“ Brand: Sainsbury's / Type: Other Vegetables „
Review of Sainsburys Country Vegetable Selection
As a vegetarian and being on a very tight budget, I am always looking for new ideas for meals. I spotted this product, Country Vegetable Mixture in my local Sainsbury's supermarket. At just 80p for a 500g bag it seemed worth a try. I enjoy lentils, pearl barley and beans in my cooking and as the product contained all these, I decided to buy a bag.
~~The Product, Packaging, Contents, Appearance and Usage~~
The product is a wholesome mixture of Yellow Split Peas, Green Split Peas, Marrowfat Peas, Pearl Barley, Barley Flakes, Red Split Lentils, Aduki Beans, dried green beans, onion, carrot . The mixture is presented in a plastic bag which bears all the nutritional values, the Sainsbury's logo and the product name.
The Country Vegetable mixture looks colourful and tasty with the reds of the Aduki beans and lentils and the varying green and yellow shades of the vegetables.
This lentil and pulse mixture is perfect for adding texture, fibre and flavour to a variety of dishes, as a vegetarian, I find it makes an excellent base for my stews and casseroles. It works equally well with meat based meals and would be ideal added to a rich beef casserole.
The cooking instructions on the packaging advise the product be cooked in a saucepan on the hob, cover the mixture with water, bring to boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes then cover and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes until the pulses are tender. Alternatively they can be oven cooked for 1½ hours.
When the mixture has been cooked and cooled, it freezes very successfully. The dried mixture swells considerably during cooking so it is vital to watch the liquid levels as the barley and dried peas absorb the stock or gravy in your recipe.
Sainsbury's warn that the product must be stored in a cool dry place away from strong light and odours, and that the product must not be eaten uncooked. This is because the skins on dried beans can contain a toxin which could give you very uncomfortable gastric upset or worse if eaten. It is rendered harmless once cooked however.
The product contains barley gluten for those who are sensitive to gluten. Nut free.
Packed in the UK for Sainsbury's supermarkets.
Trace of Salt, saturates and sodium.
Cost is a very reasonable 80p for 500g/£1.60 per kilo
Pearl barley, lentils and similar foods staples have recently undergone a revival in British cooking. A cheap addition to bulk out a variety of dishes, this product is certainly well worth experimenting with. A little goes a long way when mixed with other ingredients and both the taste and texture are very good for adding variety to dishes. My family enjoy it and as a base for vegetarian recipes Sainsbury's Country mixture has earned a prominent place in my store cupboard!
Thank you for reading.
© Brittle1906 February 2012
N.B. This review has been published elsewhere under the same user name.
Do you enjoy a tasty casserole? Do you use a slow cooker to make delicious, wholesome, warming meals? I have discovered a way to make them even tastier and at the same time make them good for you by adding a little extra fibre - plus at very minimal cost - read on if you want to find out more..........
The other day I was browsing around Sainsbury's doing my weekend shop when in amongst the dried lentils and barley I spotted a pack which caught my eye. Sainsbury's Country Vegetable Mixture is a bag of dried chick peas, peas, lentils, pearl barley and dried veg. It doesn't look that interesting in the pack but I was looking for something different to add to a casserole in my slow cooker and it was a little different and excellent value at just 61p a pack. I bought it on the basis that it would make a change and if I didn't like it then it wouldn't have cost me too much to find out.
Using the product
I opened the pack the next time I was preparing a casserole, on this particular occasion it was a chicken casserole, ad tentatively added a couple of tablespoons to the casserole as I put it into the slow cooker and then forgot all about it. When the casserole was cooked I was quite keen to taste it to see if the additions had turned out well.
What does it taste like?
I was amazed, the pearl barley was the first addition I found. The barley had swelled during cooking and was soft and quite delicious as it had absorbed some of the gravy during cooking. It made the casserole taste very creamy and filling and certainly added greatly to my enjoyment. Overall I was delighted with my new discovery although to be fair if I cast my mind way back into my childhood I can remember casseroles just as delicious which my mother used to make. I can also remember a very cold day in Glasgow when I stopped at a cafe for something warming and ended up with a quite delicious and filling soup containing barley and lentils which was perfect for a Winters day.
So what does Sainsbury's Country vegetable mix comprise? Well according to the packaging:
Yellow split peas, green split peas, Lentilles vert, red split lentils, green beans, onion, carrot
Pasta (9%) (Durum wheat semolina)
To cook they recomend that you boil 30 - 40 mins - bring to boil rapidly for 10 mins then cover and simmer for 30 - 40 mins until the pulses are tender. Alternatively you can oven cook for 1½ hours - once cooked it can be frozen.
Personally I just stirred some into my casserole before putting it into the slow cooker for about three hours and the result was lovely!
Nutrionally a 75g serving provides:
65 calories - 3.3% of RDA
0.4g fat - 0.6% RDA
Salt - less than 0.1g 0% RDA
Total sugars 2.4g - 2.7% RDA
The packet warns "Do not eat uncooked" mind you I doubt you cook as it is pretty hard in the packet it is the process of cooking it that softens it!
Would I recommend it?
I most certainly would. It is a low cost way of adding a creamy texture to a casserole as well as extra fibre - you don't need to put very much in so the packet should last you through quite a few meals - I use about two tablespoons in a one litre casserole. The casserole becomes more filling and warming and the end result is quite delicious. Give it a try, you may well be pleasantly surprised.