Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Required to Prepare: Water, Microwave
580 calories per package
I've decided it is high time I have some noodles for lunch again! So, even though the doctors are all having Jimmy Johns for lunch, instead of getting that for myself, I brought some ramen to work. I got these Souper Meals on sale at Safeway the other day for buy-1-get-1-free, so today's lunch will be an enormous bowl of Picante Shrimp noodles! With "Improved Flavor and Premium Straight Noodles," I don't see how we can go wrong.
There are two packets to open inside, one with dried goodies (including some tiny shrimp), and the other with a spicy-smelling soup base. We add water to the inside line, then microwave for around 4-1/2 minutes. We are supposed to let it stand for 2 minutes before serving; mine ended up standing a bit longer than that as work interfered for a while, and the delicious aroma of noodles permeated a good portion of the office, taunting me, until I was able to get away again and enjoy my lunch.
Oh, ramen, how I've missed you. If grocery-store ramen hits the spot like this, I really need to get to an Asian market soon.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Required to Prepare: Oven
Chicken Empanadas: 75 calories per piece
Firecrackers: 70 calories per piece
Bags of Gold: 80 calories per piece
My sweetie and I occasionally enjoy having a "tapas" dinner of sorts, by getting a variety of these frozen appetizers and making a meal out of them. These are the ones that we usually get; she was the one that got me started on them, and even after all manner of flitting around trying different things by the Butterfly, these are still the ones we seem to like the best.
Although the package directions give a slightly different cook time for the empanadas, I find they all turn out fine by baking at 400° for 7 minutes per side. They can also be deep-fried, which gives them a crisper texture, but we use the oven more often, just because it seems a little easier.
We definitely enjoy them, with either prep method. We choose them over more expensive name-brand frozen appetizers, and it's not because we are sacrificing quality for price--it's because we like these the best, and the fact that they are inexpensive is just a happy coincidence. :)
Monday, June 2, 2014
Required to Prepare: Microwave
490 calories per burrito
I apologize for not having taken my own photos for this one; I wasn't intending to review this one until after I experienced the quality of this product.
The first bit of wrongness comes from the preparation instructions: Despite being billed as a "Meal for 2", the only instructions provided are for microwave cooking, which specifically state not to cook both burritos at the same time--so, do they plan for my wife to start eating while mine is heating up, or do they think one of us just gets a cold one?
At any rate, we cook them one at a time, for five minutes each, in their silly little individual steamer bags. (The cooking instructions say 4-6 minutes depending on microwave wattage; mine isn't low or high, so 5 it is.) They also stand for two minutes to "complete cooking", which is apparently slang for "turn into concrete". You know, I expected a soggy tortilla, and I wouldn't have complained about that. Dried out, leathery, impenetrable tortilla? Not as acceptable. Forget cutting with a fork; they couldn't even be cut with a table knife.
For the record, the flour tortilla seemed to have been of the whole-wheat variety; unlike the package picture, they were moderately dark in color and the little bits that were edible had a whole-wheat flavor. After using kitchen shears to finally get at it, the filling inside seemed overly spicy and really didn't seem worth the effort needed to free it from its protective shell.
To summarize, these were utterly abysmal. Not only have they warned me away from ever trying any more of Old El Paso's frozen offerings, they've actually made me wary of their traditional products as well. I don't know who decided these were ready to market, but they deserve to have to eat this. :b
Monday, March 3, 2014
Hormel Foods, LLC
This shelf-stable meal had been lingering in the cabinet for a while, so when I wanted a small lunch yesterday before my shopping trip, I decided it was time to use it. These shelf-stable "Compleats" meals do have the advantage of being extremely convenient, with their very short microwave time (as they are being heated from room temperature instead of from frozen). One minute in the microwave plus a one-minute stand time, and my small, quick and convenient lunch is ready to eat!
Required to Prepare: Microwave
280 calories per package
I notice, though, that on the Hormel Compleats web page, this product is not listed anymore. I think that's kind of a shame, as I rather liked it. I don't imagine I could have singlehandedly "saved" the flavor from extinction, but if I had eaten it sooner, I might have at least been able to buy a couple more before they went away.
Now, it seems the only thing I can do is give it a posthumous happy-face. :)