Cauliflower is trendy, whether it’s eaten raw, riced, baked into veggie tots, or incorporated into pizza crust. The Earthly Grains Ready-to-Eat Cauliflower Meals are another way Aldi offers to get your cauliflower in.
These are limited-time ALDI Finds, which means they’ll be on store shelves for a short time, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. The cauliflower meals are $2.49 for a 7.9-oz. package at the time of publication. Be aware that while the front of the packages state they are gluten free, the allergy label on the back says they may contain wheat.
They come in three varieties:
- Indian Vegetable Curry
- Basil Pesto
- Peruvian Vegetable Ceviche
I tried the Indian Vegetable Curry and the Basil Pesto varieties.
One package equals one serving, and these come in a clear plastic container that is divided, with one section holding minced/riced cauliflower and the other section holding the sauce and seasoning. Each package also includes a small plastic spoon, so these are good to take to work or school, or to eat anywhere on the go.
The inside of the package says, “No preparation is needed — all of our Cauliflower Meals are fully cooked and ready to eat. Enjoy it right away or heat it up in a microwave (15-20 seconds).”
Preparation instructions are simple: peel back the lids to open the containers. Pour desired amount of sauce over the cauliflower and stir. Enjoy.
I preferred my cauliflower meals to be warmer than room temperature or lukewarm. I warmed the Indian Vegetable Curry meal in the microwave for 20 seconds in its plastic container, stirred it, and warmed it for another 20 seconds. It was warm but not steaming hot. I poured the Basil Pesto meal into a microwave-safe bowl and warmed it for 1 minute, which got it appropriately hot.
The package states the cauliflower meals are good side dishes for fish, chicken, or meat entrees. They can be eaten as a snack or meal, and you can add your own ingredients such as spinach, tofu, nuts, or vegetables, if desired.
Indian Vegetable Curry Cauliflower Meal
This contains 160 calories, 7 grams of total fat (9% of your daily value), 0 mg cholesterol, 530 mg sodium (23% DV), 16 grams of total carbs, and 0 grams of added sugars. It also has 6 grams of protein. It has a symbol denoting that it is Kosher.
Ingredients are: cauliflower, artichoke, red bell pepper, zucchini, lupines, golden raisins, sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar, curry, salt, and lactic acid.
It may contain milk, pine nuts, tree nuts, and wheat.
My family and I enjoy Indian food, and we all sampled this meal together and were not impressed. Everyone has different taste preferences, so there may be some people out there who love this meal, but my family and I thought it was okay at best. My daughter said, “It smells good, but it doesn’t taste good.” This meal just didn’t have much flavor. It might be slightly better with a little salt.
The advantage to this Earthly Grains Cauliflower Meal is that it is shelf stable and requires no refrigeration, but this cauliflower meal could easily be made at home with tastier results using a jar of Journey to India sauce plus a bag of Aldi’s Regular Buy frozen Season’s Choice Riced Cauliflower, and you could add other vegetables according to your tastes.
Basil Pesto Cauliflower Meal
This contains 370 calories, 34 grams of total fat (43% DV), 0 mg cholesterol, 850 mg sodium (37% DV), 11 grams of total carbs, and 0 grams of added sugars. It also has 6 grams of protein.
Ingredients are: cauliflower, basil, sunflower oil, brazil nuts, grana padano cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, potato starch, garlic, lactic acid, pine nuts, sugar, citric acid, and ascorbic acid.
It contains tree nuts, pine nuts, and milk, and it may contain wheat.
I did not like this meal at all. Perhaps I killed it by overheating it (I microwaved it for 1 minute rather than the recommended 20 seconds), but I doubt it. The pesto sauce was bitter. Pesto often naturally has slightly bitter tones, but I’ve made homemade pesto sauce using basil I grew in my garden, and it never tasted bitter like the pesto in this cauliflower meal. A Google search indicates that excessive bitterness can be a common problem with pesto sauce, and the culprits range from how you blend in the olive oil to what type of garlic is used.
Whatever the reason, this pesto sauce was disappointing. Perhaps other people will think differently, or maybe you will get better results if you doctor this with Parmesan cheese or something else, but we were not fans. It made the lackluster Indian Vegetable Curry Cauliflower Meal described above look better than it is.
The limited-time ALDI Find (Special Buy) Earthly Grains Cauliflower Meals come in three varieties: Indian Vegetable Curry, Basil Pesto, and Peruvian Vegetable Ceviche. We sampled the Indian Vegetable Curry and Basil Pesto meals. The Indian Vegetable Curry Cauliflower Meal was okay at best, but we thought it lacked the flavor that most good Indian dishes have. The Basil Pesto Cauliflower Meal was extremely bitter and we were not fans. We did not sample the Peruvian Vegetable Ceviche Cauliflower Meal, but based on our experiences with the other flavors, we’re not eager to try it. Aldi gets praise for seeking new ways to serve up healthy vegetarian fare, but these meals didn’t do it for us.