. Then let it sit for one minute and…just like that…lunch is served! I cut the plastic away and dished up the ravioli between Cathy and I. Again, I was more than impressed with the size of these. They were at least two inches around. I topped our servings off with the extra sauce and cheese that lingered in the tray and popped a roll on each plate. Time to take a bite.
First of all, I’ve had quite a few gluten-free ravioli’s since having to go gluten-free. Only one…Conte’s…has truly impressed me. Well, color me impressed. Seriously. While this isn’t as good as the Conte’s brand…it is close. The ravioli actually cooks to a nice al dente texture, so it still has a bit of that bite that pasta should have. And, wow…the filling was so delicious. And these were packed with filling. They didn’t skimp on that at all. And for that, I praise them to the sky. So often the fillings in these microwave meals are non-existent…but these oozed cheese. Yummy. And the sauce had a lot of flavor as well. Fresh tasting, even. Maybe slightly oily, but nothing that couldn’t be skimmed off. You can tell it is made from real ingredients, which is actually quite surprising for a microwave meal…from Aldi of all places. Saucy…cheesy…delish!
I might have hoovered my portion…
So, as I mentioned it above, let’s take a look at the ingredients. Amazingly and surprising (to me)…is the fact that these are real ingredients. I recognize them all. Seriously. The tomato sauce part is made from chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, canola oil, butter, parsley, basil, sugar, and black pepper. The dough is a blend of rice flour, corn starch, tapioca dextrin, water, whole eggs, canola oil, xanthan gum, salt, guar gum, and sodium alginate. The filling is a combination of whole milk ricotta cheese, romano cheese, eggs, salt, and parsley. And then…it’s all topped off with mozzarella cheese!
Seriously??! Yep. Seriously.
Almost makes me feel less guilty about eating a processed microwaveable meal. HA!
As far as nutrition goes, a serving size is 1 package. The entire thing is all yours to eat and enjoy and savor. This meal will serve you up 360 calories and 15 grams of fat. Yep…it is a lot…but it’s a lot of cheese! You will also be taking in 85 mg sodium, 560 mg sodium, and 7 grams of sugar. The sodium is a little higher than I like, but still under 600 mg…so it’s okay. Also you will be taking in 4 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein! Yes!! That’s awesome. And it is a rather filling little meal. Seriously. And…yeah…it’s good too!
I would definitely restock this product in my freezer. And as long as Aldi keeps this line in their stores, I will continue to purchase these items. Because when I can walk out of a store spending under $30 for the huge amount of products I purchased…well…it makes my budget a whole lot better. Honestly.
Thank you, Aldi…for making gluten-free convenience food savory and palatable. Being able to eat something tasty from the freezer that also won’t bust the budget is a fine treat indeed.
I love you for it.