First, to anyone who read and thought about my little blonde baby Thursday night, thank you! He came home yesterday, and he is doing much better. He did have the emergency surgery, so far everything has gone as expected. Poor guy is confined to one room, but he is happier than ever. He hasn’t stopped purring, is starving for cuddles, and most importantly, is peeing. I’m so happy he is okay right now.
This whole situation caused a bit of chaos around here. Coupled with my husband being gone all last week, I might have eaten more convenience foods than I normally do. Going out to eat with just Simon isn’t really my idea of fun, and spending a long time cooking with Simon crawling up my leg, yanking on my pants, and crying isn’t fun either. So I cut some corners.
I had been eyeing these (at Target, of all places) for a few weeks. I wanted to try it, but couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on it. I have tried a few other Gardein products before, some great, some just okay. And they aren’t the cheapest option out there. But after a few days of just me and Simon, I went ahead and bought them. I figured, they’d be a perfect accompaniment with the leftover Fried Rice.
This was kind of a hit, and a miss. First off, it is called Crispy Chick’n. When you are cooking it in the pan, it turns surprisingly crispy! I’m not sure how they achieve that, but its pretty cool. Unfortunately, most of that crispiness went away when you added the sauce to it. I had another kind of silly pet peeve. The calories they give you don’t include the sauce. There is a note at the bottom that says 2 Tbsp of sauce adds 15 calories. Why not just add that into the nutrition information? The sauce is completely soaked into the chick’n product, there isn’t drippy sauce everywhere to make them want to leave it off the label because you might not actually eat it all. Alright, end nutrition label rant.
This is fairly tasty. The texture is the same as other Gardein products, oddly chicken-ish, but not in a bad way. The sauce tastes pretty good too. My favorite of their product is still the breaded chick’n tenders, but I generally think their frozen products are better, which the Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n is. I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5, mainly because of the loss of crispiness.
Second thing I’ve tried recently was in the snack category. In an effort to reduce my sugar intake I thought I’d try having some savory late night snack, rather than sweet. So I found myself with some of Lean Cuisine’s new snack sized portions: Spinach Artichoke Dip.
This got a 3 out of 5 stars from me. The dip and pita is microwaved, and if I had thought about it, I would have realized that reheated bread is not good. And such is the case here. Reheated pita? If you don’t eat it immediately (and you really can’t, it’s hot), it gets chewy. The dip itself is pretty good though. If they sold it without the pita, I’d probably buy it and eat it with carrots. But, with the pita, I’m not sure it’s worth the money, or the 200 calories. And obviously, homemade dip is better, here you are paying for convenience, and portion control.
I don’t make a habit of eating a lot of convenience foods. My freezer is mostly filled with frozen vegetables, and we all know that “fresh is best”. But every once in awhile, life gets away from you, you’re in a bit of a funk, and trying something new can be fun! Do you have any favorite convenience foods for when life gets a little hectic?
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!