Product: Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpea & Sweet Potato Picadillo) – $4.99+
I love discovering products I might have not seen, might be new, or just may not have noticed in the past when I go grocery shopping. Such is the tale of me and a line of frozen entrees by the company Buen Sabor.
Whole Foods. Freezer section. At least, that was the beginning of this tale for me. Grocery shopping on a budget isn’t easy…but sometimes you just have to make exceptions to the budget rule. Especially when you have events to be at every Tuesday evening (running event) by 6 p.m. I don’t like to turn up late, because then I feel like I need to try to catch up to everyone, and with the current day-to-day status of the injured hip…I just don’t like to take risks.
Taking risks with food that fits into my kind of restrictive diet…that is sometimes worth splurging on and taking a risk.
So, yes…Buen Sabor.
Buen Sabor was created by Sarah, who grew up on an organic farm in Maine. With the help of her mother, she used to cure, can, freeze, and dehydrate almost everything they ate. The family freezer became an invaluable asset to a busy family that wanted to enjoy humble foods that tasted great. When Sarah became a new mom in 2008, she delved into the quest to solve the “busy persons” food dilemma once again. And, with all that she learned growing up on the farm, she harnessed that knowledge and started Buen Sabor. The team at Buen Sabor is passionate about offering simple, crave-worthy foods that…yes…come from the freezer.
In fact, Buen Sabor actually wants you to become a “freezer believer.” One thing freezer meals have going for it is convenience. But another thing is…given the right ingredients…they can actually be a clean eat. Buen Sabor is deeply committed to creating the best possible (and super convenient) food. All of the sauces are made from scratch, their vegetables are picked and cooked at the height of their freshness, and the proteins are cooked just right and then frozen immediately to preserve the dishes most naturally. Don’t knock delicious frozen meals…simply put, freezing food is nature’s pause button…it is, literally, the most natural preservative there is. Frozen foods are nutritious, have real nutritional value, are convenient, and naturally preserves foods.
Buen Sabor aims to build a business that creates as many happy customers possible, who are able to spend more time doing the things they love. They want their products to exceed all expectations as far as quality, focusing on freshness, flavor, and nutritional value.
But do they achieve this?
Well, I picked up one of their vegan and gluten-free meals at Whole Foods that afternoon, to keep in my freezer for those rushed, hurried, “I need to go run hill repeats” Tuesday nights. Leave work, rush home, eat, change, out the door to drive over the river to meet with a group who simply…runs up a hill…jogs down…repeats it for some set amount of time. It means Tuesdays are rather stressful and rushed. So I grabbed the Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpea & Sweet Potato Picadillo) for me and my roomie opted for one of the meaty dishes…the Arroz Con Queso Y Trocitos De Chorizo (Savory Chorizo-Seasoned Rice With Cheese).
Super easy to warm up. I made Cathy’s first, simply by cutting a slit into the plastic on top of the tray and warming it up for 5 minutes. It sits for 1 minute and then…ready to eat. It doesn’t LOOK amazing like it does on the box…but it smelled good. And when Cathy ate it, she said it was good…for a frozen meal.
So, needless to say, I wasn’t feeling too optimistic about the Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpea & Sweet Potato Picadillo). Just like with the meaty one, the vegan one also had the plastic film sliced through to allow everything to steam. Into the microwave for about 4-5 minutes. I let it go for 5, because I have an old microwave. Peel back the film and stir, letting it stand for one minute.
And…much like Cathy’s…upon taking it out of the microwave and pulling back the plastic, the meal really doesn’t look appetizing. It looks…like a frozen microwave meal. The picture on the box is GORGEOUS…but this is just sort of…one tone…one note…brownish. LOL! Over rice. That being said, once I stirred it up, it looked…slightly more appetizing.
Looks aside, I decided it was time to test the frozen meal waters myself. And, you know what? I was actually really surprised. I mean, packed with flavors. Just loaded with a hint of spice, fresh vegetables, and rice that ended up cooking to perfection. I was expecting something bland, perhaps tasting as unappetizing as it looked. But I was blown away by the flavors. The chickpeas and potato reheated gorgeously. Nothing got mushy And I love that quinoa is included for a bit more of a protein boost. Picadillo translates into “little (savory-yummy) chopped things. And the aim of Buen Sabor with the Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpea & Sweet Potato Picadillo) was to deliver “a delightful dance of flavors with roots in the Caribbean and Spain.” I might have devoured mine long before Cathy (who had a headstart on hers) finished hers. A little spicy, but I have an iron stomach for the most part, and I knew this wouldn’t bother me while running hard up some hills in a local park. SO tasty. So good. And really good for you too! I loved the spice and the bit of heat that each bite brought. And I love that brown rice is used instead of white. YES!! This company is speaking my language. None of the vegetables were mushy or soft. Everything had great texture and heated through perfectly. All-in-all…a dinner win! A convenient, easy dinner win.
Speaking of being really good for you, let’s take a look at the ingredients that Buen Sabor puts into the Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpeas & Sweet Potato Picadillo)! One thing that Buen Sabor prides itself on is that they don’t add any hormones, antibiotics or preservatives to their food. Their products are 100% natural. Pure and simple goodness. The Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpeas & Sweet Potato Picadillo) is made from brown rice, onions, quinoa, chickpeas, water, sweet potato, tomatoes, red peppers, poblano chili peppers, olive oil, spice, sea salt, garlic, corn starch, and smoked sweet paprika. All real ingredients. Nothing fake. Nothing that has me questioning my dietary choices. I love that. This particular meal is gluten-free, vegan, contains no added sugar, and has no trans fat.
Now, let’s discuss nutrition, shall we? A serving of the Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpeas & Sweet Potato Picadillo) is 1 cup (159 grams) and there are 2 servings per container. Except, if you’re making it an actual meal…you’ll eat the entire thing like I did. No worries, nothing bad or outrageous with these stats. For one (1) serving, however, you will be taking in 160 calories, 5 grams fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 570 mg sodium, 25 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams dietary fiber, 3 grams sugar, and 5 grams protein. LOVE IT. Even after running 8 miles of hill repeats, I still felt full. And the heat didn’t bother my system at all. Good food to fuel a tough run that day.
Check your local natural foods stores for the Buen Sabor products. Honestly, you won’t regret it. Freezer section. Good stuff. Very good stuff. I think I might have to pick up a few more…at least until this group stops meeting…which, sadly, happens in a couple of weeks. But, it’s always good to have a quick meal on hand…because you never know when time might get away from you or something might come up! Buen Sabor…has your back!