Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Andean Dream Quinoa/Rice Pasta Review


You may know by now that I'm into pasta. I've done several reviews now, including Ener-G White Rice Spaghetti, Tinkyada White Rice Spaghetti, Tinkyada Brown Rice Fetucini, and a round-up of the Best and Worst of Gluten-free Pasta, in which I declare my favorite gluten-free pasta to be Ancient Harvest Quinoa and Corn pasta. This is still my favorite. However, I was glad to find a new quinoa pasta to try because I was pretty sure I'd like it.

I did. This is a very good pasta option, and perhaps the only quinoa pasta available for people who can't tolerate corn.

The look, feel, and flavor of the Andean Dream quinoa pasta are all very neutral - even more natural than the Ancient Harvest, which tends to look a little yellow. The Andean Dream is almost semolina colored, but it may have a touch of gray to the color which I don't find overly noticeable. The flavor is surprisingly neutral without being bland.

The texture is the stand-out feature of this quinoa pasta. It is extremely flexible and firm, even a bit chewy. It has some bite to it. It wasn't at all sticky or excessively starchy, and the sauce of my Pasta Carbonara coated it easily. (The pasta looks a little yellower in this dish because of the egg in the sauce.)

As a bonus, I found the cooking instructions to be fairly accurate. It cooks for about 13 minutes.

This pasta is a little expensive, even by gluten-free pasta standards. Then again, it's imported from Bolivia. I found it at Whole Foods. You can order it online at www.adreamshopping.com I think it's worth a try, especially if you can't eat corn and have never tried a quinoa pasta. Let me know what you think, or if you've tried it!




This is a post for What's for Dinner? Wednesday. See Linda at the Gluten-free Homemaker for more gluten-free ideas.

20 comments:

glutenfree4goofs said...

OOh, I wonder if I could find those! That would take care of my quinoa phobia since it's only about the texture and then I could benefit from such a healthy grain!
Now I'm on a mission.
Jessie

Linda said...

I don't think I've seen that brand, but I'll keep my eye out for it. It looks great.

Gina said...

Jessie and Linda-

I had forgotten to link to the Andean Dreams site! I corrected this in the post, but here is the link for ordering online: http://www.adreamshopping.com/

Amy Green said...

I was 'pasta-phobic' for years, mainly because most of my life I was really overweight. Only two months ago did I get up the gumption to try pasta - it was Ancient Harvest. My hubby was in heaven and I loved it. I am going to dig through your site to find ways to prepare it because I noticed that it dried out if I didn't put sauce on it right away. Anyway, I'm over my phobia and am going to try this. Thanks for sharing this - you've saved me lots of time in the kitchen.
Amy/Simply Sugar & Gluten Free

Gina said...

Amy -

Gluten-free pasta doesn't save well, so I always cook a fresh batch and use it right away. I haven't tried it yet, but this Andean Dream Spaghetti might be a good candidate to save as left-overs (re-chauffee in my house). Ancient Harvest is made with corn, which dries out quickly.

If you're saving pasta for left-overs, or if you're just wanting to use the pasta after it cools for a pasta salad or a casserole, I'd suggest tossing it with some olive oil after you rinse it with cold water to keep it from sticking and drying out.

Thanks for reading! I loved your tortilla soup recipe!

Kim said...

I tried the Andean Dream Fusilli (I've been meaning to review it too!) and really like it. It holds the fun spirally shape well and I totally agree on your flavor commentary. Andean Dream is a hit! I don't tolerate corn, so I was really happy to find this brand to get some quinoa pasta in my life.

For another quinoa option, DeBoles makes a Quinoa, Amaranth, Rice Spaghetti that is really good. http://www.deboles.com/products/product.php?prod_id=2015&cat_name=gluten_free

Jen said...

Hmmm....I keep reading about quoinoa. I always have to double check the spelling too. I don't know why I'm so afraid of it just like Jessie. I think it was only about a year and a half ago that I had even heard of this grain for the fist time. I will look for it in the store and give it a try. Thanks for your review. :)

Diane-The Whole Gang said...

I love quinoa pasta. It's actually the only kind I can eat, well corn too. I can't eat rice. Did this pasta also have rice in it? Love to have alternatives.

Gina said...

Kim - Thanks for the tip on the DeBole's pasta. I've had their rice pasta, but didn't know they had a quinoa version. I'll keep my eyes open for it.

Jen - Quinoa is not scary! Especially not in a pasta. It's really nutritious too.

Diane - Yep, Andean Dream has rice. You can stick with the Ancient Harvest, though. That's still my favorite.

Brian said...

I haven't tried this brand before but I'll look for it. I'm always up for trying different gf products. Great review.

Dana aka Gluten Free In Cleveland said...

I haven't seen this kind of pasta at whole foods yet, but I'm absolutely going to keep my eyes peeled. It looks great, thanks!!

Anonymous said...

I've discovered Schar's gf pastas. They are the closest that I've found to wheat. Have you ever tried and does this compare? I have to order both in bulk and hate to waste the money on something that is crappy just to get a tad better nutrition.

Gina said...

I haven't tried Schar's gluten-free pastas. I just looked it up. It has some unusual ingredients: pea protein isolate, among others. Does it have a bean/pea flavor like things made with soy? If I see it in the store, I'll definitely try it! I think it would be great for pasta carbonara if it has some strength to it.

Jenn said...

I have used the Andean Dreams Quinoa Elbow Macaroni for macaroni & cheese for my son! He *LOVED* it .... I have a review of the macaroni & cheese with pictures on my blog.

Thanks for this though .... it definitely gives me another option for pasta for my son! He doesn't seem to like the Tinkyada brown rice pastas as well

Gina said...

Jenn,

I haven't tried the Andean Dreams Elbow macaroni yet. I think I've seen it in one store at least - I'll have to check it out. I'll take quinoa pasta over brown rice pasta any day!

bath mateus said...

So well and nice posting , I like it.
Bathmate

bath mateus said...

So well and nice posting , I like it.
Bathmate

Anonymous said...

This is the best pasta yet. I am gluten free and my husband doesn't eat corn for health reasons so this is great for both of us and he really likes this pasta. He thinks it is as good as regular gluten filled pasta! - Carol

Gina said...

Thanks for the comment! This gluten-free pasta is perfect for people who can't do corn.

Lisa Rapose said...

This is the best GF pasta I've tried...hands down. Ancient Harvest is now second best in my house. My son will not eat another GF pasta...only Andean Dream.