I got sent some low carb rice pouches to try....and you best believe I ate them in style AND enjoyed every minute!
If you know me, you know I'm not one to shy away from any type of food category in my diet. I eat meat (sorry), I eat carbs (not even going to apologise for this one) and I eat cake from time to time...i know i know, SHOCKER. The truth is, I've always been a firm believer that type one diabetes shouldn't stop me from following an "everything in moderation" kind of diet, just like anyone else without diabetes can.
Saying that, if 16 years of type one has taught me anything, it's that carb's CAN be a pain in the ass, and sometimes a lower carb option is just the "easiest" option to make sure I get the most out of my meal but also the rest of the day.
FULLGREEN RICE POUCHES
Enter Fullgreen. I wonder how many times I glanced past their pouches at the supermarket as I grab a pouch of that brand (alot higher in carbs) that rhymes with.... Uncle E'ns.
I was kindly sent some rice pouches to try, and as a dubious low-carb lover (how can it be tasty if it's not loaded with beige?) I was a little skeptical. I immediately noticed just how little the carb count actually was! They have up to 87 % fewer carbs than standard white rice....which reduces my bolus massively for the meal! As someone with hypo anxiety triggered by large doses of insulin, this is music to my ears.
Anyhoo, I tried a pouch of each flavour, and I cooked them in different ways to really get creative with the rice. Sometimes I added extra carbs (what ya gona do?!), sometimes I kept it basic, but its safe to say that ALL times, my meal carb count was a lot lower than my usual amount AND I was staying just as full! More food, less insulin, tasty rice...I'd say its a win! Read on if you'd like to see how I cooked each flavour, AND which one became my fave!
A Falafel Riced Salad Bowl
It was a hot, sunny day and I was on my lunch break...so I needed something quick but tasty and refreshing. I decided to go for a falafel salad bowl and it was delicious!
I love to use up the open veg or tubs that I might have in the fridge, so for this salad I started off with a base of the FullGreen Cauliflower pouch (1 pouch made two of these).
I grabbed the following from the fridge:
An open tub of humous
Store bought falafel
Using the rice as the main base to my salad, I topped the plate with avocado slices, carrot swirls, chopped tomatoes and diced cucumber.
I absolutely love the contrast of a hot falafel in a cold salad so I always pop my falafels in the oven to give them a crispy touch. These store bought falafels contained 2-3g of carbs per falafel so I made sure to add that to my carb count.
I put a table spoon of humous over the veg, and sat the hot falafels on top. Pretty right?! To finish, I drizzled the dish with some balsamic vinegar.
In total, the whole pouch of Cauliflower Riced equals to 8g carbs, which means by using half the pouch, this whole plate weighed in at 4g carbs ( plus 10g for my falafels and avocado estimate).
TASTE REVIEW: I was pleasantly surprised! The taste of cauliflower IS quite strong, but I actually really enjoyed the taste. If you’re not a fan of cauliflower, try mixing in more flavours to the meal to lessen the aftertaste.
CAULIFLOWER & BROCCOLI
I LOVE broccoli! It's a weird veg to have up there as one your faves I know, but I just love these little tree-like greens. I had some leftover broccoli in the fridge, so what best way to put it to use than with the Cauliflower & broccoli pouch!
I think these pouches are a perfect size, and I especially love to use them for lunchtime meals. They are quick to cook and keeps me going all afternoon. I rummaged through my fridge to find all the veg that needed using.
I grabbed the following from the fridge:
An open jar of sun dried tomatoes
Half an onion
Egg for topping
I started by dicing all the veg into smaller chunks. I cut the green beans into thirds, and the sun-dried tomatoes into tiny pieces (I don’t like them when they are big).
In a stir-fry pan, I browned the diced onion first with a little oil, and then threw in the veg. I opened the pouch of rice and tipped this into the pan as well. I sprinkled with salt, pepper and stir-fried everything together. I added a drizzle of soya sauce and a sprinkle of chilli, but the plate can be garnished however you please! To finish it off, I added a runny fried egg to the top, because I just love the taste of a runny egg over rice!
In total, the whole pouch of Cauliflower & Broccoli Riced equals to 8g carbs, which means by using half the pouch, this whole plate weighed in at 4g carbs. That’s it! Just 4 carbs for THIS WHOLE PLATE! You just know that I had seconds, AND still came under my usual lunchtime carb count. I was in awe!
TASTE REVIEW: I preferred this flavour over the Cauliflower one. I’m a fan of broccoli so that’s swaying my decision slightly, but the cauliflower taste isn’t as strong in this one. The broccoli off-sets the cauliflower and they balance perfectly for a rice that you can eat plain, OR with toppings!
CAULIFLOWER & TOMATO, GARLIC & HERBS
Chicken & Bacon Burrito
I think by now you've noticed even though I'm LOVING the low carb pouches, I love them because I can load up my plate with double the amount, or add extra beige and still come out at half the amount of carbs I'm usually eating. The Cauliflower & Tomato, Garlic & Herbs flavour is just so versatile but after lot's of umming and errring I chose to try it inside a chicken burrito!
I never follow a recipe step by step, I’m always adding and changing so I have a meal that is tailored to me and what I like. The good thing with these dishes are that you can do the same! You can mix and match ingredients, or swap the pouches over to different meals! For this burrito I grabbed the following from the fridge:
Leftover Chicken Breast
A handful of bistro salad
I started by grilling the chicken with some herbs and spices. I chose salt, pepper, paprika and some oregano. In the same pan, I then fried the bacon until nice and crispy!
On a plate, I placed my fajita wrap flat. As I started to arrange the veg and meat onto my wrap, I heated up the FullGreen pouch for 2 minutes in the microwave.
I layered my burrito starting with some salad, then some chicken and bacon, some sliced tomato and avocado and half a pack of the rice pouch. To top it off before wrapping I added a spoon of salsa sauce. I wrapped it up tightly and brushed some water over the final folds - I then placed it onto a clean frying pan ( no oil ) to crisp the edges of the burrito and searing the folds closed!
In total, the whole pouch of Cauliflower & Tomato, Garlic & Herbs equals to 12g carbs, which means by using half the pouch, this whole plate weighed in at 6g carbs (plus 25g for the single fajita wrap). If you chose to have a naked burrito with half the rice pouch, then you could get away with only 6g of a carb count!
TASTE REVIEW: I loved this flavour. I’m always a fan of adding tomato to my dishes and the herbs really made the rice so tasty to eat…even on its own! Although this flavour pouch has a tiny few more carbs…it still comes way under my usual meal count!
Sweet potato & veg stuffed peppers
The fourth and final flavour pouch! I was expecting great things with this one...everybody loves a sweet potato no matter how its cooked. I love them fried, roasted, microwaved ...you name it and i'd probably love it, so I was excited to try this one.
I grabbed the following from the fridge:
As you can tell by now, I always seem to have mushrooms in the fridge ha! I love them so I start this dish by dicing mushrooms and courgettes ready for the filling. I carefully prepped the peppers by cutting them vertically in half and taking out the middles. In a stir-fry pan, I poured the sweet potato rice pouch in, drizzled with some olive oil, and added the veg to the pan. I added some salt, pepper and oregano whilst stir-frying for an extra touch of seasoning.
I pre-heated the oven (I usually stick to about 180-200 degrees - I’m not a pro as you can tell I do a lot of things by eye or guesstimation) and placed the pepper halves on an oven tray, filling them with a spoon from the stir-fry pan. I then topped the peppers with some soya cheese, which from experience I can tell you does not melt but rather just get’s crispy - still good though! And voila! Pop in the oven until the peppers look toasted and roasted but still firm enough to touch.
In total, the whole pouch of Sweet Potato rice equals to 19g carbs, which means by using half the pouch for two peppers, this would weigh in at 9.5g carbs for two!
TASTE REVIEW: I LOVE SWEET POTATO SO I LOVE THIS FLAVOUR! It honestly does not taste any different to how I've usually eaten sweet potato. I love that it’s still coming up as super low carb compared to my usual meals!
Overall, I was super surprised at how good these pouches were! I love that the lower carb count seemed to keep my blood sugars stable throughout the hours after eating, and with less insulin on board for the meal too! My favourite flavours were the Sweet Potato, and the Cauliflower & Tomato, Garlic & Herbs but they were all super tasty none the less! Have you tried some?! Let me know what you think!