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Back in June we discovered Fat Rabbit and their vegetarian bowls. On paper the two bowls we tasted sounded good, but in practice "not well thought out" is the best we could say for them. This was bad enough that we (my wife and I) were less than enthusiastic at the prospect of tasting more. Yet as we've said for years, "We eat it so you don't have to."
Like the other bowls, the numbers for today's bowls are certainly above average. The Harvest Hooligan (where do they come up with these names?) has 270 calories, 530 milligrams of sodium, and an impressive 10 grams of fiber.
We tasted the dish. The sweet potatoes are mushy. The Brussels sprouts are exactly why kids hate them: incredibly overcooked and bitter. The cinnamon in the sauce makes the dish smell like Indian food - but there's nothing Indian or even flavorful about it and you certainly can't taste the cinnamon. The apples are not evident, but that's good because more sweetness would just make this worse.
Overall the Harvest Hooligan bowl tastes like mown grass smells and reminds me of bad modern jazz, where all the musicians are not only playing random notes, but they're not even listening to each other.
Honestly, we should have known. Here's the description on the front of the package:
Roasted sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, navy beans, apples, black beans, and spinach, topped with pumpkin seeds and cranberries, in a cinnamon and flaxseed oil dressing, over red and white quinoa.
If that sounds confused and not well thought out, that's because it is. Just don't.
The Smoky Mole Madness bowl, with 270 calories, 490 milligrams of sodium, and 10 grams of fiber, is the best of the four we've tasted.
It's another brightly colored bowl with a promising collection of ingredients: cauliflower, corn, pinto beans, red and yellow peppers as well as poblano peppers, and cheddar and jack cheese, in a mole sauce over brown rice.
Honestly, I love the idea and it's going in my recipe idea file.
The cauliflower is cooked just right - still crisp but tender. The brown rice is cooked well, too. The beans are tender but the corn is acceptable and the peppers are overcooked to mush.
The down side here is the sauce. This comes out of the microwave with the overwhelmingly bitter and vinegary yet spicy scent of chipotle in adobo. ("Seriously," my wife said. "Open a can of chipotles and take a big whiff. That's it.")
I've never tasted a mole like this with not a single hint of chocolate. None. This is like pureeing a bunch of chipotle in adobo with some "natural smoke flavor" (an actual ingredient), some vinegar, and a bunch of tomato paste. You can barely taste the sweetness of the corn through this and certainly precious little else can be tasted either.
Yes, the Smoky Mole Madness is the best from Fat Rabbit we've had so far. I don't think we'll be visiting the Fat Rabbit again for a while.
Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Review posted: August 21, 2020