Jun 22, 2013

Guest Review: Saffron Road Foods Simmer Sauces

Saffron Road Foods makes various world cuisine foods, from frozen entrees to crunchy chickpea snacks to a variety of simmer sauces.

The simmer sauces are great for beginning cooks or for those looking to branch out with some new foods that don't require a series of failed attempts to master. The sauces are halal, gluten-free, made of natural ingredients, and completely spiced - you just add the veggies and protein and wala - instant healthy meal!

The convenience and taste of the sauces made them such a hit that Saffron Road Foods decided to expand their offerings.

Since a lot of the sauces are intended for meat and veggie dishes (though there's always the option of subbing tofu for the meat) my (omni) family stepped in to review them.

Here's what they thought of the new sauces!

Thai Red Curry

They all agreed that this simmer sauce is really spicy! Even my dad, who eat everything with a generous shake of hot cayenne pepper, didn't add his usual extra pepper. 

My dad's plate (he forwent the whole grain pasta in favor of Sadza, a traditional Zimbabwean cornmeal dish
Surprisingly, my little sister had no problem eating it - even though she's only eight and turns down spicy foods all the time! Something about the combination of spices must have tempered the hotness a little. 

Here it's prepared with salmon, green peppers, and mushrooms. My mom thought it would be great with chicken in place of the salmon, or even just with veggies.

They all enjoyed the exotic flavors (like healthier, cheaper Thai takeout!) and agreed that it had plenty of enough flavor to go great with a simple grain, like the whole wheat pasta they enjoyed it with.

Korean Stir Fry 

My mom was thrilled to bust out the wok for this one. That's seriously a massive wok, it barely fits in the cupboard! Anyway, it's perfect for flipping the food in a stir fry. 

She made the dish with Sirloin beef strips, carrots, zucchini and mushrooms. It was super quick and easy to make, but tasted really great (according to all of them) and authentically Korean. It reminded my mom of the food her Korean friends in Illinois used to serve!

 The sauce was the perfect thickness/consistency and the perfect amount for the suggested amount of veggies and meat (to serve a family). It wasn't very spicy, unlike the Red Thai Curry, and thus ideal for serving to a less adventurous audience or those with more sensitive palate. 

They all said they would love to eat this meal again!

 Moroccan Harissa Sauce

Though they enjoyed this sauce as well, this was the least favorite. 

The flavorings were good and it was far from bland, but the flavor combinations just weren't to their taste. Like other Moroccan dishes, it had the savory-sweet-spicy thing going on.

With white rice and lima beans
Overall, they're a big fan of the new simmer sauces - especially my mom. She loved how they made meals so easy to prepare, without sacrificing authenticity of flavor! All of the dishes took under thirty minutes to make, which is great for a meat dish, and barely any effort beyond chopping the veggies and meat up. But they all agreed that it was like eating a meal in an exotic restaurant or having ethnic takeout!

Minimal effort, maximal flavor returns, and healthy ingredients? Yes, please! 

My mom's only (small) complaint was the packaging of the sauces. Squeezing the sauce out was a little messy (you'll definitely want to rinse your hands after); she always got it all over her fingers. A spout with a little round lid (like those on milk/juice cartons) in one corner would be better. One could push the sauce towards that corner and then out. Voila, clean hands.

What is your favorite ethnic cuisine?

How often do you eat takeout?

What do your dinners usually look like?

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