Product Review: Kettle Cuisine Angus Beef Steak Chili with Beans

I never used to be afraid of trying new things; as a general rule, if I picked up an unusual item from the center aisles of the grocery store, I could be assured that the chemicals within would guarantee the product was some kind of tasty, even if it was not especially healthy.

Since I’ve ventured into the organic realm, however, I have had more frequent run-ins with non-deliciousness; for whatever reason, certain all-natural labels seem to feel that being “organic” compensates for the fact that their product tastes like dirt. Or grass, which is occasionally an ingredient in organic products, so maybe the blame for picking up an abundance of non-tasty items is partly mine for not reading ingredient lists thoroughly enough.

But, I digress. Despite the negative results of my recent forays into uncharted organic territory, my lazy, comfort-food seeking self couldn’t resist picking up a package of Kettle Cuisine’s Angus Beef Steak Chili with Beans, particularly since it had such stellar nutritional statistics: One container of chili (i.e., one 10 oz. package—there’s one serving per container, which is nice. I always hate it when I get a pre-cooked meal home and find that one tray, etc., is actually two or three servings. Who eats half a frozen meal?) has only 250 calories, 9 grams of fat and 540 mg of sodium, which is pretty stellar for a frozen chili. And, the meal packs 8 grams of fiber and 22 grams of protein. WHOAH.

Before delving into the “How delicious was this meal?” portion of this review, I should probably disclose that this was my first brush with chili. So, even though I wasn’t a big fan of how this chili tasted, it may be because I’m just apparently not a fan of chili.

This was a very spicy dish, in that the heat wasn’t too intense (though it was enough to make my nose run a bit), but the predominant taste of the chili was definitely just … spice. If you’ve ever had pre-made taco mix, this chili tasted very similar to the kind of sauce you would find in an Ortega taco kit. However, I loved how this chili was just loaded with meat and beans. 90% of the time, I feel like I crack open a pre-made meal and find that its skimpy on the protein-oriented ingredients. In this chili, though, I got a generous serving of angus beef in every spoonful. And, the chili, itself, was very thick—not runny at all.

I can’t really attest to the chili’s staying power as I paired the dish with crackers (I was eating it for dinner), but I am pretty sure that this would make for a really filling lunch. And, even though I did have this with crackers, it was only one serving of Wheat Thins and the combo kept me full for a good two and a half hours.

I should also mention that this dish, in addition to being organic, is also gluten and dairy free. Personally, I don’t have a gluten or dairy intolerance, but I imagine good frozen, gluten free, dairy free meals aren’t exactly plentiful, so I feel it’s worth mentioning.

I probably wouldn’t pick up the chili again, as the taste just wasn’t up my alley, but the quality of the chili was so good I’m definitely going to pick up another Kettle Cuisine dish sometime soon (maybe the New England Clam Chowder. Mmm … creamy.)

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