It’s been a full decade since we first reviewed Namaste Pasta Dinners here on Go Dairy Free. As to be expected, they not only have a new look, but new formulas, so I think it’s time for a fresh taste-testing!
At last check, Namaste Pasta Dinners were available in the same three varieties, all gluten-free, dairy-free, and made in their top allergen-free facility. They’re also available in both the U.S. and Canada – bonus!
I most recently purchased the Say Cheez Non-Dairy Macaroni & Cheez Dinner for a revised review. Quite different from what I remember of the old Say Cheez, the updated recipe is creamier and mellower. It’s pretty good on its own, with only a touch of sharpness and a light cheesy taste. That said, the flavor became quite subdued with any veggie or meat additions, turning into more of a “good” pasta than a cheesy macaroni dinner.
Also, we had some trouble with actually making Say Cheez. The instructions vaguely stated to “heat” oil or margarine with water and the sauce packet, until it “begins to thicken”. Over what heat? For about how long? Should we bring it to a boil or simmer? After a few minutes of watching it go nowhere, I checked the ingredients to see if there was any starch. There wasn’t, so I figured it would be okay to cook it longer, maybe bubbling, to thicken. Nothing, nada, thin soup.
At this point we were starving, so I made just a little cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon) to add to the sauce. Bubbled it for 2 minutes and then stirred in the pasta for perfect clingy, sauce-to-noodle results. The sauce is paler in color than most, but it was just enough to fully coat. For future, I would start with less water, maybe half, and then add more as needed.
The over-sized macaroni cooked very quick and efficiently (start checking earlier than you usually would!) and had a rather nice bite for brown rice noodles. But I wasn’t fond of the more elaborate sauce preparation altogether. Also, the preparation of Say Cheez requires two pans. Plus a third if you opt to make vegetables or meat to go in the dish as well. It was just slightly more convenient than whipping up a full pasta dinner on my own.
I haven’t had the opportunity to re-trial the Pasta Pisavera or Taco Namaste Pasta Dinners as of yet, and both do appear to be reformulated since my somewhat ancient review. I have a feeling though, that we will like those versions just a bit better. The ingredients look to pack a bigger flavor punch and perhaps a more simplified preparation. Feel free to leave your own review of any of the Namaste Pasta Dinners in the comments!
The Facts on Namaste Pasta Dinners
Certifications: Namaste Pasta Dinners are Certified Gluten-Free, Kosher Parve, and Non-GMO Verified.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Namaste Foods Soup Cups are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian. Nonetheless, always read the ingredient statement and 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.
For More Product Information: Visit the Namaste Foods website at www.namastefoods.com.