Modern Table: Bean Pastas and Meal Kits #Review #ModernTableMeals

 

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Modern Table has been a guest on my blog before and it’s one of those products I tried and still continue to purchase today. We all eat them both in cold and warm dishes because it’s a great alternative to pasta that I really don’t see it as just a substitute. The noodles have flavor because they are bean based. I admit there are even times I make a pasta salad and add the Modern Table noodles along with semolina flour based pasta! Yes, that is how good they are.

I was sent another sampling of the newest products released by Modern Table:

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I have at times deconstructed the meal kits to just get to the bean pasta, so this was a welcoming site. Finally, the pasta alone will be sold. There is a lot of benefits when it comes to Modern Table’s meal kits and bean pastas. For starters:

  • Modern Table does not use GMO based ingredients (non-gmo)
  • Their products are Gluten Free (except for the Teriyaki Meal kit)
  • Dairy Free (Southwest and Teriyaki Meal kits, plus the Bean Pastas)
  • Vegetarian Friendly
  • Packing a protein punch like no other pasta because they are bean based, so you also have an excellent source of fiber.
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • This is real food with no gimmicks!

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Verdict-
Taste means everything in this home because I don’t believe eating healthy means you should sacrifice flavor. It’s actually the opposite! Fresh meals that provide a good source of protein and vegetables should be packed with flavor and enjoyable to consume. Modern Table shares this same theory because we find their products amazing. You are also not limited! You can add fresh vegetables to even meats to the meals and customize them to fit your needs and/or cravings. I have over time learned to not boil the pasta as long as listed in the directions because we prefer a more al dente’ texture. The bean pastas lend themselves to many creations. Many times I have been in a hurry and need a filling meal that is also quick to make. I add a handful of the pasta to a roasted Red Bell pepper and Tomato soap and it creates one delicious meal in less than 12 minutes. I think it takes me more time to make the accompanying sides like toasting a slice of bread for dunking. There are times where I want a Pasta Primavera and use everything from eggplants, frozen organic veggies, to kale to bump up the flavors and I’m also a veggie junkie.

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The possibilities are endless with Modern Table and their new bean pasta bags mean I can just pour from the bag versus picking the pasta out from the kits. The Pesto meal kit goes great with grilled shrimp.  The new Mac & Cheese meal kit is my ultimate favorite from the meal kits. It’s cheesy and has real white cheddar…….it just takes Mac & Cheese to whole another level! I added pancetta to mine and I don’t think I can go back to Mac from a box again.

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Find the Modern Table Kit that fits your Cravings or Pick-up a Bean Pasta Bag at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Modern Table Meals.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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The Modern Table Meals: Delicious and Healthy meals made Easy #Review #ModernTableMeals

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I rarely cook out of a box or canned goods, and I consider that a good thing. If I need to open anything canned, it’s usually to make quick bean based side dishes, like black beans for Cuban meals, pinto for Mexican night, and so forth. I even making a kicking Italian salad with Quinoa, white kidney beans and garbanzos! I just try to make everything from scratch so I can control how much sodium, protein, to just avoiding preservatives and dyes when possible. Yes, it drives me crazy knowing I could sometimes really appreciate making a quick meal in 20 minutes or less and not have to dedicate the weekend to making meals for the week. I just tell myself….we are worth the hassle of eating better.

When I saw Modern Table Meals at Target, I just walked away and never thought about them again. It’s just another pasta dish with fake-o ingredients I thought to myself. The next week I saw them again and saw the bubble with the protein count listed (17 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, per serving!). I stopped. Again, thinking I know everything, I imagined some soy or whey protein mixed in with whole grains and more corn based products, to make a meal. Again, I was so wrong so before I dug this hole any deeper…..I decided to just read, absorb and see what Modern Table Meals is all about,

My parcel arrives with 4 beautiful bags, a bag to store everything in, a wooden spoon with some serious nice weight and quality, oh and coupons galore! I’m starting to love them even though I wrongly judged a book by it’s cover here (insert foot in mouth).

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Modern Table has 4 delicious Meals to satisfy every craving:

See, what makes the magic? Beans!! Legumes!! Whatever you call them, the **sparkle** of protein and real food comes from gorgeous pastas and noodles that are bean based.

I’m all for eating healthy and practice Meatless Mondays that get moved around during the week (rarely is it on an actual Monday), but the point is it takes place at least once a week and if not two. So, good only goes so far in my book. I eat kale but I like the flavor, so when kale became the “It Food to Eat”, I had to hit a few stores to find 2 great stalks because everyone was juicing and pulverizing the heck out of them. My point is, I have to enjoy the meal beyond the numbers and healthy is not a reason alone food should not taste spectacular.

I started by making the Mediterranean Green Lentil Rotini. I open the bag and notice the veggies are dehydrated but retained shape and their beautiful color. Best looking dehydrated green onion I ever saw! It was just perfect in shape (not just turned into green dust) that I found myself squeezing the veggies to see how they looked and felt. Yes, I’m “that girl” that touches the produce before bagging it and I admit I sniff Pineapple bottoms too! 🙂

I read the instructions and everything is so easy to do. You just boil the bean pasta, whisk the sauces with water and/or oils, then toss and add the topping included. Everything in the bag contains no artificial colors or preservatives. Modern Table Meals took a shelf-stable product (i.e. beans) and just made it better and something a long time coming.

Cooking the Meal:  As with everything, I made the product as instructed to see how it performs just out of the bag.  I followed the directions and noticed that just 10 minutes had lapsed and I’m 75% done with cooking dinner.  I felt like I forgot or missed something.  You know like when you went out on a shopping trip and made it out of the store with good timing……yeah, I knew I forgot something.  Retraced my steps and nope!  This is too easy!  Five minutes later and I try to make my insanity justifiable by noticing I forgot to cut open the topping bag (see, I did forget something).  I top the dish and begin plating.  I took out “insurance” on this meal by making it a side dish.  I figured it’s better being safe than sorry and paired it with veggies and Naan Herb bread that I topped with left-over roasted chicken, goat cheese and an olive medley.  It was Mediterranean enough and the chicken needed eating.

Taste Test: Just by the sniff-test, I am starting to regret having made other food but then sometimes things smell better than they taste.  I taste the pesto sauce and I am already wanting to save some for later separately because it’s so good.  I can believe I just added water to make this!  Then comes tasting the pasta alone because if it tastes bad, I’m saving the sauce for another meal.  I forgot the pasta was bean based because the texture is desirable.  I expected a floppy noodle or one that just disintegrates into odd pieces even though you never bit.  Not this guy! It tasted like a flavored pasta shape, sort of like it belonged with the three color pastas you find at the market.  So far, so good!  I toss everything and then sprinkle.  I have a taste before serving because why dirty the dish if I won’t be eating it…….I serve myself more than what a side dish called for!  I must admit at one point I mixed my veggies into the pasta because I wanted everything to have that wonderful flavor.  The sauce tastes real and the package tells me there is all this good stuff and none of the bad, but this tastes real like in homemade fresh.  It does not taste like anything I ever had out of a box.  I tell myself that I was always right about Modern Table Meals because things out of box are horrible, but these come out of b-a-g! See, I was right all along 😉

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I can’t wait to try and share all the other ones!

Connect with Modern Table Meals at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Modern Table Meals.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

UrthBox: March Box Review…..Discover a Healthier You!

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I can easily state that from all the subscription boxes that are food related…..this one is the most packed!

Urthbox is a company which fills their subscription boxes with healthy, not-your-average treats and snacks. Stocking their box with only non-GMO foods makes this company stand out above all the rest.  They also have boxes that fit every dietary need from vegan, gluten-free and even “diet” options.  Munching diet related products is a great way to know what works, what you like to even what you want to continue purchasing.  Urthbox also has boxes to fit every budget starting from $19 (7-10 items), medium sized box for $29 (12-15 products), to the large box that makes you a super happy snacker at $49 (20-24 items).  I received the “Part-Time Snacker” box in size medium.  I received 12 products from different manufacturers but the quantity was larger because some products came in counts of 2 or even 3.  I liked that they count your products by individual kinds versus counting that they added 2 items of one product and using that towards the full count.  Very fair and generous of UrthBox.  I also want to add that shipping is free, so the above price points are with shipping included.

Let’s get started because I have so much to cover….I will be using the 1 to 5 point system where 5 is superb in taste/flavor and texture, and where 1 is pretty much saying don’t put it in your mouth 🙂

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  • Snap Pea Crisps (One .75 ounce package): I have seen these being sampled at Costco but never actually stood in line to try one.  It’s pretty much Green Peas that are lightly salted and baked.  A healthier way to snack because you get less fat than potato chips but this treat also is a good source of fiber.  I love peas of any kind so I am biased on this one.  I did like the texture but was not super fond of the aftertaste.  It was not pleasant and left my mouth lacking moisture but now I know to pass versus buying on these.  I give them a 2

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  • Hemp Hearts (Two 0.5 ounce packages): I have tested these before and enjoy them very much.  You can read my full detailed review here- http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-fP and I give these a 5

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  • Viana Mild Jumbo Veggie Snack Sausage (Two 1.76 ounce packages): I received the Traditional German Smokehouse variety and have never tasted a non-meat sausage.  I first loved how it smelled because that is my first test before taking a bite.  The smell was spicy and very inviting.  I take a bite and must say that flavor is not missing and you get a nice smoky taste with a wonderful blend of spices.  Being a meat-eater, I can say if you told me it was turkey or chicken based….I would be none the wiser.  It’s organic and you get a generous 13 grams of soy based protein with only 130 calories.  It’s up there with a cup of yogurt and only 360 mg of sodium and 2 grams of sugar.  It fills you up in a more satisfying way and I would purchase this item again.  I give this product a 4

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  • Salba Chia Boost (Two 0.5 ounce packages): Advertised as not your usual chia seed and something I would have overlooked because I have had bad chia seeds.  I did not think qualities changed so drastically and because I sorted on value when first buying them, I first purchased a bag of great quality seeds.  I then go and repurchase the chia seeds but decided to pick-up a cheaper brand……big mistake.  There was such an off taste that eating them in a wet or dry method did not save me.  I ended up discarding them so there went my savings turning into waste.  I can say that Salba does have a premium product and I also enjoyed that these come in ground (powder) form, something that was new to me.  I mix it with my flax seeds and they are a treat with a nutritional punch.  I give this item a 5

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  • Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut oil (One 0.5 ounce package): The Coconut oil is cold pressed and unrefined.  Love that it’s Fair Trade certified and Organic.  I have become a fan of the coconut and it’s oil, to the point I cook with it and even purchase a butter and coconut oil spread that makes great grilled cheese sandwiches, even to just being used on bread.  The Kelapo package states to warm in hands, tear and squeeze.  Like many cooking oils, not all are equal and I put Kelapo in the higher grade when it comes to standards, texture and flavor.  This is why I love these subscription boxes…..I became a fan of a new brand and give this oil a 5

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  • Shelton’s Smoked Snack Stick (One 1.0 ounce package): The sausage stick came in jalapeno flavor and is turkey based.  Shelton’s products use turkey that is antibiotic free and the ingredient list was rather short.  You have the turkey, jalapeno peppers, water, salt, encapsulated lactic acid, celery juice, red pepper, black pepper, granulated garlic, coriander and the blend is stuffed in a beef collagen casing  Pretty simple and as natural as you can get when it comes to the sausage world.  The product has a nice texture and spice content.  You pick up the flavor of the peppers and I loved that it was not greasy or fatty like other sausages of this kind.  I give this product a 4

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  • Neo Water (One 16.9 ounce bottle): Neo is a “Superwater” and it’s super-ness comes with the triple the benefits that come with this drink.  You get water and added minerals for flavor, but also alkaline, has electrolytes and antioxidants.  The water has a crisp and refreshing flavor and it’s definitely noticed when drinking.  It tastes cleaner and I like the added benefits.  I give this bottle a 5

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  • Spatone Pur Absorb Iron (3 0.67 fluid ounce packages): Okay, I never thought of drinking iron and I’m the type that usually tries to get mine from vegetables and meat.  You get 5 mg of iron per package and the contents are listed as iron-rich natural spring water.  Now, I’m more curious and my first thought was, “please don’t taste like iron”.  I taste it as-is and I will say the package suggests adding it to a fruit based juice or just more water.  It does not smell strong but my nose must be stuffy because the taste was very unpleasant.  Strong notes of metal and almost a fishy finish.  I drank plain water trying to wash the unpleasant taste and I would think I was free from it for it to just creep back.  The very unfavorable notes were stuck in the back of my teeth and in my throat, it took several sips to just diliute it enough so it would not give me a “sicky-feeling”.  Again, why would someone want to drink their iron like this is something I thought before tasting and was reinforced after tasting.  I give this product a 1 but wishing my scale had a 0

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  • Licious Organics Honey Cookies (One 1 ounce cookie): Let’s move on from the iron disaster and onto cookies…much nicer.  I received the cranberry almond variety and this is an unbaked cookie.  You have finely crushed oats, coconut, almonds and raw honey, plus cranberries and sunflower seeds.  You also have sunflower oil, Utah pink salt, cinnamon, vanilla and lemon juice. The cookie is also wheat free and 130 calories per small cookie.  I can say it tastes unbaked and even though dates are not mentioned, the pulverized texture makes you think of them of date bars.  This cookie saved me from the iron so I am grateful!  The texture and puck shaped cookie makes it……well un-cookie like.  This is more like a nutrition bar shaped like a disc but when I looked at the protein and nutrition facts, I can see why it’s called a cookie.  Not bad if you have it right there but would not crave it or seek it out.  I give the faux cookie a 2

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  • Beanfield’s Bean & Rice Chips (One 1.5 ounce bag): I was fortunate to review the entire selection offered by the Beanfield’s company and today I still purchase and eat their chips.  I received the pico de gallo flavor and please read my detailed review here-http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-n2 .  You will enjoy these very flavorful chips and I give this tasty chip a 5

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  • Eco-Dent Oral Care (3 packets): This is a company that makes natural based products for oral care.  I received 1 packed of dental gum, 1 packet of the daily rinse and 1 packet of tooth powder that substitutes as toothpaste.  Eco-Dent has a full line of dental hygiene products to fulfill your dental needs.  The products tasted actually rather nice and they all had a mint-based flavor.  The company included a 10% off coupon, plus a nice informative pamphlet about what makes their products premium and natural.  They even stand behind their products with a money-back guarantee!  I’m addicted to keeping my teeth white and while I did like these items, they just did not fit my individual needs.  Yes, Baking Soda whitens but in my experience not as quick and fast as the products I currently use.  These products perform as advertised and I give these products a 4

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  • CalNaturalle Svelte Organic Protein Shake (One 11 Fluid Ounce container): I skip on drinking protein shakes or smoothies and I must be honest on why, I’m lazy about washing my non-dishwasher safe shaker bottle.  Yes, it comes down to that but it’s the honest truth.  I then think of buying one that is dishwasher safe but no point if you need it the following day so I made a simple purchase complicate.  Only me!  In comes Svelte making sure to clear away my laziness by having their shake come in their own bottle.  I just shake, open and drink.  My flavor came in French vanilla and is sweetened with stevia.  All organic products and the protein shake is soymilk based, giving you 11 grams of protein.  It tasted pretty good for being a vanilla flavor and I drank half and then put it in the freezer for it to freeze just enough to make it taste like a shake….20 minutes top.  Then I loved it so I give this product a 4

 

  • So, let’s rate my UrthBox and I give the service, size of box and items included a fairly deserved 4.5 and 5 if you find a discount code…..wait, I found one. Use code 5XU83J and you get a $10 Gift Card towards your first order. Code expires on 5/30/2014.

Please Visit UrthBox and broaden your food and snacking needs:

 

I received the above product free of charge from UrthBox.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips in Nacho, Pico de Gallo, Sea Salt, Unsalted, and Salt N’ Pepper

Let me preface this by saying that mine is not a “Chip” household. We don’t buy a lot of potato chips, corn chips, tortilla chips, or cheese puffs. It’s just not our preference. So to fall so much in love with Beanfields Bean & Rice Chip’s floored my husband and I both. The taste, the texture, the quality…I could go on for days. So instead I’ll just highlight the best of the brand, and hope I do justice to this wonderful food.

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I got my introduction to this brand through the “Love with Food” box I got in February. Included was a little sample bag of Beanfields Bean & Rice “Pico de Gallo” flavored chips. I kind of passed them over at first, because, hey, chips are chips, right? Big mistake. Hubby and I dove in like 2 staving people after the first taste. The flavor dust had barely been wiped from our lips when I decided I should contact Beanfields and see what else they had to offer and where I could get more! A wonderful person from Beanfields replied and said they’d be sending me a variety to sample and review for my blog! Zounds and gadzooks!! What an awesome company! When the package arrived it was like Christmas in March, and oh, the presents we did get!

A few asides about Beanfields before we dive in. This is a family-owned, farmed and made in the USA company. All natural, Non-GMO Project Verified, vegan, low-sodium, gluten free, corn free, dairy free, soy free, no fillers, no binders, no artificial colors or flavors, no trans fats, no cholesterol, high fiber, high protein snack. Wow. All that’s left for Beanfields is cold fusion.   Take the time to check them out because your taste buds will thank you!

Facebook – www.facebook.com/beanfields
Website- www.beanfieldssnacks.com
Twitter-  www.twitter.com/beanfieldssnack

So, without further ado, let me introduce what will hopefully become a pantry staple for every person who reads this blog: the multiple-award winning Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips, in 5 mouthwatering varieties!!

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Up first, and our favorite, Salt N’ Pepper.

Oh. My. Gosh. Out of the park, on the first swing. Great flavor, great texture. We had to stop ourselves from polishing off the entire 6 ounce bag. Strong enough to dip, tasty enough to not. The first thing that hits you when you finish is, it’s not greasy or oily in any way. Not on your fingers, not in your mouth, nowhere.  And then it hits you: these chips are made from beans! Not corn, like just about everything else in the market. The ingredients are simple, too: Beans, rice, oil, and flavorings. And lo and behold, I can pronounce everything. How’s that for awesome?

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Close up of Salt N’ Pepper Chips

Next up, Pico de Gallo.

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Another winner, and a close second. Another great flavor with an ingredient list that doesn’t read like a science experiment. Simple ingredients like onion powder, green bell pepper powder, celery powder, garlic powder, tomato powder…Hey, I’ve got all this stuff in my fridge and pantry! I don’t need a PhD in chemistry to understand what it is I’m putting in my mouth! And the best part is, you can taste that someone put a lot of thought into this chip. Not just about how to get you to buy and eat more of them, but on how to make it taste good. I appreciate that, and I think you will too.

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K.I.S.S. comes to mind. No, not “I Wanna Rock-n-Roll All Night”, you goofy husband. Keep ISuper Simple. It should be the mantra if every person who makes food for yourself, your family, or your job. But very few people do it, and fewer still do it well. Beanfield’s get’s it 100% right. And they’re three for three. You can taste the richness of the beans, the long grain rice. And the salt. Oh, did I mention that aside from a little oil, that’s all that’s in these chips!! Holy cow, it seems so simple, but it’s an amazing snack experience, from the first bite to the last. I can’t wait for the next flavor.DSCN1631

Close up of Sea Salt Chips

Luckily, I don’t have to, so it’s on to Unsalted!

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Do these people do anything halfway? Even with the lack of flavorings, the ingredients shine through. The perfect dip chip that goes with anything. You got salsa? Good to go. You’ve got queso? Go for it. Spinach artichoke? Bring it. This chip handles them all.  Want it on it’s own for a guilt free snack? This chip has your back. I can see how Beanfields won so many awards. Nothing but beans, rice, and a little oil, and it still taste like a million bucks.  I had a nice green Tomatillo salsa with these and it was delicious.

Now, let’s see if Beanfields goes 5 for 5 with Nacho flavor.

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Beanfields included some materials for us in the package of yum. One of them mentioned that this flavor a Best of Show award, and labeled this the Vegan answer to Doritos. It’s arguably the market leader in this category. And let me tell you, that this comparison sells Beanfields short. Because this chip leaves Doritos in the dust. Orange colored, salty fatty dust. You’ll never look at a Dorito the same way again, realizing Beanfields chumps them. Hard. While this was our least favorite of the five, it’s head and shoulders over the usual suspects you’ll find in the market. And let’s not forget it’s still a simple ingredient list populated entirely with things you know, understand and can pronounce. Beanfields is a winner, five out of five. I can’t remember a company that I loved everything they make.

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You owe it to yourself to seek Beanfields out and try them for yourself.  You’re doing yourself a disservice not doing it. You’ll wonder how you went this long without them!

I received the above products free of charge from the manufacture.  I am not obligated in providing a favorable/positive review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the products, which may differ from yours.

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