Product: Road’s End Organics Gluten-Free and Dairy Free Penne & Chreese – $3.49+
For the past two weeks…I have been without my CSA bin. It has been…tough. I have been trying to make a point, however, to attempt to use up products/items from my fridge, freezer, and pantry.
Fast forward to Friday night. It was the first full day back in town for me after having flown in the day before after visiting my family for Christmas. Without fresh produce readily available, and a tight, tight budget due to the holidays…it was time to make due with what was in the apartment. No big deal…there is plenty to choose from.
And it just so happened I remembered picking up a box of Road’s End Organics Gluten-Free and Diary Free Penne & Chreese (yes…chreese!) when I spotted it on a super closeout at my local grocery store. For fear that I might never try it otherwise or never have the opportunity due to possibly not being able to find it anywhere else…I panicked and purchase one box. Just one. Just to have on hand.
I am so glad I did that, because after a stressful day of travel, a long night, an early morning, a full day at the office, and a lot on my mind…an easy dinner was just what I needed. And this…just sounded good.
If it wasn’t…I had a backup plan. Don’t laugh. I often do this when I try new products.
Anyway…nothing could be more stress-free than this! I came home from work and got a pot of water boiling on the stove. As soon as it had come to a boil, I poured in the noodles and allowed them to cook for about 10-12 minutes. I didn’t want to overcook them, because, let’s face it…pasta, especially brown rice pasta…gets really gummy when it’s overcooked. I wanted that perfect al dente. I managed it too. I drained the noodles just as they reached that perfect state, then…in the same sauce pan…poured in 1/2 cup of almond milk and the powdered chreese packet which came in the box. I stirred them together until they combined and had no clumps. Then, back onto medium heat, and the pasta was added back in. I gave it a stir, and let it cook for another couple of minutes, to thicken the chreeze mixture as it blended with the noodles. Done.
I poured half into a bowl for my roomie and saved the other half for me. Time to dig in.
I was actually a little worried about not liking this one. But…this is definitely one of my favorite boxed gluten-free mac and cheese. Don’t laugh. It’s true. What did I love about it? Aside from noodles that were normal size, and not teensy-tiny, it cooked up perfectly. The dairy-free cheese (chreeze) mixture thickened up beautifully after the noodles were put back in. And the flavor was remarkable. I loved how the cheese sauce clung to the noodles. I love how my noodles weren’t left swimming in sauce, as most gluten-free boxed mac and cheeses do. I loved the thick, rich flavor of the chreese. It had a great balance of flavor…the creamy richness of an Alfredo with the flavor of cheddar. So good. It was major mac and chreeze love.
I love saying chreese!
Anyway…the nitty-gritty basics.
Road’s End Organics Gluten-Free and Dairy Free Penne & Chreese contains a gluten-free rice penne. As for the gluten-free Chreese (vegan cheese), that is a blend of organic brown rice flour, organic tapioca starch, enriched nutritional yeast, organic green lentil flour, salt, organic garlic powder, organic yellow mustard seed, organic onion powder, and annatto powder. The ingredient list is all recognizable…no chemicals, no weird preservatives. Just awesome gluten-free goodness.
Nutritionally speaking, Road’s End Organics Gluten-Free and Dairy Free Penne & Chreese contains 2 servings per box. A serving contains 320 calories and 3.5 grams of fat. That’s not bad for a mac and cheese. And you get a lot. This pasta is cholesterol free, contains only 350 mg sodium, and has less than 1 gram of sugar. Awesome! In addition, a serving provides 6 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein. See what I mean? You will feel full…and you’re only eating a cup. That’s the serving size! Awesome!
I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed chowing down on this fantastic boxed macaroni and “cheese.” They vegan cheese that is used in place of real cheese doesn’t taste fake at all. I loved the flavor. And it is easy on my tummy…as I am lactose intolerant and cheese can really be an issue at times. So…YAY!! I would definitely recommend this to everyone. Even cheese lovers, like my roommate, will eat it. She loved the richness and the texture. And, yeah…it doesn’t lack in flavor. SO damn good!
Find it. Try it. Love it.