Zatarain’s New Orleans Style Black Beans and Rice Product Review
I have long been a fan of Zatarain’s, even though I don’t eat packaged foods that often. I tried their Black Beans and Rice for dinner one night. The dish called for water and oil or margarine to prepare it, but I left the extra fat out; I figured it wouldn’t make that much difference and I didn’t need the extra calories. The directions were easy enough to follow. Since the beans are pre-cooked and dehydrated, all you’re really doing is cooking the rice and re-plumping the beans by boiling and simmering. The only thing that annoys me about these products is that at the very end of their instructions they caution you the end product will be saucy, and if you want it to be less so, you need to use less water to begin with. Now, I don’t mind the saucy result, but for people who do, I would think it would make more sense to include this little caveat in the beginning, so that no one goes through the instructions only to find out they’ve added too much water and it’s too late to change anything. It’s good practice, of course, to read all of the directions before beginning, but I don’t think everyone does this.
Anyway, now I had my saucy beans and rice and I tasted them. Delicious! Spicy, for sure, spicier than what some people are used to, I’ll bet, but that goes with the territory of New Orleans-style foods. The beans and rice provide a nice grounding, protein-rich, stick-to-your-ribs fullness, and the spices, onions, and garlic provide abundant flavor. It’s a great vegetarian meal, especially for wintertime. The great thing about this product is it always makes at least two meals for me, because I simply can’t eat it all in one sitting. Since this product doesn’t contain lard or salt pork like traditional homemade black beans and rice, I would imagine it probably is lower in calories as well. In my opinion, this product tastes as much like the homemade version as possible while still being a packaged convenience food.
Zatarain’s New Orleans Style Black Beans and Rice gets a five out of five rating from me. It is so very good I will definitely buy it again. I am easily able to throw it in my amazing rice cooker and cook it quick and easy!