Product: Aldi liveGfree Gluten Free Cheese Lasagna – $3.29
Yep…it’s that time again. Time for another blog about the affordable, and mostly delicious findings from Aldi’s liveGfree gluten-free line. Let me first reemphasize how happy it made me when I was told that for the month of May (also Celiac Awareness Month) Aldi was going to be introducing a test run of their gluten-free products…in a brand known as liveGfree.
I, naturally, hightailed it over to Aldi on Mother’s Day and stocked up on one of everything (save a few items…as they were mixes that I have plenty of already), spending under $30 in the process. For someone who spends over a hundred dollars each week on food for two people…this was a blessing. My only concern was…would it taste good.
And as of right now, only one item (the Aldi liveGfree Gluten Free Southwestern Stuffed Sandwich), has not really lived up to my expectations (for processed and frozen food). So, that’s a good thing, yes? I think so.
After being away all weekend, I had to cancel my bin for the 4th of July as well as for the following weekend (I’m heading out to see Queen!)…so this means no fresh fruits and veggies delivered to me, from which I could concoct a myriad of new dishes. Nope. The next two weeks will be spent living out of the freezer and pantry. Which is okay…because my budget is shot. And I have some travel things I need to really get taken care of in the next couple of weeks. Basically…I have no money…so I make due with what I do have.
And what I do have is a bunch of Aldi liveGfree gluten-free items.
And tonight…really not wanting to spend a lot of time in the kitchen…I decided I would cook up the Aldi liveGfree Gluten Free Cheese Lasagna in the microwave and serve it with the remaining Rudi’s Gluten-Free Rosemary Olive Oil Ciabatta Rolls. That’s what I did. All it required was about 10 minutes in the kitchen. That’s it. And most of that was getting the rolls going in the oven. HA!
As for the Aldi liveGfree Gluten Free Cheese Lasagna…preparation was simple. Remove the tray from the box and cut a slit in the top. Stick tray in the microwave for 5 minutes. Cook. Let stand for 1 minute before removing, serving, and eating. Simple! Love simple. So, as the gluten-free ciabatta was baking in the oven, I got to work on the Aldi liveGfree Gluten Free Cheese Lasagna. Prep was as easy as I stated above and soon the microwave was rocking and rolling, cooking the meal, melting the cheese on top, and just getting it ready for a nosh-fest. The rolls finished up just as the microwave beeped. I let the tray sit for one minute before removing it and carefully peeling away the plastic wrap.
At first glance…not too impressive. Like most frozen meals, the Aldi liveGfree Gluten Free Cheese Lasagna looked like…lasagna. The problem was, the marinara was more than a little watery. *SIGH!* Aside from that, however, it looked like any other frozen lasagna meal. I carefully sliced the lasagna in half, as my roommate and I were splitting it, and then served it up.
The lasagna itself held together well, I must say, not slopping off or falling apart as I sliced it in half and then used a spatula to transfer the half to a plate. It held together. I was impressed. I poured the marinara that was left in the tray over the two slices and then served it up.
It was…what it was. A frozen lasagna. Nothing too exciting to rave about. The best part was the ricotta/romano cheese filling. Honestly. It had great texture and great flavor. It was seasoned perfectly. If the marinara had been less watery, this might have been the perfect frozen meal. For real. The cheese on top wasn’t much, but as I can’t tolerate a lot of cheese…that was ideal for me. It was easy to slice into with a fork and it held together as I brought each bite up to my mouth. Warmed all the way through and to perfection. The soft cheese with the brown rice noodles and the seasonings all came together for one stand-up frozen meal.
Not as good as the Aldi liveGfree Gluten Free Cheese Ravioli…but good enough.
And fast and easy. Convenient food. I’ll take it.
And, for being a frozen meal, the ingredients that go into Aldi liveGfree Gluten Free Cheese Lasagna are fantastic. Seriously. The tomato sauce is made from chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, canola oil, butter, parsley, basil, sugar, and black pepper. The dough from which the noodles are made are made from rice flour, corn starch, tapioca dextrin, water, whole eggs, canola oil, xanthan gum, salt, guar gum, and sodium alginate. The filling is simply whole milk ricotta cheese, romano cheese, eggs, salt, and parsley. And finally, the mozzarella cheese on top is simply made from pasteurized whole milk, cheese culture, salt and enzymes. While not exactly clean eating, I’d be hard-pressed to find another frozen meal with an ingredient list like that. Real, recognizable, and quality. The Aldi liveGfree Gluten Free Cheese Lasagna is gluten free and wheat free.
As for nutrition…well…for a frozen meal, it’s not bad. My roommate and I split it, but if you were to eat a serving size, it would be the entire slice of lasagna. This serving would provide you with 410 calories and 17 grams of fat. You would be taking in 105 mg cholesterol, 520 mg sodium, and 6 grams of sugar. Finally, you’d be consuming 4 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein. It is filling. Even half of it is filling…trust me.
With the exception of watery marinara, I absolutely found this to be an enjoyable frozen meal from Aldi. If I were eating it on my own, it wouldn’t have needed the roll to accompany it. Trust me…I’m full on just half of the lasagna. That’s saying something. My hat is off to Aldi and the quality of their liveGfree line. It’s quite evident in each product that I have tried so far how they strove for quality, using real ingredients and just trying to get that flavor right. I’m beyond impressed!
I sincerely hope that they continue to keep the line in the stores…because this is gluten-free food I can totally afford. And enjoy!