Thursday, April 4, 2013
I have to start by saying I am so glad this review process is now over. I should have probably told the rep from Survivalbased.com no from the start. I didn't really think it through, but should have realized that the foods he'd send us were all highly processed foods and our family as a rule does not eat processed foods. We're a whole foods family and really enjoy eating whole foods based meals.
So...on to the last and FINAL review. The Rotini a la Marinara comes in a 7.7 oz. package and the package states that it serves 5. Each serving has a measly 140 calories per serving. Because of the weight and extraordinarily low calorie count this food would never make it into our 72 hour kits.
I followed the package cooking instructions. I added 5 cups of water to a saucepan and turned the stove burner on high heat. When the water was boiling I added the contents of the package to the saucepan. I reduced the heat on the burner and simmered the food for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring it. Then I turned the heat off and let the Rotini a la Marinara rest for 5 minutes.
I then poured it into a serving dish. I don't know if you can see the illustration on the package, but our version looked quite different. Ours was a soup while the package shows a fairly typical pasta dish. I believe it's the extra sauce that makes this a 5 serving package.
Like the Creamy Stroganoff, the Southwest White Bean Chili, and the Rio Grande Beans & Rice, the Rotini a la Marinara also contains autolyzed yeast extract and that is an ingredient our family avoids ingesting, so that also rules the Rotini a la Marinara out as a food we might consider for our family's long term food storage.
So, what did the family think of the Rotini a la Marinara? We had it for lunch and only the girls and I tried it. The baby girl called it, "Yum" and the big girl said it was, "delicious." On the other hand I found the pasta soft and mushy and found gritty pieces of something in it that I couldn't identify. It was like there were bits of TVP in it, but no TVP was listed on the ingredient list. Also, the sauce was strangely peppery tasting and had a background flavor that was bitter and burnt tasting. And it was just too saucy. If I wanted a soup I'd make one, thank you very much.
Once again, I couldn't recommend this dish to anyone. Folks, if you're looking for a shelf stable rotini marinara dish, just stock your pantries with rotini pasta and dehydrated powdered tomatoes. You can create your own marinara sauce with seasonings, powdered tomato, and water. The price would be probably a tenth of the cost of this Rotini a la Marinara and wouldn't have all the unnecessary artificial ingredients in it.
****FCC disclaimer - The Food Supply Depot brand Rotini a la Marinara was provided to me by Survivalbased.com for the purpose of reviewing it. I received the package of Rotini a la Marinara as part of their dinner sample foods pack at no charge to me and I am under no obligation to return the product and can keep it for my own use. I also notified Survivalbased.com's representative that I would be honest in my review and hope that they don't regret their decision to ask me to review the dinner sample pack. ****
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Last weekend our family tried the Food Supply Depot brand Rio Grande Beans & Rice that Survivalbased.com sent to us as part of the dinner sample pack they sent us to review.
All four of us were home to give it a try (the boy is away at college right now).
Just to recap some specifics about the Rio Grande Beans & Rice - it comes in a 8.5 oz. package and the package states that it serves 3. Each serving has 280 calories per serving. Because of the weight and the relatively low calorie count per serving we've already decided that it wouldn't make a good food for our 72 hour kits.
Like the Creamy Stroganoff and the Southwest White Bean Chili, the instructions to prepare the Rio Grande Beans & Rice were pretty much the same. The only thing that varied from package to package was the amount of water to add. Still, I followed the instructions exactly. I measured out 3 1/4 cups of water and poured it into a saucepan. I turned the heat on high and brought the water up to a boil. Then I added the Rio Grande Beans & Rice mix to the saucepan. I stirred it and turned the heat down to a medium low. I simmered it uncovered for 12 minutes, stirring it from time to time. Then I turned the heat off and let the beans and rice stand uncovered for 5 more minutes.
Like the Creamy Stroganoff and the Southwest White Bean Chili, the Rio Grande Beans & Rice mix also contains autolyzed yeast extract and that is an ingredient our family avoids ingesting, so that also rules the Rio Grande Beans & Rice mix out as a food we might consider for our family's long term food storage.
So how did the family react to the Rio Grande Beans & Rice mix? The girls both enjoyed it. The Baby Girl really preferred to eat hers with a flour tortilla. The Big Girl declared it "good without the tortilla and amazing with the tortilla." The Baby Girl said it was "yucky without the tortilla" and she claimed it was spicy tasting. The Hubster found it grainy. Again, we think it was the "precooked long grain rice" causing the grittiness. He also stated that, "the beans are few and far between." I was really distracted by the gritty rice and found that it was too tomatoey in taste and didn't have enough seasoning.
Again, I'm pretty sure this wouldn't make the cut into our long term food storage plan or our 72 hour kit food plans.
And finally, as a nod to Survivalbased.com, I really feel like I should point out that they do sell minimally processed whole foods for food storage as well. You can find dehydrated and freeze dried fruits and vegetables on their site as well as basic foods like beans and rice. My suggestion would be to buy some beans and rice and add your own seasonings. It would come with a lower price tag and probably taste a whole lot better!
****FCC disclaimer - The Food Supply Depot brand Rio Grande Beans & Rice was provided to me by Survivalbased.com for the purpose of reviewing it. I received the package of Rio Grande Beans & Rice as part of their dinner sample foods pack at no charge to me and I am under no obligation to return the product and can keep it for my own use. I also notified Survivalbased.com's representative that I would be honest in my review and hope that they don't regret their decision to ask me to review the dinner sample pack. ****
- A 40 something mama meandering through life with an eclectic 21 year old boy-man (the boy), an 8 year old girl (big girl) who is a ball of lightening, and a 4 year old girl (baby girl) who brightens our lives with her smiles. I'm grounded by my 40 something husband and partner (the hubster) whose quirky mannerisms brighten my days.
I've been a single mama, married mama, divorced mama, career mama, SAHM, and WAHM. There was a short time of my life when I wasn't a mama, but that was a LONG time ago!
I hold an AA, BS, and MA and most say I'm wasting them by devoting my intellectual capabilities and energy in the nurture of the wee ones that I've been entrusted to raise, but there is nothing else I'd rather be doing these days. :)
I love hearing from readers, so please share your thoughts and leave comments, too!