Product: Evol Foods Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Street Tacos – $3.99+
There are very few products out on the market these days that fill me with excitement and pure elation when I see them on the shelf for the first time. I know that might be hard to believe…but it’s true. Honestly. It’s true. Granted, there are some things that make me happy and truly excited when I find them…enough to run, flailing, up and down the aisles at the local Whole Foods or grocery store…but it’s not an everyday or even an every week occurrence.
That being said, one of my favorite foods in the world is…tacos. “Why tacos?” you might be wondering. Well…the reason I have a taco obsession (and have had weeks where all I cook are different varieties of vegetarian tacos…and call it Tour de Taco) is that you can literally put just about anything into a taco. For real! And it can be delicious. My favorite creation, by far, has been my veggie burger and fries taco. Yep…unhealthy but…OMG…yummy!
So, yeah, I was really, really excited to be shopping the frozen food aisles at my local Target one afternoon and spotting the orange and white box from Evol Foods for their new line of street tacos. Currently Evol Foods offers three gluten-free varieties with only one being vegetarian. So, hell yes, it came home with me and took up residence in my freezer. And, for some reason, I was unprepared for my lunches this past week…don’t know why. The never happens. But it did. So, on Friday, as I was intending on Indian food that night to celebrate my roomie (Cathy) heading out to audition for Jeopardy…this made the perfect lunch for us to share. I thought.
So Evol Foods mission is “to inspire people to care about where food comes from and how it is produced by making real food that tastes delicious. Love what you eat.”
Simple. Basic. And, as someone who has tried a couple of Evol Foods gluten-free and vegetarian products before, was pretty confident that the latest products to hit the market, the Evol Foods Street Tacos, would live up to not only their mission, but the high bar they set with the quality of their previous products.
That being said, the first thing I noticed when I removed the tray containing the two (2) street tacos that are in each package were just how small these were. I mean…SMALL! Maybe 4-5 bites each small. Given the size of the packaging and the picture on the box, I don’t know, I just expected…more.
Ah well…I was fortunate enough to have planned ahead, bringing the rest of the Good Boy Organics Organicasaurus Tangy Tomato Puffs (previously blogged on) with me for my roomie and I to split as we had intended to split the street tacos to keep lunch lighter in preparation for a bit of a bigger dinner. So…size…it does matter when you see a product with 220 calories and figure…well…a regular size (6-inch) soft corn tortilla has 40 calories in each tortilla. What I got were two very tiny tacos with doubled up corn tortillas that were about the size of the palm of my hand. I was shocked.
It came with frozen pouch containing a somewhat mild-spicy salsa verde, so before I even worked on the tacos, I brought some water to a boil and set the pouch into that to thaw while I warmed up the teeny-tiny tacos for 2 minutes on the tray. They then sat for 1 minute more…until they were considered ready to consume.
Let me start by saying this…the taco stuffing looked like…a hairball a cat threw up. Seriously. The image on the box is so deceiving, showing impeccably orange sweet potatoes, surrounded by crumbled goat cheese and perfect black beans, topped up with the perfect drizzle of salsa verde. Do not let this fool you. Because one the taco is cooked, the insides look more like something mashed up together and left out for the dog. Or…as stated before…a coughed up hairball. People eat first with their eyes, so it looked rather unappealing. I gave each taco a healthy dose of the salsa verde, which I had to cut the packet open as it is not one of those that gives you a corner to tear across. Good thing my office is equipped with such things in the kitchen. I was still going with it, however. Because I’ve eaten quite a few things that didn’t look all that appetizing, but in the end were phenomenal.
Tiny tacos were placed on two giant plates and I carried one over to where my roommate was working. I think she thought I was joking when I set it down in front of her. Eager to see how it tasted, I shrugged, apologized for the lack of size in the taco, and hurried to my own desk to tuck into my lunch.
It was…bland. Honetsly. If it wasn’t for the healthy squirt of salsa verde, I would venture to say that the Evol Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Street Tacos would be nigh-on tasteless. Some things taste like a frozen dinner…and this is one of those things. The tiny corn tortillas began to fall apart. The filling was not appetizing to look at and not even seasoned. The salsa verde, thawed in a coffee cup full of hot water, was the best part of this entire dish. In fact, I ate my entire taco and then savored the little dinosaur puffs I brought as a side, instead of the other way around. I wasn’t impressed, and my roommate was less than impressed as well.
I get it…street vendors are big into tacos, and street tacos might be smaller than the average taco. But this was really not even close to being a filling and decent-sized meal. What a complete and utter disappointment. When the best part is the part I almost didn’t mess with…well…there is a problem. Never underestimate a good salsa verde with a nice kick of cilantro.
So, let’s take a look at the ingredients for Evol Foods Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Street Tacos. These tacos are made from corn tortillas (white corn flour cooked in lime water, yellow corn flour cooked in lime water, water, and guar gum), sweet potatoes, organic black beans, goat cheese (pasteurized goat milk, salt, cheese cultures, vegetarian rennet, cellulose powder), roasted corn, salsa blend (jalapeños, green onion, cilantro, garlic), cheese sauce (whole milk, cheddar cheese [milk, cheese, cultures, salt enzymes], heavy cream, butter [cream, salt], water, potato flour, onions, rice starch, Parmesan cheese [part-skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes], sea salt spices), cilantro, jalapeños, salt, lime juice, cumin, and black pepper. The ingredients in the salsa verde are fire roasted tomatillo puree, jalapeños, cilantro, corn starch, lime juice, salt, onions and black pepper.
As for nutrition facts, the Evol Foods Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Street Tacos have 1 serving per container, which holds 2 small tacos. This serving will provide you with 220 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 160 mg sodium, 36 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 5 grams sugars, and 8 grams of protein. These are gluten-free and vegetarian.
So, yeah, you can say that I feel betrayed and really let down by both the presentation and the flavor of the Evol Foods Gluten Free Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Street Tacos. Thank goodness I decided to go ahead and thaw out the sauce packet or I would have been very, very disappointed. I hate to say I wouldn’t purchase these again, but I wouldn’t. I’m glad I tried them, but I just wasn’t impressed. What a let down from Evol Foods.