Though I'm making the most of my time left here in Central Florida, I'm all too aware that pretty soon I'll be in a new locale with new food options and limited opportunities to eat out. I've already been working with dining services at my new school regarding my dietary needs, but know that sometimes a trip to the dining hall will not be in the cards. This summer, I've been trying out some frozen entrees which will become dorm staples that will help me make it through the semester happily and healthily. My latest find that makes the "dean's list" of my go-to foods, is Saffron Road's Lemongrass Basil Chicken which brings together the authentic Thai flavors of lemongrass, basil, curry, and fragrant basmati rice
Saffron Road has definitely taken the time to ensure that their products are safe for diners with many dietary considerations. In addition to being certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, the Lemongrass Basil Chicken is certified Hallal by the IFANCA. For those unfamiliar with Hallal foods, this Islamic tradition "promotes the sacred practices of respect for the land, fair treatment for farmers," and "humane treatment for livestock" according to their packaging. This commitment to producing sustainable food really caught my eye and educated me about this practice. In scanning the ingredients list, the only major ingredient listed as an allergen warning is coconut (due to coconut milk). The meal can be cooked one of two ways straight from the freezer and I opted for the microwave method not wanting to wait 40 minutes for the meal to cook. This method involved microwaving the meal with the plastic wrap three to four minutes, stir the dish, then microwave it for two to three more minutes as needed.
When it emerged from the microwaving and stirring cycle, both components- the rice and the chicken/vegetables in sauce- were heated perfectly and smelled absolutely delicious. Lemongrass was the predominant aroma and was comforting. Starting in with the lemongrass chicken and vegetables section of the trey, the soupy, coconut milk infused "broth" coating the chicken and vegetables immediately won over me thanks to its smooth texture and taste mirroring lemongrass curry dishes at local Thai restaurants. The chicken was cut in bite-sized pieces and had a good texture and taste. The vegetables included alongside it were green bell peppers and onions which complimented the chicken and broth with added texture and flavor. After polishing off the meat and vegetables, I got a soup spoon and eagerly scooped up as much of the broth as I could.
The basmati rice alongside the main dish was cooked to a perfect temperature where it wasn't too hard or too mushy. The grains were thin and fragrant and were a perfect base for the rich flavor of the lemongrass/coconut milk sauce. The serving size was just enough to fill me up and leave me satisfied.
I thoroughly enjoyed this Saffron Road entree and will make sure to keep my mini-freezer stocked with it this fall when I need some comfort food or when I'm rained (or snowed) in. I can't wait to check out the company's other gluten and dairy free offerings in the future. What are your favorite Saffron Road offerings? Comment below!
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Disclaimer: The review provided is current to the time I bought the product. Ingredients and manufacturing processes can change without notice. Each product should be reviewed for individual nutritional needs. Feel free to to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.