REVIEW: Boca Chunky Tomato & Herb Lasagna

Have your parents ever tricked you to eat something you didn’t like?

Mine did and that something was liver.

On that fateful day, I knew something was up because I could smell the stench of deceit from my room. It smelled like rotting meat.

I asked my parents what they were cooking for dinner. They told me it was steak. I knew it wasn’t. They told me to eat it. I didn’t want to. They continued to tell me it was steak. I still didn’t believe them. They told me they cooked the steak a different way. I kind of believed them. They told me to try it. I did. They asked me how it was. I spit it out on to my plate to prevent me from throwing up. They told me to put on some ketchup. I knew it wasn’t going to help. They ate it for me. I ate cereal.

Of course, things could’ve been worse. If they tried to make me drink coconut milk by telling me it was regular milk AND feed me peas by telling me they were green Sixlets, that would’ve been the terrible tasting torture trifecta.

From that moment on, everything I thought and believed came crashing down around me.

I soon discovered my parents were Santa, putting the toys into my Christmas stocking. Then I realized my parents were the Tooth Fairy, putting quarters under my pillow. Then I found out that wearing Underoos in the fifth grade was not cool. Then I discovered that knowing New Kids on the Block dance moves did not make me a good dancer.

Oh, if only they had the Boca Chunky Tomato & Herb Lasagna back in those days, because then my parents would’ve had an easier time trying to trick me to eat something that was healthy for me — and maybe the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus would still be alive in my head and not just in my heart.

The Boca Chunky Tomato & Herb Lasagna looks like lasagna. It smells like lasagna. It tastes like lasagna. It can stain clothing in a food fight like lasagna. However, there’s no meat in the Boca Chunky Tomato & Herb Lasagna, just soy products that tastes sort of like meat.

It’s hard to believe the Boca Chunky Tomato & Herb Lasagna was low-fat and low-cholesterol, because it tasted pretty good. It had a nice little spicy tomato taste and I honestly couldn’t tell there wasn’t any meat in it. Although, the cheese looked like it could be used for Barbie plastic surgery, but it added a little more flavor to the lasagna.

Oh, if only Garfield the cat was real and not a comic strip character created in the mind of Jim Davis, then we would find out if Garfield could tell the difference between the Boca Chunky Tomato & Herb Lasagna and the usual meat lasagna.

But then again, Garfield looks like he would eat anything — even liver.

Item: Boca Chunky Tomato & Herb Meatless Lasagna
Price: $4.00 (on sale)
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Tasty. Can’t tell there isn’t meat. Low fat. Low cholesterol. Lots of protein.
Cons: A little pricey. Just enough lasagna for a single quasi-product review blog editor. Plastic looking cheese. Liver. Parent trickery. My NKOTB dance moves. The stench of deceit.

33 thoughts to “REVIEW: Boca Chunky Tomato & Herb Lasagna”

  1. I actually used to eat liver. I actually used to like liver. I think you know now why I’ve been a vegetarian for 25 years!!!! A vegetarian who loved Sixlets as a kid. Great reference!

    Great review, Marvo!

    I am ALL ABOUT this lasagna! I can’t wait to get to the store and try it. It sounds like this Boca is worth biting into. Yummy.

    By the way, I can’t believe you don’t realize that Garfield the cat IS real. Of course he is. And Jon and Odie and Nermal as well. Who on EARTH has tried to wash your brain? You probably have been told that Calvin and Hobbes don’t truly exist either.

  2. “Its steak.” That cracked me up. The lasagna looks pretty good. I’m guessing its microwavable, but was wondering if theres any baking directions. You sure cook a mean pan o’ lasagna, Marvo! Cheese on top doesn’t quite amount to the pic on the box, but if its Barbie’s legs then that is probably okay.

  3. Liver = steak. I’ve heard it all. What’s the “boca” all about anyway. Who came up with that term? I tried their “burgers” years ago–well, you could really just extend this review for meatless lasagna to that, and no one would notice a difference. So it works out this way: liver is to steak as Boca is to guile.

  4. What’s the point of going through all that effort to call it a meat substitute? They make it look like they are trying to trick you, but act like you’re too smart to catch on, so they play the healthy angle. Just stick with “meatless” or vegetarian (depending on other ingredients).

  5. I actually like liver…in controlled doses.

    I also like soy but I don’t like it when they try to tell you it tastes like meat…it doesn’t. I’m fine to have a soy lasagna knowing it’s a soy lasagna but please please please don’t try and tell me it’s just like meat and that I wouldn’t know the difference…I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

    Also what the huff is with shaping non meat to look like meat? Tofurky anyone?

  6. Marvo, would it make you feel better if I told you that I was such an obsesive NKOTB fan that not only do I still know the dance, but I still know the birthdates of every group member?

  7. Haha this one was funny. I’m still skurd to try it, though.

    I’ve been looking through the archives for about an hour now, putting off a Business paper I need to write. Dang you and your funny stories/reviews!! 🙂

    P.S. Domokun, in spanish, “Boca” means lip or mouth. So…lip lasagna. Hahaha.

  8. I love Boca Burgers, so I will have to try this. Thanks Marvo!!

    Boca Burgers taste just like these cheapy burgers from a place I live by called Pechin’s…they cost 19 cents, no lie!! Except, I don’t think Pechin’s burgers are made from soy..more like rat or opossum. Whatever they are, they are yummy!!!

  9. Karen – Well as long as The Far Side isn’t real. That would be freaky.

    skibs – It’s microwaveable and can be prepared in an oven. Also, it’s totally missing the cheese on the top. I would’ve added my own, but all I’ve got is frozen cheddar cheese.

    Domokun – Doesn’t “boca” sound sexy? It sounds like a Latin name for a body part. Shake those bocas!!! I love the way her bocas move!

    klew – Well it does say meatless on the box, but slightly hidden.

    Gia on Guam – I like tequila in controlled doses…Although, I also like it sometimes in uncontrolled doses, when I have a lot of salt and limes.

    Wench – Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. Oh, oh, oh, oh. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. The right stuff.

    jobetta – Oh yeah, what are they? Starting with the youngest, whoever that is.

    kt – $3!?! If I found it for $3, I’d eat it for every meal. Then I might be able to call myself a vegetarian.

    Jana – As your elder, I should tell you that you should finish that business paper. Although, I should also tell you that I’m a firm believer that grades don’t dictate success in life. Look at me, I got six F’s in college and I’m a quasi-product review blog editor. Of course, I don’t get paid for being a quasi-product review blog editor, but I’m also a firm believer that the amount of money I make doesn’t dictate success in life. 🙁

    Andy & Lou – 19 cents each!?! You just gave me the idea for the cheapest date EVER. Now all I need are stolen flowers from someone’s garden and free condoms from a university health center.

  10. I’m not a big lasagna fan (this whole Boca deal looks like an “After” shot)….or a big liver fan, but I can totally relate to the whole NKOTB thing. I had the sheets, and the curtains, and all the dolls, and the pins, and all the CD’s, and the T-Shirts…

    Eh hem…

    Good Review.

  11. Marvo..If you lived anywhere near Pechin’s, you wouldn’t even need flowers. Chickies from these parts aren’t exactly particular,
    as long as you have a few teeth they’re happy. I practically live in West Virgina for God’s sake, not that there’s anything wrong with that….

    Speaking of places to live…I so want to live in HI! I spent a bit of time on the North Shore last year and have decided that it is were I belong(me and everyone who has ever been there). I made a baby there for goodness sakes!! I think I am going to buy my son a shirt that says “Made in Hawaii”…something that he would probably look back at and vomit over, right?!?!

    Anyway, love your site..keep up the good work!!

  12. I like liver. I always have to check out KFCs in remote locales to see if they still offer fried chicken livers on their menu (the big city KFCs don’t). Even as a kid, I’d pick liver and onions if given the option. And spinach, too.

    But my mother is a horrible cook. If she told you liver was steak, the odds are 50-50 that it really did start out as steak and morphed into organ meat somewhere in the process.

  13. “jobetta – Oh yeah, what are they? Starting with the youngest, whoever that is.”

    Joe McIntyre — December 31, 1972.
    Jordan Knight — May 17, 1970
    Danny Wood — May 14, 1970
    Donnie Whalberg – August 17, 1969
    Jonathan Knight — November 29, 1968

    Yes, I’m sad and my memory is far too good. Very, very sad.

  14. Looks ok.. although, I’ll probably still pass. Not a big fan of that soy ‘tastes like meat’ stuff. So far I’ve only seen one product that tasted somewhat like meat, and it was at a fair booth. Even then, the texture wasn’t quite… meat-ish.

    I think I’ll stick with regular, meat filled lasagna from the Italian restaurant down the street…

    -PFC Andy

  15. My parents did the “liver” trick on my brother and me too… except they used Tongue. That didn’t go over so well with us. And no, I didn’t know that Tacos de Lengua was a normal dish at the time.

  16. I miss Gary Larson. *sigh* altho is almost always thought-provoking.

    Marvo, Calvin would be the one to get Hobbes to play “Spin The Lasagna,” no? But only hugging one another in the closet allowed for those two…

  17. I can’t even make myself try it, just knowing it’s faux meat substitute. Even if it tastes great, my psyche won’t let me. You are a brave man. But of course, we already knew that.

  18. I made an attempt at eating liver tonight (my own free will!) but I have to agree that it’s some vile stuff. In my experience dabbling with vegetarianism, the only soy products worth eating are deli products that don’t resemble meat in the first place (like bologna and hot dogs).

  19. Mia – But do you know the birthdays of all the members like Jobetta?

    Andy & Lou – I have a whole set of teeth!!! I think I would be the sexiest man alive there. 🙂

    Wednesday – Raw spinach salad…Good. Raw liver and onions…Bad. Fried chicken livers…Interesting.

    Jobetta – No. What would be sad is if you had all the NKOTB dolls, turned them into puppets, and had your very own NKOTB concerts. Did you do that?

    Mir – My arms aren’t long enough. You’re going to have to settle for your kids.

    Webmiztris – Mmm…Cat puke with hairballs.

    Andy – Mmm…Lasagna from a real Italian restaurant.

    Bryan – Oh, no they didn’t! They used the foreign language trick technique, making inedible things sound edible by using a foreign language. Brilliant!

    laina – I LOVE FLAT SODA!!!

    KarenOh how I miss human-on-stuffed animal action.

    Mellie Helen – It’s not faux meat substitute. It’s steak, just prepared in a different way. Go ahead and try it.

  20. You poor dear. My aunt did something like to me as a child. Served a roast and then stayed at the table with me after dinner and suspiciously asked how I liked it. I asked if she had prepared it differently because it didn’t taste like any other roast I ever had. She smiled wickidly and professed it was antelope then left the table. Should I mention I was 11 and this was the day after watching them on Wild Kingdom?

  21. Grins – You know what would’ve been worse? If she tricked you to eat reindeer on Christmas Eve and then told you it was reindeer while holding a “red nose” in her hand and making honking noises with it.

  22. This lasagna is my favorite microwave lasagna! Much better than Stouffers! The sauce is full of tomatoes, spices, and it’s not just some dressed up tomato paste.

    One time, I made baked ziti using veggie crumbles (soy protein trying to pass for ground meat) instead of ground meat. After my family had went for seconds, I told them what was in it. They stopped eating it for a second, and then just shrugged and went for thirds. By the way, Boca veggie crumbles is better than Morningstar veggie crumbles.

  23. Angel H. – ::looks up ziti:: Anyway, I’d have to agree that Boca seems to have better tasting items than Morningstar. Hey, is Gardenburger still around?

  24. “Jobetta – No. What would be sad is if you had all the NKOTB dolls, turned them into puppets, and had your very own NKOTB concerts. Did you do that?”

    Thank the Lord, no. That would have been very sad indeed.

  25. My kids could tell you some good stories–like the one about cow’s tongue being passed off as roast beef. (Well, it was, actually, come to think of it–albeit a little on the tough side!) Not too bad with lots of catsup. hehehe

  26. Jobetta – Oh, I can’t wait for the NKOTB reunion concert. Someday, someone is going to spend a lot of money to make that happen.

    Aggie – Not even ketchup marinated liver is edible to me.

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