28 May, 2010

Dinty Moore Italian Vegetable Stew with Meatballs

Are my tastes changing, or are these packaged "quicky meals" getting somewhat better?  A couple  weeks ago, I tried Kid's Kitchen Cheezy Mac 'n Cheese by Hormel,  and found it to be pretty good - a bit on the salty side, but fairly honest ingredients and decent flavor.  This time, I tried out Dinty Moore Meals Italian Style Vegetable Stew - another Hormel product - and once again I find myself pleasantly surprised.

That's not to say Dinty didn't get a little weird with the ingredients - big chunks of potatoes and carrots in tomato sauce with pasta?? - but once I got through my initial surprise I found myself enjoying it.  

The potatoes are decent - not mealy or crumbly, but good, creamy waxy potatoes that hold up well to the cooking and heating process.  The chunks of carrot are sweet and distinct and add a richness and body to the tomato sauce, which itself is tangy and well-balanced - seasoned carefully and very flavorful.  The meatballs, although fairly standard canned-food fare containing a good dose of filler, are also delicious in their own way and have a good texture.  And the soft-cooked beans compliment the meal as well.

Even though I thought the pasta was actually the weak part of the meal - cut a bit too small, and kind of mushy for my taste - the meal actually comes across more like Pasta e Fagioli with added potatoes than it does "vegetable stew."  That little microwaveable bowl turned out to contain a fairly satisfying lunch.

And one more thing:  If you're careful about limiting your intake of high-fructose corn syrup, you have nothing to worry about here - there isn't any.  Thank you, Hormel.

P.S.  My inner 12-year-old giggles like hell every time he reads the label.  "Big Bowls."  You know what they say about Big Bowls, right?  They have Big Bowl Movements!  [tee hee hee]

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1 comment:

Karen said...

I must say, I had eaten Dinty Moore Beef Stew since I was a kid, then lately the past two cans have been horrible, this last can and I do mean last can had no carrots, no potatoes and some hard (we think potatoe peels) in it. It was very thick too thick. So I will say I wrote to them and complained, they were nice enough to send me a couple $3.00 coupons for any of their products. So it was worth the time to complain. It's just sad to see all the good food we use to enjoy taste and look horrible.