Fiber Gourmet, revisited

Friday, August 22, 2008

Last week I received my order from Fiber Gourmet, the high fiber, low calorie pasta that I talked about here.

Because the company has a flat-rate shipping cost of $5.99, I decided to get the most bang for my shipping buck and chose the Build-Your-Own-Box option, which gives you your choice of any 8 products for $35.99. In retrospect, this probably wasn’t the brightest idea since I had no idea whether or not I would even like it but, what can I say…this is how I roll.

I ordered six packages of the Nested Fettucine so I could try all the flavors and two boxes of the Macaroni and Cheese because I was most curious about that.

All of the pasta, with the exception of the macaroni and cheese, is packaged in strangely large, resealable 10-ounce bags. I had a brief moment of panic where I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to fit them all in my cupboards, but I am happy to report that I did finally manage to jam them all in. I knew you’d be worried.

First I tried the whole wheat fettucine. I guess I expected the package to contain little serving-sized “nests” of fettucine. Perhaps I expected this because I read it on the Fiber Gourmet website. But, alas, this was not the case. There were indeed some clumps, but they were not neatly nested. I was disappointed, but forged ahead anyway. I cooked up the pasta and then dumped some fresh vegetables I had stir-fried in olive oil and garlic on top.

I didn’t have a problem with the taste at all, but the texture was just a little doughy. I was fine with that because I’m not a fussy eater, but it might bother some people. However, to be fair, I should add that there is a pretty strong possibility I may have overcooked it. I don’t normally find it necessary to read the directions for pasta, so I just let it boil all willy-nilly while I was doing other things. Next time I will follow the directions and get it off the stove within the recommended 8-10 minutes and see how it goes.

Last night I made the macaroni and cheese. Each box contains about 3 servings at 170 calories and 18 grams of fiber each.

I wanted to get this one past Mr. Jelly Belly, so I sent him to the store for milk and, while he was gone, I got it on the stove and buried the empty package deep in the trash. It's not normally my style to employ such trickery, but he has very strange pre-conceived notions and I was sure he wouldn’t try it if he knew what it was. I really wanted to get his uninformed reaction.

It is prepared just like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese – add ¼ cup of milk and an optional 2-3 tablespoons of butter. I didn’t think it looked very cheesy – and it wasn’t orange like the Kraft variety (no artificial colors), so I stirred in a handful of shredded cheddar (to avoid getting questioned right off the bat) and it looked good. I snuck a taste and thought it was a little bland (but I think that about all boxed macaroni and cheese) so I added salt and pepper to mine – and it was good!

We had it as a side dish with some grilled Italian sausage and I tried not to be obvious as I snuck glances at Mr. Jelly Belly while he was eating. And he scarfed down all the macaroni FIRST! I kept waiting for that quizzical look he gets when something tastes “off” to him. And it never came. He liked it! It passed the toughest test of all! If that’s not a screaming endorsement, I don’t know what is.

I ‘fessed up after dinner and let him know that I had just given him his full daily requirement of fiber for the day, along with a brief synopsis of why fiber is good for him. I wanted him to be prepared, you know, just in case. He just gave me “the look”, which I get often, and then he rolled his eyes – but only slightly.

About an hour later he tracked me down to inform me that “MY” fiber was working. I told him that, first of all, it wasn’t “MY” fiber, and secondly, if he was suffering any gastro-intenstinal distress this quickly, it was more likely caused by the Italian sausage. I am sure I will continue to hear about this every time he so much as passes gas for the next week.

So, all in all, I would give this product a “thumbs up”. Hopefully it will start showing up in stores soon so I can buy it one package at a time - like a normal person.