Uncle Ben's Bistro Express Review
Uncle Ben's Rice
With busy schedules these days, we are looking for quick-meal ideas, and the "Bistro Express' is an excellent idea to supplemnt your meal: cooking up in less than two minutes! First of all, Uncle Ben is well-known for making rice up quick. "Minute Rice" has long been a staple in my house, enabling me to make up rice in about five minutes, and fifteen minutes for brown: a big time savings compared to doing from scratch.I'm not a big user of processed food, but I allow myself the precooked rice, partly because I find rice one of those dishes that is easy to mess up. Well, Express Bistro is two steps up ahead of Minute Rice: providing a rice dish, with flavour, on your table, in less than two minutes.
Unique Heating Pouch
I was thrilled, therefore, to find that I can have a rice side dish in front of me or a family member in less than two minutes! When I first saw the product at Walmart, I thought I would try it, because I was always on the lookout for something quick for those nights I'm not able to cook. After trying it that night, I concluded that it was a hit. My husband, not normally a rice fan, gave it a big thumbs up.
The unique thing about the Bistro Express product line is that all you are doing is heating up a meal that has been fully steam cooked. Remarkably, there is no water added, like in packaged soups, and you don't have to need a bowl to heat it up. You leave it right in the pouch, and give it only 90 seconds to heat up to a delicious side dish. After it heats, it is a good idea to switch the rice to a bowl, because the pouch is a little awkward for eating out of. However, if your circumstances dictated that you did not have a bowl, you could get away without one. and eat directly from the container.
There are twelve varieties of Uncle Ben's Bistro Express, and they are definitely not all of the plain white rice variety. Included in the mix are basmati rice, four different variations of wild rice, some whole grain rice, and Oriental rice. We have tried the Long Grain and Wild varieties, and they were so amazing ... the best packaged food I have ever had. The flavour was wild, with a real graininess and texture, just like the "real thing." In fact, for one meal, I put three of these packages together, along with some fresh chicken, and it all blended together. In no way would you have guessed it was packaged!
Another serving idea for these rice packages is to purchase the Oriental flavour, and use it with some pre-packaged Oriental entrees from the grocery store. You can have Chinese food, at home, for a fraction of what you would pay at a restaurant. Throw in some chopsticks and you have yourself a special evening!
Uncle Ben's is marketing these pouches as healthy food, and it is. The first two ingredients in the Long Grain variety are long grain and wild rice. These types of rices are much healthier than white rice, because they have more complex carbohydrates. As well, there is no MSG in this product, unusual in the world of speedy food, and no preservatives of any kind.
This product has a seal of approval from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, which means it is appropriate for anyone experiencing heart problems, or who has had a heart attack. It is also good for anyone that wants to eat healthy, and prevent problems in the future. Nutrition Facts vary, depending on the flavour, but for the "Long Grain and Wild -- Roasted Chicken Flavour," the total calories for the package are 280 calories, or 140 calories per serving. (With two servings / package.)
The bane of most packaged food is usually the sodium, or salt content, but these actually aren't too bad in that department, depending on the flavour. An excellent choice for salt content is again the roasted chicken type, with only 310 mg of salt per serving. The Oriental kind, though, is a bit high in the salt category, with 740 mg. of sodium per serving.
All in all, I would definitely recommend Uncle Ben's Express Rice. I love them, and so does my family. Great for a quick snack, or as part of them main meal. I have noticed that there seem to be less of them in the stores lately, and really hope that this product continues on the shelves for a long time to come!