Packaged: Good Earth Dinners

At the grocery store last week, concise shopping list tight in my hand, I wheeled down isle four, passed the macaroni, the rice, almost to the Hamburger Helper, when something caught my eye:

 

Good Earth Dinners

 

Busy work schedules…no…CRAZY work schedules sometimes make cooking meals next to impossible. And rather than resort to takeout on these types of nights, I like back up options: frozen pizza, mac ‘n cheese, soup and crackers, etc. And last night, it was Good Earth Restaurant Favorites.

 

So, back to other week when I was grocery shopping…. These Good Earth packages were part of a buy one, get one sale. My first thought was, “Okay, keep walking…there’s no way these boxed ‘dinners’ are any good.”

 

But about two seconds later practicality stepped in and I thought, “What better time to try something like this than now when it’s half-off?” Duh. So I bought two boxes. Husband and I had the Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp last night, and saved the Mediterranean Chicken with Angel Hair Pasta for another night.

 

Good Earth Dinners

 

The dinner LITERALLY took 15 minutes from start to finish, just like the package promised. And, aside from thinking the sauce was a little too sweet, and not enough spicy, this quick fix meal was pretty good. The whole wheat pasta was surprisingly smooth in texture, and with a little extra salt the flavor was just about right. I’m actually kind of excited to try the chicken box to see if it’s just as good.

 

Not a replacement for a true home cooked meal, but worth every penny of the $3.49 I spent for TWO boxes. I had to supply the shrimp, but I found them for a steal a few weeks ago – one pound of raw frozen shrimp for $3.99!

 

One final note – it appears that there are coupons all over the web for these meals. Find the right one, and Good Earth might pay YOU to try their dinners! Happy shopping!

 

Dinner for One: Chinese Delivery

Ever since moving to Frederick in 2001 there has been only one place that Todd and I have ordered delivery Chinese food: China Garden. If you’re willing to drive for take out, or if you want to eat in a restaurant there are other spots. But only a select few deliver in Frederick, and China Garden is definitely the best, especially since they’re always 15 minutes quicker than they estimate!
Last night I was on my own for dinner, and since I’m studying for an exam, I treated myself to delivery. My favorites at China Garden are Kung Pao Chicken (no veggies, extra peanuts) and Moo Shu Chicken. Tonight I was feeling spunky, so I ordered something different:

3 Shredded Shrimp
Crabmeat Wontons
This did not disappoint! In fact, I believe it is officially my new “go to” menu choice from China Garden. Perfectly cooked shrimp, shredded scallion, ginger and carrots, a garlic ginger sauce…what’s not to love? And the won-tons; they’re always good – sweet, savory, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.
(Bonus: there’s enough for me to have a second meal tomorrow night. Even better.)

Soft Tacos – Vegetarian & Not

My sister, Josie, became a vegetarian a few years ago, and ever since then she has craved a replacement for tacos that doesn’t involve refried beans, and feels “meaty” in texture. Nothing fancy, just standard tacos seasoned with the flavor packet from the grocery store. Tonight I think we found the magic substitution – canned Great Northern Beans. It was delicious! Being a meat eater, I added seared shrimp to my tacos (cooked separately in a grill pan), but I think they would have been awesome without. Josie agrees. :)

Here’s the rest, in pictures:

Raw shrimp, thawing
Diced onions & garlic for the beans
Sautéed onion in olive oil
Shrimp, seasoned with salt & pepper
Seared shrimp – olive oil, med/high grill pan, 2 min per side
Canned Great Northern beans simmering with sautéed onions, garlic,
and taco seasoning, cooked to packet directions
Warm flour tortillas, diced tomatoes from my neighbors’ garden, cilantro from Truffula Seed Produce & cheddar
Bean & taco seasoning reduction
Bean tacos – vegetarian style
Bean tacos with seared shrimp

One look at those tacos, and I finally had an epiphany about what to do with the banana peppers – fresh SALSA! – because right now I have tomatoes, cilantro, banana peppers and jalapeño peppers sitting in my kitchen from locally grown farms or gardens. Coming soon to a blog near you….
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