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Purchased at: Kroger
Price: $1.00 (on sale)
According to the box: A delicious mix of rice, vermicelli, and Asian seasonings

Like I said yesterday, I’m lazy, which means I like pre-seasoned, easy to make rice/pasta sides. And I eat them as meals. I grabbed this box at my local grocery store during one of their 10 for $10 sales, because I figured I didn’t have much to lose for only $1.00

The rice and vermicelli both cooked nicely, absorbing the flavors of the seasonings/sauce very well. The entire dish takes on a yellow hue, which is from the turmeric that’s added just for color. I don’t think adding turmeric was necessary since you can’t taste it and I don’t think the yellow looks very appetizing, but I’ve gotta give Rice-A-Roni credit for using spices for color (versus artificial coloring).

Yes, this is a pretty solid dish. But there is one problem…I didn’t think it tasted any different than the original Rice-A-Roni, except that there were some dehydrated leeks and celery pieces in this one. Soy sauce is listed in the ingredients, but I didn’t taste any. If there wasn’t a picture of a dragon on the box, I probably wouldn’t have known that this was supposed to be an Asian-inspired side dish.

Overall, I’d buy this one again. I think it would be pretty awesome served with some chicken and stir-fried veggies. It’s good, but don’t expect it to taste like the fried rice that your local Chinese carryout place serves.

***/*****

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Purchased at: Target
Price: $1.94
According to the box: Enjoy a taste of Italy with this classic dish. Made from only the finest ingredients, our fusilli is topped with a creamy four cheese sauce. Pair with grilled shrimp and a fresh herb salad for a guest-ready dinner. A gourmet meal is only minutes away with Pasta Sides by Archer Farms.

I love pasta, but I’m usually too lazy to cook pasta AND make sauce on my own, so I resort to boxed pasta sides like this quite often. While I was walking around Target the other day, this one caught my eye. The picture on the front of the box looked awesome, and the box proudly boasted using four cheeses, spinach, and sundried tomatoes. What’s not to love?

A lot of things, apparently.

The fusilli pasta cooked very nicely and the sauce clung to the curly noodles. The problem with this? The sauce is bland. The box promises a flavorful cheese sauce made with parmesan, cheddar, gouda, and fontina, but that’s not what I got. The sauce wasn’t thin, but it didn’t taste like much – the only word I can think of to describe it is “watery,” which is strange considering it was pretty thick. There was also a strange aftertaste – the sauce didn’t taste like much, but the aftertaste was similar to American cheese, which is weird, because it’s not even in the sauce. The sundried tomatoes were a nice addition, but that was one of the only redeeming qualities. I also didn’t see (or taste) any spinach anywhere in the dish.

I usually love Archer Farms products, but this one was a swing and a miss for me. I won’t be buying this one again (and I didn’t even bother to finish the leftovers. Those were fed to my garbage disposal.).

Overall rating: */*****

First post of many, I hope.

February 12, 2010

Hey, Internet! I’m not quite sure how to begin my career (well, you know what I mean) in the food review blogging world, but I thought I’d give it a shot. I’ve recently gotten quite addicted to reading food blogs (up until a few months back, I had no idea such a thing even existed). Some of the sites that got me interested in doing this are The Impulsive Buy, HeatEatReview, and GiGi-Reviews.

I bought a few new (to me, at least) food items at the store today, and hopefully my first review will be up tonight or tomorrow!

Thanks for looking, and I hope you’ll check back for some reviews.