Monday, March 3, 2008

Simple Sundays & Lunch From a Box

If you've visited here often, then you know I like to cook from scratch or, at the very worst, use some precooked elements to speed things specialty tomato sauces...Classico being my favorite brand. In fact, the only food from a box that I've ever had was Kraft Dinner-naturally - who could grow up in North America any time from the '50s on without having it. The other boxed dinner was Rice-A-Roni...that "San Francisco Treat". I haven't had either in years! Well, okay, maybe the odd slip when I was not feeling well and doing grocery shopping and a box or two fell into my cart. And Pizza delivery doesn't count!

And ironic that lunch yesterday was a pasta and lentil dish from a box!!! And how ridiculous that I ate it while leafing through some of my latest cooking magazines! But this boxed pasta is for grown ups! This is the only reference I could find on the internethad this to say:

"....a producer of all-natural, easy-to-prepare international meals, has signed an agreement with the mid-Atlantic region of Distribution Plus Inc. of Upper Marlboro, Md. DPI Mid Atlantic will distribute Zio’s line of six packaged rice, pasta and grain-based dishes, which are aimed at health- and convenience-conscious consumers with their just-add-water preparation. They are vegetarian as prepared, and can be made into full family meals with the addition of vegetables, meat or poultry, according to Kristi Kay Hewitt, Zio’s CEO. The dishes include Peruvian Farmer’s Lunch, Sardinian Peasant’s Supper, Tandoori Spicy Rice & Lentils, Armenian Wednesday Pilaf, Tunisian Fancy Couscous, and Cuban Chile with Cilantro & Cumin"

I bought two different experiences - Sardinian Peasant Supper (photo at the top) and Peruvian Farmer's could tell I was hungry when I did the groceries and immediately got sucked in by the cool packaging. Lunch yesterday was Sardinian Peasant's Supper with some chopped fresh parsley and a little of the left over Serrano Ham I had on hand. One box served the two of us and was absolutely delicious.

Today I made my way to Peru, and added some smoked chorizo sausage and chopped cilantro. What really impressed me is how very different these two meals were. And even more chemical taste!

So every once in a while, eating from a box is not a bad idea. What's your favorite box?


Mrs. W said...

Wow--looks good! I'd love to know what is on the nutritional info side--ingredients, etc. So I'll keep my eyes open for these around here.

I'll admit to the occasional mac & cheese moment, but I normally do not eat anything from a box due to dietary restrictions. The husband does enjoy Zatarain's stuff, however, and I make that sometimes for him.

Ruth Daniels said...

nutritional facts on the boxes...before I throw them out ;-)
calories - 160 (box serves 4 - just not in my house - I'd say three servings)
total fat - 1.5g to 2g 2-3%
0g trans fat and saturated fat
Cholesterol 0 mg
sodium 360-390mg 15-16%
total carbs 30-32g 10-11%
dietary fibre 3-6.5g 11-2%
sugar 4-6g
protein 6g
vitamin A 2%; C 4 & 15%;
Calcium 2-4%; iron 10-15%

Mrs. W said...

Awesome--thanks for posting that, Ruth! Looks good.

I agree that a box that says it serves 4 often makes a meal for 2; for us, often with one smaller serving left for lunch the next day.

Patsyk said...

I think we all have those times when we need to fall back on a "box" for a good meal. I am trying to come up with my own perfect mac & cheese, but I'm not there yet.

I would say that we've used Uncle Ben's original wild rice mix is one that hits our table on occasion. My husband keeps a "supply" of the lipton noodle mixes for those nights when I am out and he's in charge of dinner.

Cakespy said...

Oooh, that does look tasty--sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised by those little boxes! We like the Amy's brand items.

Judith in Umbria said...

Ruth, as you know by now, Sardegnans slide on and off the pages of my blog fairly often, but I have never had the luck to find one boxed up for me. I must live on the wrong coast!

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Hillary said...

That sounds and looks terrific! Lentils and pasta? Mmmm thanks for the product rec!