published about 7 hours ago
I’m developing a penchant for meals in pouches. Earlier this year, I tried SOMOS, a newly launched Mexican food company with a line of plant-based, ready-to-eat pouches designed to assemble tacos, nachos, tostadas, and more. (It was before this column existed, otherwise you would have read ALL about it.) Last month, I wrote about A Dozen Cousins’ new pouches. And this week, I’m here to spread the word about another newcomer.
Casa Verde Red Bean Pozole
Launched in January, Casa Verde is a new line of plant-based, ready-to-eat Latin meals created by Chef Jose Garces. Traditionally made from hominy and pork or chicken, according to the Casa Verde website, Pozole is a delicious and nourishing stew served on festive occasions and for everyday meals alike. The brand’s Red Bean Pozole is a plant-based spin on the classic, made with sweet Mexican corn, red beans, and grilled tofu simmered in a guajillo chile sauce. All of the ingredients used are vegan, certified non-GMO, preservative free, and sustainably sourced. (The same can be said for the other three meals they make: Garbanzo Al Pastor, Lentil Mole, and Coconut Chowder.)
The back of the package includes two sets of instructions: one for the stovetop, which takes five minutes, and one for the microwave, which takes 60 seconds. (I’m cat sitting at my parents house while they are away and taking full advantage of their microwave this week.) I snipped the top to vent the pouch, popped it in the microwave, and prepped my accompanying ingredients.
While you can eat the pozole straight from the pouch (not a bad option at all for lunch), the package also contains a QR code, which, when scanned, takes you to a 30-second video of hands pouring the heated pozole in a bowl over rice and topping it with freshly sliced jalapeño and avocado, among other things. I had leftover white rice in the fridge, along with some red onion and avocado, so I scooped and sliced and set up a bowl of my own. The whole thing took less than five minutes to put together. So, how did it taste?
In general, I’m a fast eater, but this could be a record. It was so delicious, I couldn’t stop spooning it into my mouth — that is, until it was gone! I tasted sweet corn and perfectly cooked beans, peppers, and carrots mixed with bites of meaty tofu in a flavorful broth, that was just the right amount of spice and liquid. (Ingredients should swim in broth, not drown in it.) I do think the add-ons help make it a more filling meal, but again, that right-out-of-the-pouch suggestion would be great for a busy lunch during the workday. The raw red onion also added a new texture, and the avocado gave it a cool creaminess that balanced out the lingering heat. The entire bowl was the convenient, cozy weeknight dinner I wanted — particularly in my parents’ drafty kitchen.
Do you have a favorite dinner in a pouch? Tell us about it in the comments.