“ Brand: Sainsbury's / Type: Rice „
I always keep a few packs of this in the cupboard as it helps me put together a simple meal when time is tight - and helps me manage my weekly food budget.
Like all basic/value range products you can't expect luxury - but sometimes how you use them makes them come into their own.
It is 26p for a 120g pack.
Sainsbury's basics mixed vegetable rice:
This is a simple mix of savoury rice and vegetables - the pack says there are 'fewer vegetables, still satisfying.' The actual ingredients are: Dried Long Grain Rice (83%), Lactose (from Cows' Milk), Dried Carrot (3%), Vegetable Bouillon (Salt, Potato Starch, Maltodextrin, Lactose (from Cows' Milk), Palm Oil, Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Leek Powder, Carrot Powder, Ground Turmeric, Spice Extract, Herb Extract, Flavouring), Dried Peas (2%), Dried Onion, Palm and Coconut Oil, Salt, Dried Red Pepper, Dried Tomato, Dried Herbs (Parsley, Chives), Yeast Extract, Flavourings (contain Celery), Dried Garlic.
The pack contains 120g of product which in our house is enough for about 2-3 side portions, depending what is being served with it.
The F.S.A rating for this product gives 2 orange lights: for the amount of calories - a half pack contains 219kcal and the salt content - 1.49g. But three green lights are also given for fat, saturates and sugars.
The allergy advice warns that it contains celery and milk.
Cooking the product:
The product can be cooked either in a microwave or on the hob - but since there is very little cooking time actually saved by doing it in the microwave (hob is 20 minutes and microwave is either 18 minutes category B or 16 minutes category E) I prefer to use the hob as it seems a simple option and I find the rice usually comes out better. In the microwave I find the rice clumps a bit - whether you do the recommended occasional stirs or not. Hob cooking in this case usually results in moist, evenly cooked rice.
Empty the contents of the sachet into the pan, add 425ml of cold water and stir well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer over a moderate heat for 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
If this product was served to me as it came out of the pan with no accompaniments I would be not be particularly excited by it. It's reasonably tasty but obviously hasn't got the vegetables in it which standard priced savoury rice has. But then Sainsbury's own brand golden vegetable rice is 54p for a 120g pack, Bachelors Savoury rice is 74p for a 120g pack - percentage-wise these are much higher priced products.
Serve half a pack of this basics rice with some tasty chicken korma, however, and you suddenly have a different and delicious dish. I serve the rice as a side to lots of different meats and with a bit of 'jazzing up' it stops looking like a cheap processed product and almost looks homemade. I keep a lot of chopped frozen vegetables in my freezer as I think they save time and on the whole are fairly cost effective. I find popping 2 tablespoons of frozen peas, a tablespoon of chopped onion and 2 tablespoons of chopped mixed peppers half way through cooking time builds on the foundation this cheap product provides and allows you to add a personal touch. Sometimes I add sweetcorn or mushrooms as an alternative.
But why don't I just buy the 54p veg rice then?
Because I find that still isn't as good as adding a few fresh ingredients yourself - and for the minute or so of extra cooking time this entails, it creates a tasty and wholesome meal.
As for awarding dooyoo stars for this product - if it was judged entirely on its taste, time to prepare etc. I would give this rice three dooyoo stars - but it's a valuable cupboard staple to me as a versatile starting point to many a meal in our budget constrained household, so I'm giving it 5 dooyoo stars.
I try to get into the habit of buying a few random value items to keep in the cupboards- things I know we will eat in that week before payday when the cupboards are looking a bit bare. Sainsbury's Mixed Vegetable Savoury Rice is one of those items.
It sells for 28p for a 120g pack and is very easy to make. All you do is empty the pack into a pan, add 425ml of cold water, bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for around 20 minutes until all the water has evaporated. Easy. It can also be cooked in the microwave and takes between 19 and 22 minutes even in the microwave. I always cook this in a pan on the hob.
It is the sort of thing you can eat hot or leave to cool as it tends to get nicer when it cools- I have had this at a buffet before as it goes well with all sorts of other savoury snacks. It can also be made as a rice accompanyment to your main meal. So there are lots of uses for this and I think 28p is not a bad price for a pack of rice.
Now, this Sainsbury's version of this product is my least favourite of all the supermarket value range savoury rice packs. I have tried the Tesco and the Asda smart price versions and the Saisnbury's one seems to be very bland and has little taste when cooked. It contains dried peas, dried carrot, dried red pepper, dried tomato and yes, there are very small pieces of these dried vegetables in the rice but it is only really the peas that get your attention. The other vegetables are included in very very small pieces.
When cooked this product will fill a decent sized dessert bowl. I find it is way too much for one person even if you just had the rice as your main meal. Half a pack is good per person for a main meal or as a rice dish with a main meal. I find as this is so bland and quite tastleless, I normally add other things to this when I am cooking it so it has some taste.
Per half pack: 219 calories, 1.6g fat (0.3g saturdates), 46g carbohydrates. This is quite reasonable and quite low fat, but it really needs something added to it to to take the blandness away.
Although it does contain dried vegetables, I would be reluctant to count these as part of your five a day as the vegetables are pretty small. The peas taste hollow and have quite a dry pea- shell taste to them so I tend to try to avoid the peas.
Overall, 28p is a good price but you will need to add other things to this to make it worth eating or atleast give you some satisfaction you have eaten something tasty. I still prefer the Tesco Value version.
This Sainsbury's Basic product is one of the cheapest student meals that you can have. 28p is getting to the price I would describe as 'ridiculously cheap'. The packaging says it all really. As you can see from the picture, Sainsbury's made no effort to attract me to this product. They know that most people who buy this will buy it maybe once just to see if it is better than the leading brand: bachelors. This is the trap that I fell into.
This rice takes ages to cook in the microwave: 15 minutes. It needs stirring lots of times during this 15 minutes otherwise it will form one large clump of rice and will be impossible to eat. The rice also hardens if it is in-contact with the sides or bottom of the bowl too long when cooking.
In terms of taste, this rice is edible but not desirable. I think that some of the dislike of the taste came from knowing that this rice was so cheap. But the chemicals used in the flavoring are clearly the cheapest possible and this definitely is evident in the eating experience.
I am normally on a fairly strict shopping budget so I have lots of Smartprice/Basics/Value products in my cupboards to help my money go a little further whilst still enjoying delicious meals. When I was cooking recently and unexpectedly had guests I decided to cook this up along with some oven chips to provide something extra to bulk out the meat that I was cooking.
This Sainsbury's Basics Mixed Vegetable Savoury Rice comes provided in a paper bag with a foil lining inside and it's simple enough just to tear a corner off and pour the rice and dried vegetables in to a microwavable bowl. There was a fair amount of rice and lots of dried vegetables, mainly peas, that caught my eye.
Ingredients: Dried Long Grain Rice (83%), Lactose (from Cows' Milk), Dried Carrot (3%), Vegetable Bouillon (Salt, Potato Starch, Maltodextrin, Lactose (from Cows' Milk), Palm Oil, Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Leek Powder, Carrot Powder, Ground Turmeric, Spice Extract, Herb Extract, Flavouring), Dried Peas (2%), Dried Onion, Palm and Coconut Oil, Salt, Dried Red Pepper, Dried Tomato, Dried Herbs (Parsley, Chives), Yeast Extract, Flavourings (contain Celery), Dried Garlic.
To make this I simply poured the contents of the sachet in to a bowl and then added around 500ml of boiling water before stirring lots and putting in on full heat (800w) for around 20-22 minutes (the packet advised 18 minutes cooking time but I never rely on these instructions with anything!). I did stir the rice every couple of minutes just to try and prevent it from drying out and towards the end of the cooking time I ended up adding several large spoons of water every minute or so just to help it finish cooking and stop is sticking in to one big mass of rice.
Once the rice had finished cooking I left it on the dining table and everyone just helped themselves to a large spoonful each which was ample for the 28p that I paid for the packet. The rice looked fairly appetising and I did explain that it was a basics product as I've no shame in being a cheapskate!
Everyone seemed to enjoy the rice (it was all eaten) and the small amount that I sampled had a nice amount of savoury taste to it and while the dried vegetables were small they did add an extra something to the rice and just helped to make the whole thing a little more filling. The rice had dried out a little during cooking but this may just be because I cooked it for a couple more minutes than were suggested on the back of the packet.
This rice was a nice addition to a meal and when I cook this again, which I will, I am going to purchase two packets and try to cook this on the hob (also suggested on the packet in addition to microwaving) and add a few mild spices of my own just to bring out a little extra flavour.
For 28p per 120g packet I was very pleased and with 1/2 a packet containing 219 calories, 1.49g of salt & 1.6g of fat I don't mind having this as an addition to a meal now and again. My other half was pleased with this and finished this as well as everything else on his plate so it must have been good as both of us can be a bit fussy at times!
I am rating this savoury rice 5/5 and would definitely recommend it, particularly if you are on a budget. This may not have as much flavour as some of the other savoury rices available but it's far cheaper and this is what I need for my shopping budget!