Monday night we were out of food and didn’t have much in the house. We already needed to go to the grocery store so it was either pick up something quick and easy to make at the grocery store, or settle for one of our old favorites – Mac ‘n Cheese! Despite what many of you might think, we actually did not have macaroni and cheese. I know, weird for me, right?
But, one of our favorite, super easy meals is one of those frozen skillet things. We really love the Asian ones, because, let’s face it, Jesse and I LOVE Asian foods. So super yummy! So we stood in the frozen aisle to check it out and see which ones looked good. One brand that we’ve found we really like is Wanchai Ferry. They also have boxed meals – just buy the chicken and they provide you with the sauces and mixes and stuff. It’s pretty awesome – but really only enough for maybe 3 people.
Anyways, we almost went for a Wanchai Ferry frozen skillet, but then saw that Ingles now carries PF Changs, so we thought, “Why not try something new?” So we bought PF Chang’s General Chang’s Chicken. It said it was spicy, which we like.
Picture of the bag:
Jesse was in charge of the chicken, and I was in charge of the rice.
Jesse got the skillet out – shout out to the Zrolka’s who gave it to us as a wedding gift – and put the mix in. Like I said, we wanted something easy, fast, but yummy! Jesse did an awesome job of getting that ready, and soon it was all cooked and smelling delicious.
Here’s a picture of how awesome it looked:
So what happened next you ask? I all of sudden realize I had failed! I FORGOT TO MAKE THE RICE!!!! And it’s not like rice is something quick. We looked at each other for a moment and shared the same thought, “What do we do now???” I quickly grabbed our rice cooker and hurriedly searched for the instructions (we’ve only used it a few times, but enough for me to remember it’s a lot faster than cooking rice on the stove). I measured the rice and put it into the cooker and added the water.
Our rice cooker helping correct my mistake:
Jesse and I decided that while it cooked, we could go on and eat our salads as an appetizer. We found a great bagged salad mix – I’m not a huge fan of iceberg lettuce (to which Jesse would respond, “Maybe iceberg’s not a huge fan of you!”) so I liked the bagged mixes. We then found a great dressing – Asian with Sesame & Ginger Vinaigrette. We also like to add chow mein noodles to add a bit of a crunch. That’s something I learned from my big sister – thanks Mary Scott!
And add all of these together:
EQUALS: Voilà, a yummy salad:
Well, we had barely finished our salads when we heard the rice cooker go off indicating the rice was ready – far faster than the 20 minutes to cook plus time to boil on the stovetop. Why don’t we use the rice cooker more often? I digress. Once the rice was finished, we were able to plate our food, or in this case, bowl it. And that led to another delicious meal – this one quick and easy – for the Wades.
Here’s the finished product:
And our ratings for this meal:
Preparation: I give this a 5 out of 5. Really, it’s pre-packaged food so this is a no brainer. And rice in the rice cooker is really easy, too, so there’s no excuse for anyone to ever be afraid to cook rice again!
Taste for whole thing: 4 out of 5. It was really good, but I would have liked more crunch in the stir-fry section. I think next time we may buy water chestnuts to add to it. I also really like bamboo, so we may have to check it out. I did like the kick this had. I’ve started really liking spicy foods, and sometimes even crave them, so this was perfect. Not so hot that it actually burned my mouth (spicy Korean skewers at the karaoke place – but still good), just enough to make my nose run a little.
Pickiness Factor: I give this a 4 out of 5. Some people don’t like spicy foods, so they may not like this. Also, it had red peppers added in. Sometimes I eat those now, sometimes I don’t. This happened to be one of those times that I picked them out and put them to the side.
Preparation: I give this a 5 out of 5 – you have to be ‘tarded to screw this up (don’t worry if you are, there are plenty of ‘tards out there livin’ kick ass lives)
Taste: I give this a 4 out of 5 – it was pretty awesome, but like Sarah, I think adding some water chestnuts for some crunch is an awesome idea. I think having this with Lo mein too might be pretty awesome
Cost: 3 out of 5 - This is about the same as other frozen skillet meals, but you don’t get rice…which means, MORE FOOD (24oz skillet bag w/rice vs 22oz skillet bag w/o rice)! You might have to buy rice separately, but still you end up with more bang for your buck. Still, this gets a 3 out of 5 b/c you would definitely save more money by making all of this from scratch (if you had more time)
Average Rating: 4.17