Product: Hodgson Mill Lemon Pepper Quinoa & Brown Rice – $2.49+
There are quite a few brands and companies out there that I entrust my gluten-free lifestyle to. These are the ones that I can find on a regular basis…the few, the proud, the ones carried in most, if not every, grocery store or department store with a food section. One such brand is Hodgson Mill…who has brought quite a few different products to the gluten-free folks that make up a good percentage of the population these days, whether for medical or dietary reasons.
We all have to have these go-to brands that we can hit up in a pinch. So, when I find new products by such brands, I don’t really hesitate to purchase them. They go into my shopping basket (if the budget allows) and then into my pantry. That’s the circle of my gluten-free foodie life.
While at Raisin Rack in Columbus, Ohio, awhile back, I stumbled across a couple of packets of Hodgson Mill products that I hadn’t seen around my area. These were for their new Quinoa & Brown Rice sides, which come in five flavors: Lemon Pepper, Garlic & Herb, Italian, Mediterranean, and Spicy. I normally would have immediately lunged for the Spicy version, but as this is something I’d be sharing with my roommate (who is a self-professed spice wimp), I opted for something else. As she is a connoisseur of all things lemony…the Hodgson Mill Lemon Pepper Quinoa & Brown Rice Side seemed like a win to me.
And so…it came home…and sat in my pantry. Until tonight. Because of having no CSA bin delivery for the past two (going on three) weeks, I’ve been trying to make due mostly with what I have in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. As these next couple nights are going to include me packing for my upcoming trip to NYC, for my roomie’s birthday, some Broadway shows, and the NYC Half Marathon, I needed foods that wouldn’t demand too much of my time, but still be healthy and filling.
Instead of reheating some of the risotto I made last weekend, I decided to save that for tomorrow and plucked the package of Hodgson Mill Lemon Pepper Quinoa and Brown Rice out of the pantry. Instead of serving it as a side, we’d simply split the entire package and have it as a meal. We do that a lot with sides. I mean…why not? If it has the nutritional value to double as a meal for two people…might as well go for it.
So, after a long, frustrating, and tiring day at the office…I came home and immediately put 1-3/4 cup of water onto the stove to bring to a boil. I emptied the contents of the Hodgson Mill Lemon Pepper Quinoa & Brown Rice packet into the boiling water, covered it, and lowered the heat to allow it to simmer and continue to cook…which took about 15 more minutes. Once the water was absorbed, it was done. I took the pan off the heat and let it sit, covered, for another 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork. While all this was cooking, I was able to put together everything I needed for lunches and snacks for both my roomie and I, which freed up some additional time for me later on. Love that. When the five minutes ticked past, I fluffed the mixture with a fork and served it up between the two of us. We settled in for dinner.
I want to say, this mix cooks up to the perfect texture. The quinoa and brown rice are a perfect match for each other, making a filling, and satisfying dish (whether a meal or as a side). However, that being said, the seasoning was definitely lacking. In fact, my roomie and I actually had to add some salt (which we never do) and even gave it a hit of berbere. Because, hey, why not? But, once we had everything properly seasoned, this was really delicious. I think Hodgson Mill took extra precaution not to overwhelm the mix with the lemon and pepper flavor, but that’s really what I want when I purchase something that boasts a lemon pepper flavor. So, while the taste was a little bland, this was a really great dish. Easy to prepare…just season it when all is said and done.
As far as ingredients go, the Hodgson Mill Lemon Pepper Quinoa & Brown Rice side is made from organic whole grain prewashed quinoa, whole grain parboiled long grain brown rice, organic garlic, organic onion, organic herbs, organic carrot, organic black pepper, organic bell pepper, organic tomato, organic red pepper, organic spices, organic orange peel, organic lemon peel, and citric acid (contains mustard). This blend is gluten-free, cholesterol free, low in sodium, all natural, and kosher.
Nutrition-wise…this isn’t a bad choice to serve as a side or as a main dish. There are 3.5 servings per pouch, with one serving being 1/4 cup. This serving will provide you with 140 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. This serving will also give you 45 mg sodium and less than 1 gram of sugar. You gotta love that. One serving will also give you 2 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. God bless quinoa!
If you are looking for a healthy side or a hearty dinner without breaking the bank and without having to spend a long time in the kitchen, Hodgson Mill has you covered. Just make sure you check the seasoning when you finish cooking these up. You’ll also get a nice protein kick from the quinoa…and the brown rice is a great addition to add a bit of bulk and body to the dish. Lacking the lemon…that’s my only complaint. Otherwise…a nice product!