Snacks!

So, I found myself on my own tonight and was sorely tempted to get take out, but I’m trying to not spend too much money – and I remembered that there were still some heat & eat goodies in the freezer from Christmas. Took a peek and decided it was time for Trader Joe’s Mini Chicken Tikka Samosas!

Box of Trader Joe's mini Chicken Tikka Samosas "chicken, vegetables, and Indian spices wrapped in crisp, flaky pastry"

They fit the bill for the night – very tasty, very easy, and I didn’t have to leave the house. If you’re worried about Indian food being spicy (a normal concern) – no worries here. They do have a slow building heat to them, but not “oh god my face is on fire” spicy. Personally, I think they’re better with some kind of dipping sauce of some ilk – if you’re feeling fancy, you could go with plain yogurt with dill and garlic or something along those lines. Or you could go with what I did, which was a dollop of sour cream on the side.

I ate half the package myself. And the rest is going to get popped in the toaster oven tomorrow for lunch.

20 minutes from turning the oven on to ready to eat. And I threw parchment paper on the cookie sheet, so easy clean up to boot.

Next time you’re at TJ’s, give them a whirl.

New Year, Let’s Eat!

OK, so there was a time I would have called this a lazy day meal, but no – we’re not lazy.  We’ve all been dealing with a minimum of SIX YEARS of collective trauma, including but certainly not limited to, bad people in charge, a pandemic that won’t go away, an insurrection, and other things I am sure I have simply blocked out.  Oh, and we’re currently missing half of our federal legislature. 

In short, YOU ARE NOT LAZY.  YOU ARE TIRED AND IT’S UNDERSTANDABLE.

So, I want to take a minute to tell you about a nice “Fuck, I’m tired” meal kit I picked up at the grocery store.  It’s Chef Rana’s Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Package of Chef Rana's Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo meal kit

It’s very tasty, AND VERY EASY.  You literally take the fresh(!!) pasta out of the bag and loosen it up and put it in the cooking container (which is included.)  Cut the corner of the sauce pouch, pour over.  Open bag of chicken, place on top.  Put two paper towels over the container and pop it in the microwave for 8-9 minutes, give it a good stir, and it’s done.

Because the prep is so fast, it’s good if you can’t stand for long periods of time, or you could even easily put it together sitting down at your kitchen/dining room table.  I usually make some garlic bread to go with it.  Add a salad or some veggies (frozen peas in butter sauce comes to mind!) and you have a total meal.  If you’re having a “we’re having pasta with a side of pasta” night – it will still work, it is filling and satisfying.  

It runs $15 at my market, but you’re getting 2 pounds of food there.  Still cheaper than MickeyD’s for four.  Or two for that matter. And it has a decent fridge shelf-life, so you don’t have to buy/make it the same day.

I took a snap after it came out of the microwave – but I’d already stirred it and all the chicken sank to the bottom, LOL.  I swear, there is chicken in there!

Square black container with egg noodles and cream sauce

Quick review

Hey I cooked last night! Hashbrown casserole and chicken tenders. I would have just gone with the casserole on its own, but I figured we needed a protein. But, like so many of us, I am flattened.

Grabbed some heat & eat chicken tenders at the store – Perdue Simply Smart Organics/Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Tenders.

Ease of Prep: 10/10. Straight from the tray to the cookie sheet, 11-12 minutes in the oven. Couldn’t be easier.

Taste: 6/10. They’re not *bad* – they didn’t dry out in cooking, but the breading has zero seasoning in it, so they’re a bit on the bland side. Easily solved with some BBQ or Honey Mustard sauce, but not much on their own.

But, they got the job done. I didn’t intentionally look for gluten free, it’s what was at the store, and I genuinely don’t know if that accounts for the plainness of the seasoning or not.

They were easy, which was nice, but I think next time, time and energy allowing, I’ll do my own coating & breading. (Coating: Mayo & Country Dijon mustard, Breading: Italian Breadcrumbs w/Parmesan cheese.)

ETA: Just reheated one with a bit of garlic salt on top – very good! Trick may be to put some of your favorite shake-on seasoning before cooking, flip at the halfway point and hit the other side.

ETAA: Just had another one, this time with some Italian Seasoning – also, very good. Definitely recommend putting your fav seasoning on before cooking.

Screenshot of Perdue Organic Gluten Free Chicken Tenders package