A while back, Valley Food Storage contacted me asking if I would be interested in doing a review of some of their product. I happily said yes, and they sent me a bag of their Pasta Primavera.
To be honest, as much prepping and homesteading as I have done, I have never tried a food storage meal before (except the canned foods and other stuff we have packaged in our family), so I was pretty interested to see how this stuff would taste.
Let’s start by saying I was pleasantly surprised as I ate my Pasta Primavera, and I’m excited to share my Valley Food Storage review with you!
What is Pasta Primavera?
I didn’t even know what they were sending until I actually got my package in the mail. I saw that it was Pasta Primavera, and had no idea what that was, so I had to look it up.
Pasta primavera is a dish that consists of pasta and fresh vegetables. A meat such as chicken is sometimes added, but the focus of primavera is the vegetables themselves. The dish may contain almost any kind of vegetable, but cooks tend to stick to firm, crisp vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, peas, onions and green bell peppers, with tomatoes. Pasta primavera is usually highlighted by light flavors, aromatic herbs and bright colors (“primavera” meaning “spring”). Classic primavera sauce is based on a soffritto of garlic and olive oil, and finished with Parmesan cheese. However versions further enriched by, or based on, a heavier cream are also common. Though recipes for cold pasta primavera may be found, they are best classified as antipasti, or appetizers.
Pastas served with this dish are typically smaller shapes, such as penne. If using longer types of pasta, such as fettuccine, the vegetables are normally sliced in thin strips to match the shape of the noodles.
Since primavera means spring, the vegetable choices should be the crisp new vegetables of spring.”
The information about the Pasta Primavera on Valley Food Storage’s website says:
“A delectable pasta made with our thick white Primavera Sauce. This Pasta Primavera meal will be one of your instant favorites.”
“This dish, though simple, has one of the best flavors in our store. If you’re a fan of good Italian food, this is the meal for you. You can add whatever you want to it to enhance it.”
Alright. So it’s pasta with veggies and a cream sauce. Got it.
My Review of Valley Food Storage’s Pasta Primavera
When I received my sample package, I expected a 1-serving sample, but they actually sent me a 5-serving full meal bag. It’s very much like a Hamburger Helper kind of thing, only it’s been packaged in mylar and touts a 25 year shelf life. Pretty impressive! I was actually tempted to let it sit for 25 years, and then try it. (I kid, I kid…)
So the directions on the package say to bring 5 cups of water to a boil, then whisk in contents of package. Turn down to a gentle boil for 15 minutes or until noodles are soft. Remove from heat and let stand for 5-7 minutes before serving.
It also gives the option of adding 2 Tablespoons of butter and some vegetables. I added 1 tablespoon of butter and about a cup and a half of frozen peas and carrots.
Other than the extras I added in, I followed the directions to the letter. My purpose is to see how close the directions are to actual cooking times and amounts.
I couldn’t really smell it when it was cooking, but it started to look good. The problem was, the sauce wasn’t thickening up like I expected. I figured that during the last 5-7 minutes that I was supposed to let it sit, it would thicken.
However, after the cook time, and the sit time, the sauce was still a bit soupy. That didn’t deter me, though. It looked pretty good! A little sprinkle of some mozzarella cheese on top and a fresh sprig of (homegrown) oregano, and I was ready to eat!
Now, before we go any further, I want to say that I’m a guy who loves food. Seriously, I’d just as soon eat potted meat and Fritos as I would filet mignon. Alright, that might be stretching it a bit, but my point is I am anything but a picky eater. Hey, I’m the guy who doesn’t mind Army MREs.
With that said, I must say that the flavor of the Valley Food Storage Pasta Primavera was great! It was a tad spicy on the back-end — once I chewed and swallowed, the spice snuck up on me. It wasn’t “too hot”, but then, I love spicy foods. (If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I eat hot pickled peppers with just about every meal!)
My wife and I had a full bowl of the primavera that night, and our little girl had a small bowl, too. There was still enough leftover for us to have for lunch the next day. I cut up some leftover chicken we had in the fridge and mixed with my lunch, and it was really good!
I can’t speak for Valley Food Storage’s complete line of products, but if they’re all as good as the pasta primavera, I would not at all mind eating a bag of their food each day while the zombies roamed around outside looking for brains.
Why Valley Food Storage Meals Are Good Preps
Alright, so I did all this in my kitchen with proper measurements in a controlled environment. Let’s say, however, that we were in an emergency situation — these would be absolute life savers!
I grow a garden in any way I can (currently in an apartment doing a container garden). I also use our Nesco dehydrator to store some of our leftovers, veggies that are about to go bad get vacuum sealed and frozen, and when we have too much sauce, soup or stew, we can it. Basically, we’re trying to be as self-sufficient as we possibly can.
But let’s fast forward a few months (or even years) into a catastrophic emergency. Gardens may not grow as well as expected, if at all, and eventually our home-canned, -frozen and -dehydrated food stores will run out. That’s where Valley Food Storage’s preps come into play. With enough of their food stored, we could still live for a long time while we found a better way to become self-sufficient again.
Their food storage is also fairly compact. A 5-serving bag is only about 4″ x 8″ and weighs less than 13 oz. With some creative packing, you could easily fit a few months worth of food preps into a 30-quart Sterilite container.
They also have 1 month food, water and fire supply kits all packaged in a “Grab and Go Bug Out Bucket” so it’s easy to take loads of food with you if you ever have to leave home in a hurry!
Final Thoughts on Valley Food Storage
While I might not eat their food every day during “normal life”, I would definitely be happy to have an ample supply for emergencies. With a 25 year shelf life, you wouldn’t have to worry much about rotating your stock, and you could buy a set amount each month until you had what you deemed to be “enough.” That’s always a good thing if you’re a prepper on a budget (like me).
Have you ever written a Valley Food Storage review or tried their product? Let me know in the comments below!