Making a Gluten-Lover into a Quinoa Pasta Believer: review and giveaway
|December 3, 2013||Posted by Lauren under Reviews & Giveaways|
[Giveaway closed. Thank you to all who entered!!]
As a carbo-loving, Italian, vegetarian runner, it will surprise no one to hear that pasta is my absolute favorite meal. I try to keep it balanced, but truthfully I’d eat pasta every day if I could, particularly when paired with cheese. (Side note: Is it still appropriate to carbo-load when growing a baby?)
Most of the time I try to make my meals healthier by eating the whole wheat variety. If I’m going to eat pasta, I figure I might as well try to pack it with as many nutrients (and extra protein) as I can. But the truth is –when it comes to taste, nothing quite compares to homemade white pasta and marinara sauce. So when I was first given the opportunity to try Selina Naturally’s Quinoa Pasta, I was more than a little doubtful. First of all, because I love gluten and the idea of a gluten-free pasta was less than appetizing. And secondly, because I’ve tried quinoa pastas in the past and have honestly been disappointed. In my limited experience, quinoa pastas might look like pasta, but they still taste like (you guessed it!) quinoa. A good alternative if you want to add variety to your meal or avoid gluten, but not a true replacement.
So when I say that Selina Naturally blew away all my expectations with their gluten-free pasta, I am not exaggerating. They’ve somehow created a pasta alternative that made this gluten-loving, carbo-holic fall in love. I would choose to eat their quinoa pasta over regular store-bought pasta any day of the week, and here’s why:
It doesn’t taste like quinoa
Don’t get me wrong…I love quinoa and make meals with it on a regular basis. But when I make a pasta dish, I want something that tastes like pasta. Quinoa has a very distinctive flavor that doesn’t always go well with pasta dishes. I think it may be the combination of rice and quinoa in the ingredients that lessens some of that strong flavor you find with other quinoa pastas.
This pasta is the perfect vehicle for any type of sauce — marinara, pesto, alfredo, olive oil + Celtic Sea Salt® — you name it, the pasta will soak it up. Sometimes, especially with the whole wheat variety, the flavor of the pasta can overpower the taste of your sauce. I love how the quinoa pasta is a chameleon – taking on any flavor.
Incredibly so! I tried making soup with it and this was the result:
Objects in pot are more delicious than they appear
Black bean soup turned into a super flavorful black bean pasta dish. Not complaining, though next time I’d use more broth and less pasta if I actually wanted a soup.
It’s packed with protein
6 grams per serving and I easily eat more than one serving at a time. The bag claims to contain 8, but I beg to differ (each 1 pound bag seems to get us 4 – 5 servings…feel free to make judgements about our eating habits based on that statement).
It’s organic and made with non-GMO ingredients
So you can feel good about eating it!
And it has the EC-seal of approval!
Evan will eat quinoa when I make it, but it’s not even close to being on his Top 10 List of Favorite Foods. However, the other night when we were eating a bowl of the Selina Naturally pasta, he turned to me and said, “I never want to go back to normal pasta again!” I was just as surprised to hear this statement as you might be to read it.
In short: Selina Naturally’s Quinoa Pasta is a delicious alternative whether you’re gluten-free or just looking to add variety to your meals.
I would say the only downside to this pasta is that it does take longer to cook. You can boil it for 8 – 10 minutes if you like an al dente taste, but I prefer to cook it closer to 20 minutes (the bag says 16-18 for softer pasta). Cooking longer makes the pasta softer, more absorbent, and much tastier all around….although it also makes the pasta more likely to fall apart. I don’t mind this, but something to be aware of in case that bothers you.
Still having doubts? Well it’s your lucky day. Because it’s the holiday season and (more importantly) BABY MONTH, I’m offering one HOTR reader the chance to try some pasta yourself! Just leave a comment below with your favorite pasta dish (I need some new ideas).
And just for fun, I will give an extra entry to anyone who enters the Unofficial Cheese Baby Birthdate/Weight pool! Leave a separate comment with your prediction about when she will be born and how much she’ll weigh. Background info: My official due date is 12/21, but Cheese Baby seems to be on the larger side (maybe all that pasta has something to do with it). She’s been measuring ahead at each one of our ultrasounds, with the latest prediction putting her two weeks ahead (which means if I carry to term, she’s going to be a BIG girl). However, Evan and I both were 8 pounds 1 oz at birth, and I was born a couple of days late. What all that information means, I have no idea. But there you go.
*You must leave a separate comment for each entry in order for it to count. Winners will be selected one week from today (12/10).
Disclaimer: Selina Naturally provided me with two types of quinoa pasta to review (penne and elbows), but did not pay me for this post. All opinions are my own. I don’t do reviews and/or giveaways very often on the blog, so when I do choose to feature something, it’s because I really love the product. (And seriously – I can’t pay off my husband!).