Product: Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods Pastato Mac & Cheeze – $3.49+
So, I went on an excursion to Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati, Ohio, while my friend Indy was in town. Why? Because when you are a foodie, you have to go to Jungle Jim’s. And…Indy is honestly a foodie! I mean…if I was asked which of my friends is the most epicurean…Indy would be my answer. She and her husband, Evan, both love food and trying different things.
One other thing that I love about my visits to Jungle Jim’s…is that they have one of the most extensive gluten-free sections. Seriously. I am in heaven. And while I always do get to treat myself to items at Jungle Jim’s…the problem is keeping it within a budget. So, I normally look for items that I can’t find anywhere else. So, as I was perusing the gluten-free aisles, trying to make good decisions when these colorful boxes with animals on them caught my attention.
Hmmm…never saw those before.
At closer glance, I realized it was a line of macaroni and cheese boxed meals by a company called Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods, Inc. Never heard of them before. Even more intriguing…some of the pasta was made from brown rice flour, some from white rice flour…but the ones that really got my attention…potato.
Yes. Potato pasta! After trying to decide if I wanted yellow or white cheese (I consulted the roomie and she voted for the Kraft yellow cheese), a box of the potato pasta mac and cheese found its way into the cart…and the shopping continued in the mecca that is Jungle Jim’s.
As I was without this week to give me fresh produce to play around with, I’ve been making items out of my pantry and fridge and freezer. Well…after making spaghetti last night, I needed to figure out something for dinner tonight. I started naming off some items that we had and immediately Cathy wanted mac and cheese. So, I pulled down the Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods Pastato Mac & Cheeze box and had it ready for when we got home from work.
After a long day, I’m kind of glad she was so set on a boxed meal. As much as I hate cooking from boxes these days, sometimes it is a necessary evil. And the best part is…these noodles cook up fast. No 15 minute boiling periods. Just fill up a pan with about 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Pour in the pasta and let it cook for, wait for it, 3.5 minutes. Yep…that’s all. Three and a half minutes (and it won’t feel like a lifetime…Better Than Ezra fans…do you hear me? HA!). Seriously, it was done cooking before I even had the almond milk and vegan butter out. HA! Love it. I drained it (no rinsing!) then put it back into the warm pan, added the butter and milk and then the packet of cheese powder. I stirred it all together until it was combined and…BAM! Dinner was ready. I split it between the two of us and we settled in to eat, while watching Food Network. It’s what we do!
I’m going to be honest…it was actually really good. The potato pasta cooked up quickly and to perfection. It wasn’t gummy and it didn’t fall apart either. In fact, it held together perfectly and got to the right tenderness to satisfy any pasta lover. So easy. Each noodle was coated with the cheese “sauce” that is made up in the pan and incorporated with the drained noodles. I think my only complaint here is that it wasn’t cheesy enough for me. I mean…it had flavor…but I am so used to making homemade gluten-free mac and cheese with a sharp cheddar flavor or something with bite…that this…just didn’t hit the wow on the cheese flavor. It was there, just not as much as I usually like. Other than that, what a great and fast meal. It had great texture and good flavor (just not enough of it!) and it was quite filling too. I’d buy this again and have it on hand for a quick meal in a heartbeat!
So, let’s discuss the ingredients in Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods Pastato Mac & Cheeze. Incorporated in this box of processed easy goodness you will find…potato flour, rice flour, quinoa flour, ground flax, psyllium husks, organic whey, organic cheddar cheese powder, organic corn starch, and salt. There are some other vitamins and minerals too…but they are too tedious to list out. HA! This pasta is processed in a dedicated gluten-free facility and the company does not use any ingredients that contain gluten, so cross contamination is not an issue. My only complaint was that with the misspelling of the word “cheese” I thought this was dairy-free. But…it wasn’t. And with me being lactose intolerant…this isn’t necessary a good thing. Minor detail.
Nutritionally speaking, the Gluten Free Pastato Mac & Cheeze isn’t too bad. A serving size is 2 ounces…and it is a 5 ounce box. Split between Cathy and I, we each had 1.25 servings. But, if sticking to the serving size…you will be consuming 169 calories and 1 gram of fat. This serving will provide you with 3 mg cholesterol, 152 mg sodium, and only 2 grams of sugar. That’s fantastic for a boxed pasta. You will also have 6 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. Yes…you will feel full! Trust me.
If you need a quick meal that is easy to prepare, good to eat, and actually very nutritionally sound…I encourage you to seek out and consume Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods Pastato Mac & Cheeze. Potato pasta forever, my friends!! Seriously…you will love it. And if it isn’t cheesy enough for you…toss in some nutritional yeast or (if you aren’t lactose intolerant…some stronger cheese) until it suits you.
Thank you, Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods…for this fantastic little gift from the potato pasta gods! My life has been changed!