“ Brand: Asda / Type: Rice „
Not very often do I cook from scratch a roast dinner for myself but last night I really just fancied one so I popped in some chicken and made up some mash, got the brussel sprouts steaming and was mooching through my cupboard for some chicken gravy when I came across a box of this stuffing mix that I forgot I had, a quick check of the use by date told me I could still use it so I decided to make some stuffing balls. I love stuffing but I don't remember purchasing this!
My box is green and white in colouring and on the front of it we are clearly told what it is and who its by and we are also told that it has no artificial colours flavours or hydrogenated fat and that its suitable for Vegetarians and there is an at a glance nutritional chart shown and a nice photograph of some tasty looking stuffing balls then on the back of the box other information listed includes ingredients being given, allergy advice is clearly stated, there is a full nutritional chart given, cooking instructions are clearly stated, weight (which is 85g) and contact details for Asda are given. Inside you get the stuffing mix in a plain, see-through plastic pack which is easy enough to pull apart and open.
Using The Mix:
Opening up the mix you get crumbled up bits, rusk and herbs that smell a little of onions and sage which this does contain. The mix is dry and all you do to make it up is pop it a dish or whatever and add 225ml of boiling water and give it a good mix with a fork then leave it to set for a few minutes to which is stiffens up a bit and then I simply and easily made the mix into stuffing balls, no skills required its simple and then I popped them in my oven for about 20 minutes. We are not told to add any oil but I did put a little in the bottom of the baking tray I put them on just to stop them sticking.
I am very, very impressed by this mix! Its easy to make up and the directions for making them up couldn't be simpler to follow. They go hardish on the outside and slightly golden, stay fluffy inside and have a bread and sage and onion taste to them. They are nicely seasoned, not greasy and I just thought they were great. I did find another mix of this hidden in my cupboard and next time I use it I'm going to add a dash of lemon juice and maybe even a little butter to moisten them up a little more but like I say this was a great mix and they weren't dry and simply nice and moist!
A really great handy buy at only 15p a box? Brilliant! Only available from Asda stores.
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
Here i go again trying out another Asda smart price brand to see if i can cut a little more off my shopping bill each week and also to see if i notice the difference and most importantly see if anyone else notices!
So as always i grab another bargain box of stuffing, must admit i'm very impressed with Asda just recently as they have been changing their smart price range and this box of stuffing looks quite inviting even though it's right at the bottem of the shelf it looks nice on the front of the pack are several balls of stuffing so way to go Asda! making your smart price range stand out a little.
So their balls look good on the front but do they taste nice? so as usual cooking instructions on back 85g to play with i tried out 2 packs, one pack was rolled into balls the second was put in a greased oven proof dish as my fella likes his kind of flat and crispy.
after 20 mins in the oven i pull both of them out and dish up dinner. Smells nice just like any other stuffing and my fella was happy with his flat pancake style stuffing and i enjoyed my balls. They tasted just like Paxo stuffing!
A couple of weeks later i had guests round for dinner, my fussy eater sister said she had to have chicken breast and paxo stuffing and guess what she got.... asda smart price stuffing and she was none the wiser plus i did hide the packaging.
Another thing i did try is sausage meat in with the stuffing now that tastes amazing, just defrost a couple of sausages and skin them mix it up with the stuffing and extra tasty balls you will have!
For 15p i would have a roast everyday with this stuffing and it is now a firm favourite cheap, tasty and above all can be fobbed off as expensive stuffing to those fussy eaters!!
No hydrogenated fat
No Artificial colours or flavours
Suitable for vegetarians
Card widely recycled
Contains gluten and wheat
Says there is 12 servings in a pack don't know about Asda but it does my fella myself and my son so we must have super sise portions well it must say something about it.
Fantastic product Asda will keep coming back for more.
So here I go with another dalliance into food review. My mentality in life is a strange combination of reflecting my Irish heritage and enjoying a Mediterranean approach to life - it's basically a "life is short, ignore the suits on BBC Breakfast telling you what to do and never read the Daily Mail" type approach and I also think that the best way to show people that you love them is to cook them good, healthy, brilliantly flavoursome food (and maybe wash that down with plentiful wine). At the moment I have a lovely new man, a wonderful mum and some brilliant friends who I never get to see enough, so when I get a chance to see them I love to spoil them with good food.
However, I'm also on a budget! Buying a house in your early twenties as a single female will do that to you - what was I thinking?! And as I am a capable cook myself I don't see the point in shelling out for top-brand basics. So, when I was cooking my first ever roast duck recently, I was happy to see an Asda Smart-Price Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix in my mum's cupboard.
Now I've used this before on it's own and whilst it's not worth writing home about, it does the job. You add water and it becomes stuffing. It's suitable for vegetarians (everyone I know is a ferocious carnivore but at least it gives the option for people who aren't), and the packaging claims it has no hydrogenated fat, which I appreciate as I like to keep things as healthy as I can on a budget.
This does contain gluten and wheat, and may contain traces of nuts or seeds, so be careful if you suffer allergies.
A box (the packaging is now in Asda's white and green rather than the picture on dooyoo) has one cellophane-wrapped sachet and weighs 85g. The box has instructions on how to make stuffing balls (add 225ml of water, leave to stand, roll, cook at 200 degrees for 20 mins etc) but I use stuffing to actually stuff things!
Per 100g, this has 113 calories when oven-cooked. 3.5g Protein, 22.5g Carbohydrates (0.9g sugars). .58g Sodium, 1g Fat, 2.5g Fibre.
This includes rusk, raising agents, calcium phosphates, vegetable suet, dried onion, salt, dried sage and also dried parsley.
As I said earlier, this is pretty average but then you're buying a budget version of a Sunday roast dinner side. It's not going to be the healthiest, the packaging is no-frills and frankly so is the product. The taste is okay but it's not going to make you think that the succulent bird you've cooked it with is obsolete and this side aspect of the meal instead is the ambrosia that the human condition has been searching for ever since taste buds evolved.
At the end of the day, it's 15p. Fifteen. Not fifty, fifteen. Paxo's equivalent is 40p. Neither will bankrupt you but if you're trying to save pennies, this does the job. But if you want to make it taste better than Paxo, do what I do...
***USE IT AS A BASE***
Got some home-made bread kicking about? Got a sage plant outside? Found a random shallot kicking around the veg rack? Then do something that will make Paxo taste like cardboard and sweat off the herbs and shallot, season, crumble in some bread to this, sling in the seasoning and add water and an egg. And if you've got a lot of mouths to feed or bird to stuff, maybe something like this would be a good idea to bulk it out a bit. In short, what I'm saying, is that this is stuffing - no more, no less, and on its own not great, the flavours aren't pronounced enough for it to be particularly good or indeed notable season the bird... but that doesn't mean it has to be naff. You can improve upon its flavour and its subsequent contribution to your meal if you use a bit of imagination and enhance its presence. But if you're just going to stick water in it and shove it up the orifice of a dead bird, you might want to consider whether or not your cooking skills and appreciation of taste is worthy of something giving its life for your sustenance in the first place.
I'm all for saving money and eating well and believe me, if I could afford it, every bit of meat that passed my lips would be ideally home-raised and killed by someone I would trust to do it properly and buy a pint for in the local, but I'm not there yet unfortunately. But I do think that if you're going to have a Sunday roast, you shouldn't let substandard products taint it or reduce the opportunity to make it a full-on pleasure and instead use it to help season, flavour and produce a meal that you and your loved ones can truly enjoy rather than just think "hmm, that was nice".
Whilst I am far from a vegetarian I do think that cooking something that is meat-based should be done to the best ability and resources you have. You can do this on a budget and this is where products like this, for me, step in, but they need a little help before they are worthy components of a truly enjoyable roast dish.
So I would never use this alone but I would use it to help out the volume with additional flavours, seasoning and ingredients. In that sense, it's inoffensive and perfectly pleasant, but it just needs a helping hand from someone who knows that real food has an abundance of flavour. And if I could afford to, I'm afraid I probably would never buy it again. However, three stars for fulfilling its basic duty and affordability.
If it wasn't only 13 pence and didn't have the nastiest packaging typical of Asda Smart Price items, then it could pass for a more expensive brand once it has been prepared! For 85g of stuffing mix this really is a bit of a bargain!
As a bit of an experiment I made a batch of these along with a few strays from a Paxo pack I hadn't used all of the mix from and my husband and I could not tell the difference between them. I have tried other funkier flavours from Paxo for stuffing balls and these would be out of the Smart Price Stuffing Ball league but the Sage and Onion ones all taste the same to me, which makes me sway towards the cheaper option (what with food prices going up all the time).
You can easily make around 20 small stuffing balls from this pack. Following the instructions, you just add boiling water to the mixture and then waiting for it to soak in and cool, you begin the fun part of making them into little balls. My tip here is to add a little butter to the hot water mix as it gives them just that extra bit of flavour. You put these in the oven on a medium heat for around 25 minutes and the result is some very crunchy and tasty little balls to accompany any self respecting vegetarian sunday roast! Covered with a good quality or homemade veggie gravy, you would never guess these were only 13 pence!
The disadvantage of getting the cheaper brand is they seem to rapidly loose flavour while they cool and change colour too, so I wouldn't recommend leaving them for any length of time (unless your going to drown them in hot gravy in which case they will probably ok).
On the whole, I would recommend this product to any vegetarian students or people on a budget as they really are not so dissimilar to Paxo Sage and Onion Stuffing other than in price terms!