“ Type: Crisps/Snacks „
Yeah sorry for the big headed intro but at drinking mug shots I am a heavy weight! Mug Shots are an instant meal/ready meal snack product which are simple to prepare and save a lot of time cooking. They are produced by the company Symington's which is stated on the back of the packet. The flavour I will be reviewing is the Basil and Tomato Mug Shot.
It comes in an appealing red coloured package which is very inviting to the consumer as red and green are some of the most eye catching colours I personally find, along with black. I like the simple front which shows a mug of soup with a fork in it which to me makes anyone passing by immediately think of food and makes them want to buy this brand.
I also like how the fact it is suitable for vegetarians is stated in quite large print in a black circle on the front of the product because if you're like me, a piscetarian this info being so easily available makes me home in on it, relative to brands where the text is smaller, or the message is on the back, as I don't always have time to look round the back to see if a product is suitable for vegetarians.
Finally on the back (should I choose it on any given supermarket trip) of the package is clear instructions on how to prepare it, the list of ingredients and the nutritional information are printed in a font and size which is easy to read. Again this is something not all products manage, so the product design impresses me as much as is possible for packaging to be impressive.
~~~Appearance, Smell, Taste, Texture~~~
It is a sort of light brick red colour, fairly similar to Cup a Soup's. It smells just faintly of tomato it's definitely not pongy or off putting, in fact I find the scent quite inviting and it makes me even hungrier when I am smelling it whist waiting for it to stand, to cool down to a drinkable/eatable temperature. From a taste perspective it is just exquisite.
The first thing your taste buds recognise when eating this is the thick creamy, tomato sauce which is also ever so slightly sweet. Sweet, that is, in a good way. Next comes the strong, powerful taste of basil, as basil is one of my favourite herbs for me this is just delightful, finally as the taste of tomato and basil meld together you can taste some gorgeous paprika extract which is used in the colouring of this product.
All the flavours come together wonderfully to create a rich, vibrant taste that just scintillates and delights the taste bud, very very nice is all I can say! Although I love basil I do not like basil if it is the only thing you can taste and whilst this product tastes strongly of basil it's not so strong that its off putting, rather it just adds to the delicious mix, finally the paprika extract flavour is just another flavour I really like in these surprisingly complex tasting instant food meals.
As for the texture as mentioned previously the sauce is very cream, rich, and is nice and thick; it's just the way a pasta sauce should be. It's not a soup, thank god! The pasta is very tender unlike some cheaper brands where the pasta can be quite hard and crunchy, maybe some people prefer crunch and poor pasta but I personally find the tender nature of this product far better than any cheaper brand equivalent I have currently come across.
There are five simple steps to prepare this meal. First you fill a kettle up with water, set it to boil. Then once it's boiled you pour into the cup containing the mug shot until approximately 15cm from the top. The third step is stirring thoroughly to separate out the pasta and dissolve the sauce. The fourth step is letting it stand for between 4 to 6 minutes and the final step is stirring again and tucking in! One thing is to always check your kettle has water in before boiling, as without sufficient water a kettle fuse or heating element will blow... One time when I was lazy I nearly did this, many moons ago, the kettle had the bare minimum and luckily it lived.
~~~Range of Flavours~~~
Other than Tomato there are Tomato and Herb, Creamy Cheese, Roast Chicken Flavour, Minestrone Flavour, Spicy Tomato, Mediterranean Syle and Tika Style. I have not tired the other flavour however minestrone looks like one I would like to try as do Spicy Tomato and Mediterranean style (I love food with a bit of kick to it). Chicken not so much as I do not eat animals, I eat fish which I do not class as an animal, ditto insects.
~~~Nutrition and Fullness Feeling~~~
Each 258 g sachet (quite a generous portion size) contains 271 kCal which is a lot of calories however the breakdown of where it comes from is where things get interesting. It contains a mere 2.1 g of fat (a tiny amount) and only 1g of those is saturated. It contains 55.7g of carbs and 5.9g of protein ( a surprisingly high number for a pasta product sans cheese, cheese contains lots of fat too). It is very healthy with these numbers as it has a protein to fat ratio of nearly 2 to 1 which is very impressive. Protein fills you up for longer and helps you build muscle not fat.
I find that after eating one of these, unlike with a cup a soup, it plugs the hole completely, more often than not. So this is a product that could well help dieters as it helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer, reducing the chance you are going to gauge on unhealthy things like chocolate and crisps!
I paid 89 pence for this at my local co-op which is quite a lot for a 258g pasta, however it is a lot more filling than a Cup a Soup and from memory it also is heavier than what cup a soup provide (will update this with more specific info on the weight of a cup a soup). However whilst its dear a four pack of cup a soup in my local co-op is 1 pound 39 unless there is a special deal on so yes it's a little dearer than a cup soup but as a treat it's not that expensive, it's a little dear to be purchased frequently though, so for this I take one point off, as the taste is great and nutrition is quite strong too.
Online it can be purchased for 50 p from Asda for an individual "Shot" for a limited time and several stores are doing a promotion of 5 for £3.00 till the 02/07/13, as of the time this review was written on the 13th of June. I am sure this offer will appeal to those of us, like me, needing some sessions from the MSA (Mug Shots Anonymous).
~~~ Any Final comments and Would You Recommend this product?~~~
A final point in this product's favour is that unlike cup a soup and to a slightly lesser extent pot Noodle, this sauce has a far better solubility in water than those rival competitors whom often have some sauce/powder clumped to the bottom no matter how much you stir and add more hot water. This product seems to dissolve all the time, even if you add a little less than the recommended amount of water. I have not tested how far this goes, I might be sad but I am not that sad. I thoroughly would recommend this product as on taste, and nutrition it guns down its rivals in a blaze of glory.
My list of favourite products in this field goes like this Mug Shot>>>>Pot Noodle> Cup a Soup. With Mug Shot from Symington's being far superior to both the products I am comparing it to, with the other two being even Stevens, more or less. I prefer one over the other based on my inclination and any special offers on a given day determining which I fancy. The only negative I can think of is that Mug Shots are more pricey than the competition as regards cup a soup but cheaper than individual Pot Noodles (which as a multi-pack probably beat Mug Shot). For these reasons I award it 4 Dooyoo Stars as the price is the only thing that stops me buying it more often. I guess you pay for quality.
I was introduced to Mug Shots when I started Slimming World and was told a variety of them were free on my slimming plan, so I went out and bought lots of flavours. Ones that are not fee on slimming world include; the cheese and roast chicken, and these happen to be my favourites!
To make these you simply boil the kettle, and once bolied pour this and your mug shot sachet into a mug, leave to sit for 5 mins and then you are ready to go, you have a lovely pasta snack in a great sauce. I love the cheese and roast chicken as I find the sauces to be thicker, whereas other such as tomato and herb and normal chicken flavours are a bit more watery, however, I still really like these as well.
Also why not adapt a few flavours, like the tomato based ones, I throw in a bit of tobasco sauce to spice it up a bit.
These are great for a snack and can be bought on offer for cheap in places like PoundLand where you can get 3 for £1, this is the cheapest I have found them, although your choices of flavours are bit more limited here, although a great range is availabe in Tescos.
I think this is a great snack, however they don't fill you for very long, so don't be fooled that bringing one to work will do you all day, but it's still great as a part of your lunch or as a snack on a break!
I was introduced to mugshots by a friend at work who had just joined slimming world and have been a fan ever since!
Mugshots are an instant snack in noodle, pasta and couscous. They are a bit like a cross between a cupasoup and a pot noodle. You just put in a cup, add boiling water and wait 5 mins - but I give mine 30 secs in the microwave as they have cooled down after being left for 5 mins.
They are very low in fat and most of them are "free" on slimming world ie you can eat as many as you like without having to count your syns/points. They are much more satisfying than a cupasoup.
They come in a variety of flavours - the good ones are gorgeous but the bad ones are yuk. Some others I haven't tasted yet, but you can kind of tell from experience what you'll like and what you won't!
Like: tomato and herb, sweet and sour & spicy tomato (it's hard to find so I keep a bottle of tabasco in the office) and tomato couscous
Dislike: thai, chicken & mushroom couscous
OK: chicken (roast chicken is nicer than plain flavour chicken).
I am one of a hardcore of mugshot eaters in our office, they are filling and a great guilt-free snack or lunch - we each keep a stash and regularly swap packets or use them as currency!
Slimming tip - I don't like the cheese as a snack - but what I do at home is sieve off the powder and use it to make a low fat cheese sauce!
Monday is now known as "mug shot monday" at work as there are quite a few of us that seemed to have developed a taste for them. They are very simple to make as you literally just pour the contents straight into a mug and tip boiling water over it. Stir it up and wait 5 minutes and then it's good to go.
I personally like that it is very quick to make and the flavours are good, (well, some aren't but I'll get on to that.) Also, I'm not the richest of people so the price tag of around 50p-60p per packet suits me well. I have started to buy them in bulk from Amazon for 20 packets for £9.
~~~~~ Creamy Cheese ~~~~~~
This is my favourite. It has two types of pasta spirals in it and a lovely thick sauce with all of this coming in at less than 3% fat. The cheese sauce is very rich, tasty and smooth as long as you stir it up enough. There are also various herbs in it which always adds that little element of danger that I'll go back to my till and serve the next customer with green 'herby' teeth. Such an attractive look!
~~Roast chicken ~~
This is fine to eat but there's nothing really exciting about it. The smell is lovely but it doesn't taste that much of a chicken let alone a roasted one. I possibly won't purchase this one again.
This was ghastly! It had that many fragrances going on that I really should have just started licking a bar of soap. It was heavily perfumed and I'm afraid I had to throw it away after the first mouthful. I'm sure Thai food doesn't taste like that.
I shall add to this review as I try out the full range.
I would definitely recommend these but won't give them 5 stars due to the horrific thai flavour.
I had the chicken and mushroom noodle. It tastes fairly bland and while I thought it was a good deal for 50p when I opened the lid and saw it 3/4 empty I realised why it's half the price of a real Pot Noodle.It also has a lot less vegetables and flavouring than a Pot Noodle - and no flavour sachet.All in all this was a disappointment and a false economy. As mentioned in other reviews - this would be good if you are on a diet as it's only 245 calories but this puts it in the 'snack' category rather than a meal as far as I'm concerned.
I work away quite often, and as such don't always have access to decent home-cooked food. Things that I can just add hot water to are ideal to keep in my work holdall so I can still get something to eat if I miss a meal time. Mugshots are made by Symingtons and they have proudly displayed on the top corner of the packet that they contain less than 1 or 2% fat, depending on which type of either the pasta or noodle snack you buy. I've had the Chinese style noodles and the roast chicken flavour pasta, but there are also other flavours available including: sweet and sour noodles, Thai noodles, chicken noodles, creamy cheese pasta, tomato and herb pasta and Minestrone pasta.
The main advantage to Mugshots is that they are quick to make and only require hot water, a cup and a spoon. Empty the packet into a mug, add hot water to 15mm from the top, stir and leave for five minutes, stir again and then eat.
The main disadvantage to Mugshots is, in my opinion, that they don't taste of much at all. For example, the Chinese style noodles contain nothing of any substance other than some noodles and a small amount of square shaped dehydrated carrots and some flakes of dried peas in a brown coloured liquid that tastes about as Chinese as Spaghetti Bolognese does - it doesn't taste of that either. I've looked at the ingredients and there is, surprisingly, a Chinese five spice mix in there, but I don't think there is enough to give it that unmistakeable Chinese smell and taste - a taste which this type of Mugshot is badly lacking. I would say they are more a food of necessity than a food for pleasure - foodies stay away!
Imagine if you opened up a pot noodle, took out all the "bits" and half the powder then put it into a cup instead of a pot, then did a funny little rain dance for the gods of bland food to make it even blander. Then you would have something very close to a Mugshot. In fact, you'd be better off not eating one and instead watching an episode of Crime Watch - the Mugshots on there are far more spicier.
If you want something in the cupboard with which to deceive yourself with that you've had something to eat when your fridge is empty and the McDonalds drive through is closed, then at 74p each from Asda they are ok to have a couple of as an emergency stash for that price. Another plus point is that all the contents are dehydrated so therefore have a shelf life of a couple of years. I suppose this long expiry date means we won't have to eat just cockroaches and grass in a post nuclear apocalypse. Something to look forward to I'm sure.
However, I'd be surprised if you develop a liking for them and buy more, and in a real post nuclear apocalypse I might be soon tempted by some cockroach fritters and a grass salad if all I had left in the cupboard were Mugshots. Not great, but they have their uses. A massively average three stars from me, thanks for reading.
I first heard of these when I was doing Slimming World, as they are one of the few ready made or convenience foods that you can get which are totally free.
I am not always mad about these "just add boiling water" type of products but I was willing to give it a go. I have tried several flavours but the one which I was most pleasantly surprised by was the Creamy Cheese pasta one which is actually really nice. It does look quite gross when you first see it, as the texture is quite gloopy and the colour is like a lime green with bits in it! However when you put it in your mouth you realise it does taste nice, and I have bought it again quite a few times since trying it.
I think there may be more calories in the Creamy Cheese than some of the other varieties. I noticed this one says less than 3% fat whereas most of them seem to say less than 1% fat but maybe that is due to the cheese content.
I found the noodle mug shots not quite as nice as the pasta, but the Spicy sweet and sour is quite nice if you are in the mood for it, It has quite a tangy flavour. The chicken noodle one is very tasteless, in my opinion. I avoided buying that one again.
I also tried the Tomato and Roast Vegetable couscous one, which is inbetween the pasta and noodles, by being 2% fat. I was pleasantly surprised by this one too as I expected it to be a bit tasteless but I enjoyed it and would buy again.
These are in a very convenient format and take up very little room in the cupboard so I find them quite handy to have, in case you are very busy and no time for a proper lunch - which is a position I find myself in sometimes when I am busy running round after my 3 young kids, or if I am going out somewhere I need to take a packed lunch then somedays I would prefer this than sandwhiches as atleast it is nice and warm and also less effort to prepare in the morning, just grab this and stick it in your bag.
They are also good for a snack if you are just a bit hungry, and as they are free on slimming world I wouldn't feel too guilty about having one. Although it does have 307 cal in the creamy cheese, even though they are supposed to be "free". It also contains cow's milk, wheat gluten and egg - so something to be aware of if you suffer from allergies.
I would recommend these for those who like convenience, or are following slimming world, as it is quite a handy product.
Not something i would usually buy as i dont go in for ready made/convenience foods. However starting a slimming world diet and after snacky comforting type of foods and mugshots being 'free' on the slimming world diet i thought i would give em a 'stir'.
On offer for the last month at 4 for £2 (normally around 70-80p each in supermarkets) at asda. There is a a good range of flavours to name those i have tried - PASTA ones chicken, tomato and herb and minestrone. Noodles ones chicken, spicy sweet and sour and Thai. The thai one i have to admit was the only one i didnt like as it has a very strong ginger flavour.
Mugshot? so what is it. Its a instant snack that takes 5 mins until it's ready to eat. So you just tip the sachet into a mug and fill with hot water. Then tuck in. You get your pasta or noodles and a soup as well after or thats how i look at it. There are also cous cous ones but i dont like the stuff so cant comment on those ones. They fill a hole between meals and are comforting in cold weather.
Not a la carte food but good food from a sachet for a snack on the go!
When you bring your own lunch to work the choices can become a little bit limited. I was bored of sandwiches, which i couldnt be bothered to make most of the time anyway. I was also bored of the same old bland cup a soups. One day i was mooching in the local tesco and spotted Mug Shots, on this occasion they were 3 for £1. I decided to give them a go.
When i first poured the pasta mix into the mug i was a little alarmed at the small quantity which was supposed to fill me up, but i left it to see what would happen. After a few minutes the pasta had soaked up the water, swelled and produced a thick looking sauce.
I first tried the "Creamy Cheese" flavour. It smells divine, like a proper pasta sauce. It also tasted pretty darn good, considering it only came from a packet. It definitely exceeded my expectations and I found it very tasty indeed. Since then I have tried other flavours and the cheese and chicken options are my favourites.
I definitely recommend Mug Shots for an alternative to sweaty sandwiches and bland soups.
I was pointed in the direction of these economical quick and easy take away lunch and snack items by my Slimming World guru friend after I joined the masses in the January diet season. And i must say that despite being very skeptical I was actually pleased with the result. As most of the flavours are a Free Food (this is great if you are a SW member) this is the ideal quick lunch time fix if you cant get to the jacket potato stand. Tear the top of the packet off and tip contents into a mug (genius branding) and tip boiling water on top to about inch off top of standard size mug, give it a stir and hey presto - in about 3 mins you have a delicious snack.
My favorite by far is the roast chicken version, it really does fill you up with nice chuncky pasta and bits of chicken with a lovely thick rosemary hinted sauce - nothing watery about these snacks. There are several other flavours including chicken noodle, spicy tomato and cheese pasta so you can vary your flavours. They work out at about 50p per packet and often are featured in multi buys within supermarkets so work out very reasonable.
I am not a fan of cup a soups or pot noodles but really do enjoy these little Mug Shoots.
The Mug Shot Pasta noodle soup variety I chose was to say the least just what I thought it would be like.
Sorry for all those out there that like these instant fixes but this and pot noodle just do not float my boat.
Determined to give this particular instant soup in a cup with noodles variety a try I followed the instructions and waited and waited for the five minutes or in this case nearer ten minutes to finish its prosess of plumping up dried noodles and giving substance to the rather insipid tasting soup. Not a favorite for me. I tried the chicken variety over the tomato and chilli ones on the shelves as I prefer chicken soups over any others generally. Sadly this one did not rock my world. I found it flavourless and insipid. The noodles were like cardboard and generally the bits of sweetcorn in it never really got off to a good start and remained hard lumps. Nasty.
Sorry folks but you can keep this stuff or feed it to the fishes.
Pasta in a mug. I can't say the idea ever appealed to me. I've never liked these "just add boiling water" instant meals. I've found Cup-A-Soups taste like oddly flavoured water. Batchelor's super noodles taste like soggy cardboard. And don't get me started on Pot Noodles. Therefore it was with great trepidation that I gave Mug Shot pasta a try (after being pestered relentlessly by my Dad to give them a go).
Mug Shot's are hot pasta based snacks that come in a variety of flavours, including:
Tomato and herb
Chicken and mushroom
Sweet and sour
Hot and spicy
So far I have only tried the tomato and herb and roast chicken varieties, but I have to say, I was pretty impressed. Cooking is pretty straightforward, in fact I don't think you could even call it cooking as essentially all you're doing is emptying the sachet into a mug, adding boiling water and then leaving to stand for five minutes. Simples!
So, how does the pasta fare in the all important taste test? Surprisingly, it's pretty good. With this being a cheap product, I was expecting the sauce go be really thin and watery but in fact it was quite thick and tangy. The pasta wasn't too soggy but also not too hard. The only downside is that the portions are fairly small so these products are designed either as a snack or an accompaniment to a larger meal. If you just had one of these for your lunch, you'd be hungry again after half an hour.
For those on a diet, the good news is that these products are low in fat. The precise quantity varies depending on which flavour you buy, but so far all the flavours I have found have been less than 2% fat. The bad news is that each packet contains around 204 calories, which is quite high for a snack. I wouldn't recommend eating these every day of the week, but you could certainly treat yourself once or a twice to add a bit of variety to your lunch.
Overall, I would recommend these to anyone who likes Pot Noodles, Cup-A-Soups, etc as Mug Shots are much nicer than these products. They are also fairly cheap. I recently bought 4 for a £1 from Morrisons so they are ideal for those on a tight budget.
Nutritional information (per packet)
Of which sugars 2.3g
I do like Pot Noodles & Super Noodles although to be fair I have never really been a fan of the sup a soup type item. I personally normally tend to find them watery & a little bland. I first tried one of these when somebody that I work with gave me one.
It is a packet of powder & pasta that you put into a mug, add boiling water to & then after stirring vigorously, leave for 5 minutes.
The result was for me surprisingly nice. The soup was thick. It was tasty & it was laden with pasta which had softened up just right. The variety that I had been given was the Tomato & Herb variety. It had a good & distinct flavour of tomato. Not sweet or spicy & very nice with no aftertaste.
I have noe started buying them regularly from my super market. There are various different varieties & they tend to cost about 45p per soup. They don't sell mutlipacks thoughwhich is a shame & they can only be bought on their own.
I highly recommend these. If you want a snack which has got a bit of substance to it, then these are great. They taste good. Because of the amount of pasta inside, they do fill you up a little plus there's bound to be at least one flavour you like.
Mug Shots are produced by Symington's, and are pasta or noodles with different flavourings which you put into a cup and add boiling water.
The concept it the same as a cup of soup or a pot noodle but comes in individual packets.
This product was recommended to me by other Slimming World members as these are extremely filling and are "free food" on the diet plan.
Mug shots have a few different flavours and I tried and tested all. However I only seem to like the Tomato and Herb flavour, however I am very picky about my food. I was quite impressed with these at first.
Mug shots come in a type of plastic foil packaging and are around four to five inches tall. On the front is a variety of colour depending on your flavour and has a picture of a cup full of pasta and noodles and proudly declares less than 1% fat and no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and is suitable for vegetarians. On the back is instructions for making with small pictures for illustration. Below that is the expiry date. Also on the back is the ingredients and nutritional values and company address.
The taste of these mug shots can be quite intense in the sauces but the pasta and noodles can be quite bland is taste as the flavour of the sauce does not seem to stick to the pasta.
The pasta and noodles can be quite dry and can leave your mouth quite dry after swallowing. There's a faint aftertaste which is quite plesant.
The packaging states the pasta or noodles take five minutes to soften, however I have found that there are still some harder pieces after five minutes and tend to leave them for around 7 or 8 minutes. You definitely need to use a mug rather than a cup as you need quite a bit of water with this as the pasta quickly expands and soak up the water.
Nutritional wise, these are the perfect snack. Per serving, you can expect approximately 265 calories. This differs for each of the flavourings.
Mugs shots are available at most supermarkets and are often on the tinned foods or pot noodle aisles. These usually cost around 50 - 70p but are often on special offer with 4 for £1.50.
Overall, these are tasty and filling, and are more compact than a pot noodle which makes them the perfect snack to slip into your bag for work.
This time of year you yearn for a hot lunchtime snack - yet get fed up with the perennial jacket potato, don't want a microwave meal and can't get yourself organised to make something the next day which can be reheated - enter a packet of "Mug Shot".
Produced in the UK by Symington's Ltd, this is a 54g packet of dried pasta and chemicals - off of which can be rehydrated with boiling water. The packet is small enough to carry in a handbag in case you get caught short and most people have access to a kettle. However there are a couple of simple precautions which I would urge you to take before proceeding.:-
1. Use one of those smaller, thinner and taller mugs you can get - often china. With practise you can make sure that you only put enough water in to rehydrate before leaving the pasta swimming in sauce and thereby risking the "drop down the front of your work clothes" moment.
2. When the packet says leave to stand for five minutes - do just that. If you return and start to eat too quickly then you are eating cardboard!
The whole packet is around 240 calories (depending on the flavour) which seems high to me for such a snack. However I am on a slimming world regime and theses are free or low syns (on a green / extra easy day).
The other flavours (and their syns) are:-
Cheese 'n' Ham (3.5)
Chicken 'n' mushroom (2)
Chicken 'n' vegetable (2)
Cheese 'n' broccoli (2.5)
Creamy Cheese (2)
Chicken noodle (free)
Chow mein (free)
Spicy sweet 'n' sour (free)
Tomato 'n' Herb (free)
I have only tried the Cheese 'n' broccoli (yummy) and the chicken noodle and will happily have them both again. They are what they are - but they are a useful backup tool for any dieter to have when you just don't know what to have for lunch but are starving!