Time-Saving Tuesdays – Uncle Ben’s Chilli Con Carne and Rice and Dolmio Pasta Carbonara

It’s that time of the week again it’s Time-Saving Tuesdays, oh wait it’s not, well it’s Tuesday somewhere I’m sure, I’m late again, this feature should be called…. Time-Saving any day of the week 😆

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Uncle Ben's Chilli Con Carne and Rice and Dolmio Pasta Carbonara

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Uncle Ben’s Chilli Con Carne and Rice and Dolmio Pasta Carbonara

I was really looking forward to this one this week, I was thinking these were something different and they’d be ideal for Gemma and I in the office. As you can see we have Uncle Ben’s Chilli Con Carne and Rice and Dolmio’s Pasta Carbonara, I’m going to look at the moth individually.

Uncle Ben’s Chilli Con Carne and Rice

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Uncle Ben's Chilli Con Carne and Rice packet

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Uncle Ben’s Chilli Con Carne and Rice packet

There were two pots, one which contained the Chilli Con Carne mixture and the other which contained the rice. The rice wasn’t clumped together and the Con Carne mixture looked ok.

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Uncle Ben's Chilli Con Carne and Rice Cooking Instructions and Nutritional Information

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Uncle Ben’s Chilli Con Carne and Rice Cooking Instructions and Nutritional Information

The cooking instructions were clear, and so was the nutritional information. As with most ready meals these days the cooking instructions were for microwaves which are 800W my microwave in the office is 700W so we added a minute on to it. This took about 2 ½ minutes to cook with our microwave, that’s really quick, time wise it’s ideal for a busy working day or for someone running around after children.

The pot contained 330Kcal, 5.7g Sugar and 1.2g Salt. I’m not sure if that’s good or not but personally I thought the calorie count was a bit high for what it was. The package describes it as:

Chilli con carne sauce with Beef, Beans and Sweetcorn, with our long grain rice in a separate pot.

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Uncle Ben's Chilli Con Carne and Rice, rice and sauce together

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Uncle Ben’s Chilli Con Carne and Rice, rice and sauce together

We cooked the two pots following the instructions and then combined them, the Con Carne mixture looked quite dark, but I suppose you can’t judge a book by its cover. On to the next pot!

Dolmio’s Pasta Carbonara

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Dolmio Pasta Carbonara packet

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Dolmio Pasta Carbonara packet

Describing this is pretty much the same as describing the Chilli Con Carne Snack Pot…. to a point! Before we start this wasn’t looking quite so pleasant but with an open mind we tried it!

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Dolmio Pasta Carbonara Cooking Instructions and Nutritional Information

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Dolmio Pasta Carbonara Cooking Instructions and Nutritional Information

The nutritional information and cooking instructions were as clear as it’s predecessor. Again, there was an additional minute added to the cooking time because of the difference in wattage for the Microwave. The nutritional information 322Kcal, 3.1g Sugar and 1.22g Salt, this was slightly less than the Chilli Con Carne but the pack weighed less.

The package describes the product as:

Creamy carbonara sauce with Fusilli pasta – a delicious meal in two separate pots, giving you a great taste.

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Dolmio Pasta Carbonara putting the ingredients together

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Dolmio Pasta Carbonara putting the ingredients together

You can see from above the sauce was creamy, although the pictures do not depict the gloopiness of the sauce. We mixed the two together and then tasted. I’ve purposely not told you what I thought about each of them, I’ll do that together next. Obviously like the Uncle Ben’s pot, the speed of it certainly goes in its favour.

Overall

I was quite looking forward to these two, the John West Steam Pot I’d tried before were good so I was hoping for the same with these ones. I’d taken them in to the office for Gemma and I to have when working on some Disability related work for Accessible News my voluntary group. We’d worked all morning and needed something to eat to keep us going. These didn’t do that 😥

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Dolmio Pasta Carbonara what we couldn't eat

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Dolmio Pasta Carbonara what we couldn’t eat

The Uncle Ben’s Chilli Con carne was very poor, there wasn’t really a spice taste to it, which you’d expect from a dish with chilli in the title. The rice was ok, the grains were easy to eat, but the sauce was bland with very little, if any, minced meat and minuet kidney beans.

Gemma was really disappointed with this, she couldn’t eat it, I tried it and I agreed. I don’t think I could recommend it to anyone really because other than the speed it doesn’t have a lot going for it. I’ve decided to award this one star, why, because it’s not as bad as it could have been. If you were desperately hungry it would fill the smallest of holes lol.1 star

However, that being said, it had more going for it than it’s Italian brother. The Dolmio Carbonara was awful, I know awful is an emotive word but I really have no flipping clue what to say that’s polite lol. It was bland beyond belief, had no smokiness that I could pick up. It was congealed in texture and the flecks of ham that went through it was barely noticeable, if you had a visual impairment you wouldn’t have seen them, I reckon these were flecks off the knuckle of a pigs trotter because you couldn’t taste them at all. I’m not able to award this a star, some may think I’m being harsh but it’s honestly how I feel. Have you tried them, if you have let me know what you think.

The picture earlier shows exactly how much of these pots we left…. never again!0 starsI’ve almost been writing this feature for a year, starting it in January this year. I’ve written 32 posts, not including this one and this was probably my most disappointing product to review.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy

Time-Saving Tuesday – Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy

I reviewed the Westlers Burgers some time ago and they were pants, but I think this has taken the biscuit.

I learned something interesting while researching this post – Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s are owned by the same company… you may not think it’s interesting but when you’ve tasted the two of these products it makes sense.

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Uncle Ben's Chilli Con Carne and Rice and Dolmio Pasta Carbonara

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Uncle Ben’s Chilli Con Carne and Rice and Dolmio Pasta Carbonara

Do you have any suggestions for me for Time-Saving Tuesdays if you do get in touch either by my social networking pages below or you can email me enquiries@wheeliegoodmeals.co.uk.Wheelie Good Meals Social Networking

Coming back later in the week with another installment in my Strictly Supper range, what will it be… wait and see.

See you soon!

Rich signature

Time-Saving Tuesday – Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy

Time-Saving Tuesday – Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy

Ok in a change to the scheduled #TST post I’ve got to share this one with you. Now I’m guessing your all ready slightly perturbed by the sound of Burgers in Gravy… from a tin! Well hear me out before you judge 😆 !

This is not part of my staple diet, but I thought I had to try it as it was quick and easy and therefore very Time-Saving. Here’s a photograph of it, I can’t remember where I bought it from but it’s been on my shelf for a while so I thought it was time I used it.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy - The Front of The Tin

Time-Saving Tuesday – Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy – The Front of The Tin

My mother opened the tin and asked me if I wanted her to make more gravy, I thought it was best to taste the gravy in the tine first so I did…. mistake number 1 it was awful 👿 , but I soldiered on I asked her to make the gravy and decided to have them with fried potatoes. We were a bit inspirationless this meal time so my mother decided she was going to have the two burgers that were left (without the gravy) fried with a bit of smoked paprika…. mistake number 2 👿 !

My mother will eat nearly anything, she’s eaten eel which I failed to do, but she couldn’t eat these burgers, they beat her, even with the spice! Writing this post I’ve noticed that their quotes on the tin read

“Mealtimes made easy” and “mum’s choice”

I’d say this was a massive exaggeration of the truth… it didn’t make our mealtime easy because we had to cook something else and my “mum” certainly wouldn’t have chosen it 😈 .

Time-Saving Tuesday – Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy - The Cooking Instructions

Time-Saving Tuesday – Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy – The Cooking Instructions

We cooked ours on the hob, I wouldn’t have thought microwaving them was a good idea (even though these are not a good idea in themselves) because it would dry up the gravy.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy - The Description on The Tin

Time-Saving Tuesday – Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy – The Description on The Tin

I honestly don’t know what to make of this product, the other side of the tin said

Westlers Burgers in onion gravy are a delicious tea time treat for all the family. Why not try Westlers Burgers with creamy mash, served with a side of vegatbles as a main meal. Alternativley, for a satisfying quick snack, serve in a burger bun, drizzled generously with onion gravy.

Really, come on! This is a terrible diversion off the motorway called truth… it’s so much of a diversion the traffic police are out looking to direct it back onto the road. Delicious is defined in an online dictionary as being

Highly pleasant to the taste

Hahaha stop my sides are splitting! I can honestly say I’ve never eaten dog food in my life – those rumours were never confirmed. But these burgers are what I imagine dog food to taste like. My friend Rhian (Rant) used to have a Rottweiler called Diesel and this smelled very much like the food he used to eat, but as Diesel was one of the coolest dogs on the planet he was far too good to eat these burgers.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy - Served with Mags Home Made Gravy and Fried Potatoes

Time-Saving Tuesday – Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy – Served with Mags Home Made Gravy and Fried Potatoes

I’m sorry folks I’d love to say something more positive about them but I really can’t. The texture was awful, the taste and smell were unpleasant and I’m starting to feel a bit nauseous writing this review. I didn’t notice until I’d eaten it that there was a disclaimer on the side of the tin saying:

If you are dissatisfied with this product for any reason, please write to us quoting the code on the can end.

Dissatisfied…. I was so dissatisfied I sent a picture to all my friends to tell them about it 😈 . I’m all for quick and easy time-saving ideas but not to sacrifice flavour, and don’t even get me started on nutritional value… I didn’t even look into that.

Since writing this blog post I’ve found another review of them here on a great blog called James Vs Burger. His post is brilliant, sadly he didn’t have the “joy” of eating two of them like I did – although I did have my mother’s gravy to drown them in, as you can see in the picture. I think both James and I deserve some sort of honour from her majesty for services to food blogging…. on the plus side the Bush Tucker Trials in I’m A Celebrity seem fairly mundane!

I’m glad I’ve got that off my chest 😆 See you later on in the week for my Dinner Party round up! Get in touch if you’ve got some ideas!

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

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