“ Uncle Ben's Rice Time Ready Meals are a quick and convenient option for a snack or meal accompaniment. The rice has a good flavour and consistency and a long shelf life. „
I take packed lunch to work most days and am always on the look out for something other than just a boring sandwich. I am a big fan of the uncle bens sweet and sour sauce so when I saw they had launched a range of rice time pots including a sweet and sour one I was eager to try them.
These Uncle Bens Rice Time pots have recently been on a half price special offer at my local Tesco’s priced at just 99p for a 300g pot. They are available in the following flavours:
Sweet and sour
Spicy tikka masala
They come packaged in two separate plastic pots, the larger bottom one containing the rice and the top one containing the sauce. They are stacked on top of each other and held together with a cardboard sleeve. On the cardboard sleeve you can find all the product information including ingredients listings, nutritional information and cooking instructions.
The cooking part is very easy indeed. You simply need to separate the two pots, peel the plastic lids slightly back on each and place in the microwave for around 3 minutes. Once cooked you can peel away the plastic lids and pour the sauce pot into the rice, stir and eat.
So far I have been impressed with all the flavours I have tried but find the sweet and sour to be my favourite. The rice is perfectly cooked and very fluffy, the vegetables slightly crunchy with there just being the right amount of sauce to go with it. The pots are perfect for a quick hot snack or lunch and can be stored at room temperature. I also find that they are rather filling and if eaten at lunch will last me through until dinner time without feeling hungry. 5 stars from me.
I first noticed these Uncle Ben's Rice Time pots on the shelves at Sainsbury's a while ago and thought that for what they were they were overpriced at £1.85. However when they came on offer at 2 for £2 I decided to try them.
I have tried most of the flavours but really like the Sweet and Sour variety. They come in 300g size pots and are so easy to prepare, peel back lids on both the rice and the sauce pots, put them side by side in the microwave and heat on full power for one and a half minutes (800w). I find the pot of sauce gets very hot and it is a bit tricky to pour the sauce into the rice pot to mix the two together, but there is just enough room to stir the ingredients well.
They are free from artificial colours and preservatives and for a ready meal they seem to be more healthy than some other products. The rice is nice and fluffy and the sauce is very tasty and a good consistency filled with peppers, pineapple and carrots.
The package states that there are 348 calories per serving and that it is suitable for vegetarians.
It is a good idea if you like this product to stock up when they are on offer as the shelf life is long. It is a great idea for a quick snack and tastes very good although I do not think that they are worth buying at full price.
It is quite filling and I sometimes have this for lunch and it makes a tasty quick meal which I shall continue to buy for as long as they retain the quality of this product.
Uncle Bens Rice Times are a fairly new idea from last year. A fairly simple invention. A pot of rice and ontop, another pot with a special mixture of spice and vegetables. Just put both pots in the microwave, cook and mix the two pots and eat.
Each pot contains long grain rice, then ontop you can choose from spicy tikka masala, medium curry, mexican chilli, sweet & sour, Cantonese and korma. They are all low in fat, cook in 1min 30secs, suitable for vegetarians, no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
Each serving: 399KCals, 6.9g Protein, 11.7g Fat, 1.3g Sat. Fat, 1.5g Salt, 65.1 Carbohydrates.
This pots do not need to be refrigerated and can sit in a cupboard. Your find them in the rice isle normally. Price of them normally are 1.99UKP but you can sometimes find them for 1UKP.
Lets take for example one of my favourites. Spicy Tikka Masala. Whats in the Tikka Masala? Onions, red & green peppers, cream, coconut, coriander, lemon juice, ginger, curry powder.
What you have to get out of your head is this does not contain chicken. Its like having a tikka masala but without the chicken. You keep taking a bite waiting for the chicken piece in your mouth.
My opinion is that they are a great and cheap way to have a snap. Rice does tend to fill me up and they just that. Ideal as a snack only. The ingredients are good quality and there is plenty of taste to be had. I struggle to fault these, although I would not pay the full 1.99UKP, so I stock up on them when they are reduced. My favourite is Spicy Tikka Masala. The combination of rice and the tikka masala means that you do not have a ton of rice and hardly any topping.
There is a huge variety of different pots available in most large supermarkets. The ones I have tasted include Korma (vegetarian), Tikka Masala, Chilli Con Carne and Sweet and Sour but there certainly are others available. I think they retail at £1.99 each but they are on offer at ASDA for £1 fairly frequently and when this is the case, I find myself stocking up and filling my work drawers! These pots can last for many months after the purchase date so it really is worth stocking up when you get the chance. At £1 they represent great value, at £1.99 I'm not so sure.
You can see in the picture above, there are two pots - a large pot full of rice and a small pot full of the sauce. It is really easy to 'cook' this meal; simply peal the lids and put the two pots in a microwave for 90 seconds and then pour the sauce on to the rice and mix up. The bigger pot is big enough to comfortably hold the contents of both pots - perfect for a lunch time work snack as there is no washing up! I particularly like how rigid the pots are, it's nice to eat from a sturdy pot and it helps keep the heat in - away from your hands.
In terms of the taste, I've really enjoyed all 4 of the different pots that I've tasted and continue to buy them now. There is a nice smell, the texture of the rice is great - not like you'd expect from microwaveable rice and the sauce is thick and flavoursome even if it does lack the chunky bits. The nutritional content is quite good too, perhaps ever so slightly high on the calories side of things but better than most ready meals. Mind you, it is quite a small pot at 300g so that's probably why the nutritional content isn't too high. The nutritional content is clearly displayed on the packaging so you can be the judge!
Overall, this is a great product that provides the base of my lunch, although it doesn't fill me up sufficiently on its own. Purchase these when they are on offer - they don't represent value for money at £2 a meal.
I am a massive fan of the Uncle Bens range from the sauces right down to the rice, the quality and taste has always been of a high standard. I saw the rice pots advertised quite a while ago, I looked them up in the supermarket and found they were £1.99 each, which to me I thought they were overpriced. Then one day on my trip into Asda I walked past a special promotion on these and they were £1, more realistic price so I brought about 4/5 all different flavours to see what I thought.
These should be available in most large supermarkets and even a selected range in the smaller stores. The ones I have seen are -
Mexican Chilli (Hot and mild pot)
Tikka Masala (mild and spicy pot)
Chilli con Carne
Sweet and sour
Sweet Thai Chilli
All of these wont be in every store but I have found all of these in my local Asda at some point in the past few months and as mentioned above a select range should be available but I've found Asda to be the best. Price wise normally £1.99 in Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys. Asda do often have a promotion for these at £1 each and I normally stock up when its that price however I have seen other offers such as 2 for £3 or 50p off if Asda is not local to you.
The pots itself are packaged in the usual orange Uncle Bens packaging, the picture is simple yet effective at showing what you get. It has all nutritional information and ingredients on the back should you require it. Its important to note that none of these pots contain no meat and so should be suitable for vegetarians but I would advise checking before buying to make sure! The pots are 2 separate little pots on top of one another. The sauce is in the small one and the rice in the larger one.
Cooking is simple and easy, take the cardboard off the pots and open them both a quarter of the way, I would advise giving the rice a good shake before though just to separate it up abit. It goes in the microwave together for about 1 1/2 minutes depending on your microwave setting it might be slightly higher. Once cooked it is hot so be careful when handling. It does say add the sauce to the rice and stir together but I like to put mine all in a bowl but for saving washing or if a bowl is not available you can still add the sauce to the same pot as the rice.
Ive tried all but the spicy and hot pots in this range and I like all of them. The Mexican chilli one has lovely rich tomato taste with kidney beans and sweetcorn, its seasoned right and has a good mix of spices to give it a nice kick but not overbearing. The sauce is of a good consistency, not runny or too thick. The rice is lovely and soft, I have found some microwaveable rice can go very hard and not taste very nice but this doesn't and really works well with the sauce.
Amount wise its not loads, I have them often for my lunch but I do have something with it, either crisps or even a sandwich, it is very much a snack item and unless you have a small appetite you probably wouldn't last long with just this rice pot on its own but I enjoy eating them as part of my lunch.
I am impressed with these, they are simple, quick and easy. Price wise I only buy when on offer but othwise I do think that at £1.99 they are slightly overpriced, at £1 they do offer good value for money.
Doing the weekly shop I came across these Uncle Ben's rice time snacks. I have always found Uncle Ben's products to be of a good quality. Be it packs of rice to curry sauces they usually provide good value for money and are always tasty.
Priced at £1.99 I thought they were a bit overpriced. They are not the biggest snacks but I decided to give it a try anyway. The packaging looked appealing and it was simple and quick to make. Just get it home and pop it in the microwave.
I decided on the spicy tikka masala. You can also get sweet and sour, korma, medium curry, sweet Thai chilli or Mexican chilli. The masala looked most appealing ahead of all the rest.
The snack pots come separate. One pot has long grain white rice and the other smaller pot contains the spicy tikka masala sauce with red and green peppers. They could in a cardboard sleeve that has the cooking instructions and nutritional values printed on it.
When it comes to microwave meals I doubt you will find many that have much in the way of nutritional value. The combined weight of the two pots is 300g and on the front of the sleeve you will find the guideline daily amounts that the meal contains.
For the 300g serving you will consume 399 calories, 20% of an adult guideline daily amount, 6.9g sugars (8%), 11.7g of fat (17%), 3.9g of saturates (20%) and 1.5g of salt (25%).
Not particularly unhealthy but for the size of the snack I didn't expect it to have so many calories, such a high saturates content or such a high salt content. I might be wrong about this but they do seem quite high figures. Especially when the packet says no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. There is just rice and a sauce with tiny bits of veg in so where do these figures come from. Maybe I'm just being over critical.
There is a list of ingredients for the sauce.:
Sun ripened tomatoes (40%), Water, Onions, Red and green peppers (8%), Sunflower oil, Modified maize starch, Cream, sugar, coconut, salt, skimmed milk yoghurt powder, dessicated coconut, coriander, ginger, lemon juice, curry powder, lactic acid, paprika extract and garlic. Basic ingredients for a basic snack.
The cardboard sleeve also has a symbol containing three chillies. Three chillies should signify that the curry sauce is quite hot yet I wasn't so sure it would be. Checking the ingredients list it doesn't mention any chillies so the sauce must get the heat purely from curry powder.
Anybody whos anybody can use a microwave but what I liked about this snack was the amount of time it takes to heat up.
Firstly peel back the lids of both pots so they are just slightly open enough to not explode in the microwave. Then all you do is place them in the microwave and heat for ninety seconds if you are using an 800W microwave. Then remove the pots from the microwave remove the lids and pour the masala sauce into the rice pot and stir them together.
The sauce and rice mix together well and it does smell really nice. On first tasting it I was quite impressed. The rice is nice and soft which isn't what I expected. In my experience rice doesn't microwave well and usually ends up hard so this was a nice surprise. The spicy tikka masala sauce had a sweet taste to it but didn't seem hot as the chillies indicated until I got halfway through the meal. It wasn't really that hot but provided just a little kick, the feeling that you were eating a curry sauce. For something that took just ninety seconds to make the taste and the quality were very satisfying.
However taste and quality aren't everything to everybody. I managed to eat it rather quickly. I like something to last and to make sure I'm full. If I'm honest I'm a bit of a glutton and I like to stuff my face. There just wasn't enough quantity, or maybe there was I just enjoyed it too much and wanted more.
The fact is that for £1.99 you aren't going to get a full blown meal. You get what you pay for, a snack. When it comes to dinnertime where I work there is a queue for the microwaves so nobody complains when you only need the microwave for ninety seconds. Therefore this meal is highly convenient. It's also a very good product in terms of the quality. The rice and sauce were both high standard and tasted great.
I would highly recommend these rice time snack pots to anybody that is in a rush and needs a quick meal for a snack for their lunch. The only downfall is it will not keep you going all day so pack some extras in your lunch to eat afterwards.
My conclusion is that in terms of quality and flavour these snack pots more than live up to the price tag but I would of preferred more bang for my buck and got a larger meal. I think at least £1.50 would be a more suitable price.
This is a great little product that is easy to use so convient and taste great. Firstly the packaging makes it easy to find in the super market. It is made by a brand that can be trusted. There slogan of 'perfect rice every time' is in my opinon always correct. The product tastes amazing you can really tell that uncle bens have use good quality products with this one. The flavours run through the rice and make it taste really good. Also it is so very convient to use, whether you are at home or at work. This is a great product if you have little ones running around at home as well. You know you do not have much time to cook during the day but want something healthy and homely. Well this is the product for you. It really is. My children also love the product. The way that it is packaged for one make them feel like it is something special just for them
Working lone shifts can be a right nightmare when it comes to getting a break. I have a pager attached to me at all times so when eating at work I need something fast, tasty and easy to prepare as I could get called away at any second.
Uncle Ben's Rice Time Ready Meals -
Uncle Ben's Rice Time is a range of ready made convenient meals that contain rice and a flavoured sauce. So far you can choose from -
* Sweet and Sour
* Medium Curry
* Mexican Chilli
* Spicy Tikka Masala
So far I have only tried a couple of these but I have certainly been impressed with how easy they are to cook and just how tasty they are.
All of them are the same when it comes to cooking them. Undoing the cardboard sleeve you have two round plastic containers, one with the sauce other with the rice. You need to peal back the lids half way and place in the microwave for one and half minutes (based on 800w). Once microwaved remove the remainder of the lids off and pour the sauce over the rice.
Sweet and Sour -
Tasting this for the first time it had a wonderful mild sweetness, you could pick up on the peppers and pineapple which had a slight sweet tomato aftertaste. I personally really liked this sauce and it matched up so well with the vegetables within the mix by not over powering them.
The rice was marvellously soft and just melted in your mouth, for a ready meal this really was gorgeous and very filling. The vegetables still had a slight crunch and there were plenty of them which I liked the whole meal really did tie together nicely.
Spicy Tikka Masala -
I really enjoyed this one it was rather mild with hints of sweetness. The rice was lovely and soft and coated well in sauce, I personally found the spice to come more of an after taste which I in fact liked. In my opinion more vegetables within this pot would have made this perfect; on the hold it was a nice meal.
There was just the right amount of sauce as I don't like it when the sauce overloads the dish itself. For people that don't like spicy foods this one is mild and sweet so would suit many people. A nice and easy meal indeed.
Price and Availability:
I first spotted these a couple of weeks back now and they were on offer for only £1.00, so I stocked up on them for my locker at work. The normal price is £1.97 and although it is a nice meal I would expect a little more for almost £2! I did receive a comment to say that you can sometimes get these in Home Bargains for much cheaper.
I'm glad I managed to pick a few of these up on offer and have a few stashed away in my locker at work. They are quick and easy to prepare, very tasty to eat and best of all filling. The nutritional information does differ per meal so for the weight watchers do take a look. However on the hold for a ready meal none of them are overall high in calories.
Five out of five stars from me.
Thank you for reading.
Suitable for vegetarians
Remember this packaging can be recycled
Like lots of people who work in an office, the staff canteen is expensive, and offers only sandwiches and fairly unhealthy choices like chips and pasties.
I wanted to be able to take in my own food, but not take in sandwiches, which I'm not a huge fan of, even when I didn't have any leftovers to microwave. I also didn't want to spend a fortune.
Uncle Ben's Rice Time snacks are ideal for me, as they are filling, nutritious, not too unhealthy, and there's a range of choice so I don't get bored. I can have a nice warm pot meal without having to resort to awful salty potted noodles (you all know what I mean).
The pots come in a range of flavours:
Sweet and Sour
And they're all vegetarian - and they're so packed with veggies I can't say I missed the meat at all. And due to the lack of meat they don't need to be stored in a fridge and have a long shelf life - making them very handy.
Cooking is a breeze, you peel back the lids halfway and stick them both in the microwave for a minute and a half. You then pour the sauce over the rice. Sorted.
I can honestly say I enjoy all the flavous in the Rice Time range, they're very flavoursome, not at all greasy or oily, and the rice is plump and not dry. Overall they are the nicest convenience food I've eaten in a while.
Now to the price. Currently I buy these on offer in Asda and Sainsbury's at £1.50 a pot, and when not on offer I pay £1.99. In some stores (Tesco, Waitrose) they're £2.49 and I've even seen them at £2.99. I can't justify over £2 for what is basically (very nice) rice and a meat free sauce. Nor do I think you'd be saving much if you ate one of these a day. At £1.50 they're fine to have a few times a week for a nice hot snack. I now buy them up when they're on offer!
Overall I do recommend these, if you can get them at a reasonable price I would give them a try - they're head and shoulders above 'potted noodles!'
Currently, I am on a strict low fat diet whilst I wait for surgery to have my gall bladder removed and I am constantly having to find meals for breakfast, lunch and tea that give me a bit of variety as there are a lot of foods I do not eat and so it is sometimes a bit of a struggle to keep within my allowance for each meal without it being a very boring meal indeed! It was because of this requirement that I ended up buying this meal item whilst doing the food shop in Tesco.
What is it?
The meal is an Uncle Bens branded 'Rice time' pot. Made up of a pot of rice and a separate pot of sauce that are cooked in the microwave and then mixed together it is an ideal size for lunch and provides a bit more than just your average sandwich as well as being a hot option especially during this colder weather we are now starting to get. There are 5 varieties in the range including this one and they are all 300g in size.
The rice time is packaged in a fairly compact way and consists of two plastic see through tubs. The bottom contains the rice and is the larger of the two and the top one contains the sauce. The two tubs are then wrapped in a cardboard sleeve which has all the nutritional information stored on it along with a picture on the front of the dish served up in a bowl.
There is a small symbol of two chillies on the front to indicate how hot it is as well as a 'low fat' announcement next to it. On the top it states a microwave image with cooking time and on the back there is a guide to how exactly to cook it.
It states to peel back the lids of both pots about a quarter of the way and then place both of them together in the microwave for just 1 and ½ minutes. Once finished in the microwave, simply remove, pour the sauce over the rice and mix together and it is ready to eat! I don't even bother putting in a bowl as it saves on washing up and the bigger rice tub is really perfectly sized to accommodate the sauce too.
Smell and flavour:
When you open the packet, you can smell the chilli sauce which does smell nice although I don't feel you can really smell much spice. The dish has kidney beans and sweet corn in it and generally is quite a nice thick sauce.
The taste of the sauce is just like the Uncle Bens chilli sauce you can buy to make a full chilli con carne and has got more of a tangy chilli taste rather than a meaty flavour if that makes sense! The kidney beans are soft and so is the sweet corn.
I paid £1.99 for this quick meal and I feel this is about average for this kind of meal. Generally yes, it would be cheaper to buy bread and sandwich fillings and get more days out of it but, I am trying to give myself different things so I don't get bored of my eating plan so I guess for a hot lunch item it is not too bad although you may sometimes get these on offer so it might be worth buying a few at a time if that was the case and you wanted to stock up.
The eating plan I am on at the moment means I have to have 5g of fat or less per meal so as you can see it is a very low amount compared to the daily guideline amount for an adult of usually 70g. This mean is 3g in total so this makes a perfect meal option because it also means I can have something to go with it should I wish say, for example, a slice of bread or a wheat bar or even if I wanted, I could substitute my usual Ribena for a options hot chocolate and still be under my allowance. There are also as follows listed in the meal:
Salt - 0.45g
Sodium - 0.18g
Fibre - 1.3g
Carbohydrates - 22.8g
Of which saturates - 2.8g
Protein - 2.5g
Energy/Kcal - 479kj/113kcal
Interestingly, there is also actually cocoa powder listed in the ingredients and they have stated this is because they use cocoa powder to make chilli in Mexico! Either way to me as long as this meal is under 5gs I couldn't care less what else is in it as I am finding it hard enough to find meals that work for me and as this is perfectly under my allowance, I was happy to have it.
I did enjoy this meal because it was filling enough for me although I do have to make a point of saying that usually it wouldn't be but, lately I am eating smaller portions too because of eating this way for nearly 6 weeks now and now this size meal fills me up however I imagine if you had this and you were eating normal size portions, you may still be slightly peckish after eating it!
The flavour is good although not as great as of course a proper cooked chilli con carne. The rice is nicely cooked and of course it is a very quick meal to make so perfect if you have a short lunch break but, want something warm. I will be recommending this as it works well for me and probably will for many others. I know I will probably end up buying again whilst I am on this eating plan and probably even will even once I am able to eat normal again.
These ready meals are a new range recently launched by Uncle Ben's. I am not a huge eater of ready meals really, but I do have a bit of a bad tendency to be a late night snacker, and on a recent shopping trip, when I saw these offered in Tesco for an introductory price of £1 per pot, I thought I would give them a try :)
The varieties on offer in my local Tesco were the Mexican Chilli and Spicy Tikka Masala flavours, so I purchased one of each of these alongside a couple of the new Dolmio ready meals in a very similar format, mainly out of curiosity!
The first thing I noticed when I picked these up from the shelf was that the rice didn't look like rice I am accustomed to seeing in ready meals; unlike the old "pot rice" type snacks, the rice in these is not dried, and just looks like freshly cooked rice. I did have a quick look at the "best before" date on the packs, as I thought that the fact the rice wasn't dehydrated may have meant that these products have a short shelf life, but was surprised to see that both of them had best before dates in June of next year, giving each pot a very healthy 10 month or so storage period.
The meals come in two plastic tubs; a short one of "sauce" and a larger one of rice, held together by a cardboard band with all the relevant information on it. Between them the pots hold 300g of product, and contain about 300-400 calories, depending on the variety. To prepare the product, you simply remove the cardboard sleeve by means of a pull strip, peel back the plastic lids of the tubs about 1/4 of the way, place both tubs into the microwave together and cook on full power for 90 seconds (based on an 800 watt microwave). The tubs were very sturdy and easy to manipulate, especially as the larger tub has a "ridge" which makes it easy to grip. There is a warning on the pack that the tubs become very hot when microwaved, and this should be noted!
When I first took the tubs out of the microwave, I was a bit sceptical that the pot of sauce would fit into the larger pot in order to be mixed with the rice, but so long as you are a little bit careful and opt for a "dip and scoop" mixing action rather than a manic stir, it is possible to mix the two together without any spillages! Because of the ridge at the top of the large pot, it is possible to hold onto the pot and move it to take to eat without it being too hot, even when only allowed "mixing time" after exiting the microwave.
I would definitely recommend a spoon rather than a fork to eat these with, as although there is a good amount of sauce, I don't think the sauce sticks the rice together enough to make eating it with a fork less than fiddly! I was pleasantly surprised by the rice; it doesn't clump together too much and tastes lovely, just like well cooked fresh rice.
The sauces themselves were more of a "thick gravy with bits in" texture than a thick sauce, but this did help with mixing the two elements together. The one thing I was a little bit disappointed with with both of the varieties I tried was the lack of "chunky bits" in the sauce; this meant that for most of the pot I was tasting exactly the same thing over and over, apart from the one time I struck lucky with a fairly big bit of tomato in the Mexican Chilli variety...although in fairness the Mexican Chilli does have a fair few kidney beans in it, which I found made for a nicer "eating experience" than the Tikka flavour, just because runny sauce and rice tends to have the consistency of baby food after a few mouthfuls!
The flavour of both sauces was good, although in all honesty I did find them on the spicy side; I am the sort of person who throws jalapeno peppers at just about anything, but even I found these sauces to be on the spicy side. I definitely would describe them as medium to hot on the spice front, not for those who prefer a milder curry or a half-hearted chilli!
The food stayed piping hot right to the bottom of the tub, and overall I would say I was satisfied with this product, although because of the lack of "chunky bits" and definite "hot side" spicyness of the pots, I am not sure I would want to pay the full RRP for them, but given the long shelf life I may pick up a couple again should I see them on offer.
I have seen them advertised on TV as a "lunch alternative", and whilst they were reasonably filling for a snack, I would be hesitant to say they would "do" an average person for a lunch unless it was a very light lunch...I would definitely say that these are more of a snack or something to be eaten as PART of a lunch, rather than a standalone lunch product.