SUNSET YOU MAKE ME Pasta Kits: A Dietitian’s Review

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Learn about the new SUNSET YOU MAKE ME Pasta Kits and get the scoop from a dietitian and her husband on these prep kits as simple solutions for busy couples.

I was provided free samples from SUNSET of their YOU MAKE ME Pasta Kits at the NY Produce Show. I was not compensated for my time to write this review. All opinions are my own.

Mealtime is a challenge for ANYONE! I love to cook, and some days I am just not in the mood to do it.  I preach meal planning, and I definitely do it most of the time. As a couple, having a meal plan is one of the most important things you should be doing each week. Not only does it provide a solid plan, but it keeps you on the same page of what’s happening at mealtime.

HOWEVER, life isn’t perfect, and neither are we. Schedules change, you didn’t have a chance to make something you had planned, or you didn’t wind up having enough leftover as intended, messing up the next night’s meal of “Leftovers”. That’s where convenient prep kits come into play.

RELATED: NEW-TRITION GOALS FOR THE NEW YEAR #2: MEAL PREPPING & PLANNING

 

 

As convenience options are becoming more popular and in demand, I’ll be doing a lot more reviews on this blog to help you make the right choice. Each review I do will be based on a letter grade scale (A-F), and will evaluate the following:

  • Cost/Cost per Serving
    • Higher grading to meals costing under $5 per serving
  • Clarity of Instructions
    • How easy were instructions to follow and did meal turn out as expected
  • Total Time
    • How much time, start to finish, did it take to prepare
  • Clean-up
    • How much extra work is involved to clean up from making meal
  • Taste
    • Does the meal taste good and approved by both Taco & Mandy
  • Nutrition Quality
    • How does the item stack up again nutritional guidelines and recommendations

Up first: my dietitian review of SUNSET YOU MAKE ME Pasta Kits.

RELATED: BECOMING A MEAL PREP PRO

 

SUNSET YOU MAKE ME PASTA KITS

The awesome folks from Sunset gave me two samples to try of their pasta kits: HOT Spicy Arrabbiata and CHILL Cold Pasta Salad. So far, we tried the Arrabbiata kit. Each pasta kit is designed to make meals for two – or at least 2 servings. The pasta kits contain fresh tomatoes, portioned dried pasta, spices packets, and some even include herb infused oil.

 

COST

Each kit retails for $4.99 and contains two serving. This breaks down to $2.50 per serving.

GRADE = A

 

CLARITY

Good instructions were given. The instructions were printed on the back of the plastic film covering, so make sure not to throw that out when you go to make your kit. Very specific instructions were written, such as “Use back of wooden spoon to crush tomatoes.”  I do wish it indicated to wash & quarter tomatoes and heat oil while waiting for water to boil.  I got the water boiling and then read I had another step to go.

GRADE = A-

 

TIME

The entire meal took under 15 minutes to create, including some prep of the tomatoes

GRADE = A

 

CLEAN-UP

This particular meal requires use of following kitchen tools: pot, pan, strainer, cutting board, knife.  Nothing catastrophic, but for a 15-minute meal it felt like it took almost as long to clean up afterwards. I’m a fan of one pot meals or re-using pots/pans to reduce how much has to be washed.

GRADE = C

 

TASTE

The meal tasted great! The kit included a chili infused oil, which added a kick. The instructions indicated you could add additional red pepper flakes if needed, but it honestly didn’t need it. Taco LOVES spice and even he didn’t feel a need to enhance the heat factor. If you like spicy, this is a great dish with the ingredients provided.

GRADE = A

 

NUTRITIONAL QUALITY

As a dietitian, this is where the kits fell short for me. A serving size is 1/2 of the prepared package.  Here’s how they stack up nutritionally:

  • Pasta to veggie ratio was a bit low.  Most of the tomatoes provided in the meal because a sauce once cooked, so the dish was primary pasta
  • These meals are incredibly high in sodium at 1320 per serving – this is over HALF of your daily recommended amount. Which brings into questions what exactly is in the seasoning packet.
  • For a pasta dish, it’s high in carbs at 87g per serving (most meals I recommend aiming for 60g carbs)
  • The nutrition label indicated a serving contains 6g fiber, which is a high source of fiber.  However, I would like to see where this number came from given the only major ingredients were the semolina pasta (traditionally around 2g fiber per serving) and cherry tomatoes (around 2g fiber per cup), and many cooked down.
  • I also question the validity of a serving containing 16g PRO, given the only protein source is the semolina pasta.
  • The meals are high in iron & potassium

Minor changes you can make to increase the nutritional quality of the meals:

  • Add a protein source on top. You can easily season & broil some chicken/shrimp or purchase pre-cooked options if pressed for time.
  • Have side salad to increase the veggies of this meal

GRADE = C

 

SUNSET YOU MAKE ME PASTA KITS:

OVERALL GRADE = B+

 

FINAL THOUGHTS ON SUNSET YOU MAKE ME PASTA KITS

Taco and I really enjoyed the meals, and the kit came in handy on a night when my original dinner plan didn’t pan out as intended. With the addition of a protein and side salad or some additional sautéed veggies added on top, these kits provide the basis for a well-rounded meal. I think they’re worth a try, and for less than $5 to make a meal for 2 people, what do you have to lose?

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HAVE YOU SEEN SUNSET YOU MAKE ME PASTA KITS YET?

BETTER YET, HAVE YOU TRIED THE KITS?

LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

AND IF YOU GET A CHANCE TO TRY THE KITS, TAG ME (@nutrition_nuptials) ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND USING #NUTRITIONNUPTIALS!

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