Friday, March 21, 2014

The Un-Glamorous Side of Dinner

Look, sometimes dinner isn't planned out, or you need to whip a meal together in a pinch. I only talk about the fabulous meals out, events attended, and good recipes that "R" and I try. It may appear that that is our "everyday," but that's certainly not the case. Sometimes, meals are thrown together with what we have on hand, or we're trying to eat as "cheap" as possible that week so that we can splurge on something else. These meals typically involve products that are easy to use, have a shelf-life, and can be pulled out to help put food in our bellies.

I turn down most pitches for sponsored product or brands that aren't local, independently-owned businesses. But, when Minute Rice contacted me, I decided to take them up on the offer. Rice, and sometimes products in their line, become a go-to when we need a quick meal on the fly. It's a great base for piling on vegetables, a protein, and one of the sauces that we keep on hand. So, I decided to sample the products that they offered to send me.
I was a little overwhelmed with the number of rice products that they sent. To be fair, we haven't tried all of them yet. The Ready-to-Serve products disappeared quickly, becoming a quick lunch or snack for "R" most of the time. Tip- The Black Beans and Rice contain the two separately, you heat, and then mix. On its own, "R" didn't care for the bland flavor of the Multi-Grain Medley. With a bit of butter, the flavor of the rice popped, and he has since bought several other packages of it.

We've used the Success Boil-in-Bag White Rice, the Jasmine, and the Basmati. It usually ends up in meals like this one:
Another cupboard staple that I like to have on-hand is the Kitchens of India pouches. They can be heavy on the salt, so be careful with portion sizes. However, the three kinds that I've tried are pretty tasty and so quick and easy to heat up! The Palak Paneer is pictured above (first time trying it, and it was a little blander than others), but the Pav Bhaji (mashed vegetable curry) is my favorite. You can heat and eat as-is with these pouches, but we like to add vegetables and sometimes a protein.

Between Minute Rice and the three minutes that the Kitchens of India sauce needs to heat, we had a meal within minutes on a busy evening. Sometimes, that's just life. This was a peek into the un-glamorous side of our cooking at home.

What's your go-to quick and easy meal to make at home when there isn't a dinner plan or a lot of food in the fridge to choose from?

Disclosure: I was contacted by Minute Rice to review their products. I was provided with the rice products pictured above. I was not asked to blog about it. All opinions stated are 100% my own.