Confession: In my teenage years I cooked up quite a few boxed meals. Not the cheesy and creamy ones, but I highly doubt they were healthy, nonetheless. I was responsible for most of my own meals at that age, but hadn’t yet learned to cook beyond boiling noodles. Though my cooking repertoire has since expanded dramatically, I have to admit that the convenience and quality of Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Pasta and Sauce Mixes is a welcome break!
These two-serving Brown Rice Pasta and Sauce Mixes are definitely several steps up from the overly-processed mainstream pastas that they share shelf space with. Lundberg makes their boxed meal makers with whole-grain, gluten-free pasta and real, organic spices and dehydrated vegetables, but without unwanted additives. Yes, with 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving, the Brown Rice Pasta and Sauce Mixes are downright nutritious! They are even certified organic, non-GMO verified, dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free for added versatility.
While I am judging this as a convenience food, rather than homemade, my household didn’t see these as sub par meals. However, I never prepared the pastas alone (at just 220 calories per serving, they are more of a meal base or side than a whole lunch or dinner). Rather I lightly steamed fresh vegetables as the noodles boiled and added leftover protein to round out the dinner.
We sampled the following Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Pasta and Sauce Mixes: Leek & Mushroom (pictured), Garlic & Olive Oil, Spinach & Rosemary, and Roasted Red Pepper. All were very similar with just the right amount of seasoning, differing only in their flavor nuances as depicted on the package. In the instructions, there was an option for making a creamier sauce by using part milk alternative. We did like the creamy variation best, particularly with unsweetened coconut milk beverage (unsweetened almond milk tended to overwhelm the flavors).
Two thumbs up to these Brown Rice Pasta and Sauce Mixes for an easy, tasty, and light meal starter. My only complaint is that some of the spirals do tend to break apart during the last 2 minutes of cooking, but I’ve found this to be a very common problem with brown rice noodles (they are so hard to cook perfectly al dente!).
Certifications: Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Pasta and Sauce Mixes are Certified Organic, Non-GMO Verified, Kosher Parve, and labeled as gluten-free and vegan, but do not show certifications for these.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Pasta and Sauce Mixes are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan and vegetarian. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.