Cooking, baking, underwater basket weaving - I do it all (except for the basket weaving. I'd probably drown from getting to into it and forget to come up for air.) The downside of loving to make things in my kitchen is that I'm lazy, no bones about it.
Being lazy breaks down into a two different parts:
1) I despise cleaning up - the stove, the dishes, the mess on the floor from when I carried something from the stove to the sink, the list goes on.
2) I forget ( *cough* on purpose) to prep my ingredients so I'm not scrambling around when it's time to use them - if you saw my last post, I did exactly that with my chicken and garlic, causing me to rush around so my butter and oil wouldn't burn, and almost knocking my pan off my stove (handles in, folks).
Thanks to the lovely TX Elizabeth and her contest for a free product coupon giveaway with Tyson Tastemakers™ meal kits, I got to enjoy my favorite past time, without the usual prep, minimal clean up, and a pretty dang tasty dinner to boot!
Shall we dance?
Getting the actual meal kit:
This part was actually the most tricky out of everything - I went to three different stores to find these meal kits (because I'm useless and did not think to look here on Tyson Tastemakers™ website). After finally finding them at the Kroger near my grandparents, I found out they were also on sale! We both know how much I love me a good discount. But it was already free, so I digress.
Don't you just love being that creepshow in the grocery store taking pictures of food products? I actually had some random customers come up just to see what I was taking pictures of. Win - win scenario right there.
Here's a peek at all of the different varieties of meals they offer in store - or you can head to the website instead of looking at my potato camera photos:
I ended up bringing the Tuscan-Style Pork Loin and Pork Belly Pasta to my grandmas for family dinner (though I do have my eyeball on all of the other flavors I didn't get. I'm coming for all of you, nobody gets left behind!). With only a 30minute* cook time, I figured this one would be not only a fast dinner for my grandparents, but also a healthy dinner that I'd feel good about serving them!
What's on the outside counts just as much as the inside, in this case.
Instead of bombarding you with photos of all of the nutritional information and benefits of buying a Tyson Tastemakers™meal kit, here's a slideshows for you to scroll through:
* The three servings (or 4 in the meat only kits) is pretty spot on, so if you're needing to cook for more people, I would suggest two of the Prepped Recipes, or one of the Premium Parings and create your own dish by cutting up the meat to fit your needs.
1. Shaved Parmesan 2. Blend of pork loin and pork belly that’s been seasoned with rosemary, garlic, fennel and sage 3. Gemelli pasta (cooked) 4. White wine beurre blanc sauce 5. Zucchini and red onion*
*The zucchini is pretty much the only thing you actually have to take a knife to, and that just to get it into bite size pieces, but I'd also recommend cutting up the bigger pieces of red onion, too.
On to the cooking (and accidentally getting a steam facial):
**Please note that you should follow the actual instructions provided, this is just a walk through. I also threw mine away afterwards, so no cooking times will be listed (again, I am so useful)
Just look at those beautiful veggies (to anyone reading this that has ever eaten with me in real life, yes, I ate the onions. Shut it.)
Chopped up zucchini (I chopped up some of my red onion too, but those photos do not exist. Murp)
Now these two right here may be a fluke in just my package, but the zucchini slice these came from was - how shall I say this - squishy. I tried cutting them up and they mushed up and got all over my hand. Since it was only the two pieces and not the entire package, it may have just been an off batch, especially because all of my other vegetable pieces were fresh and still had great color and were firm.
After you've heated your oil up, dump those veggies right on in there and brown. Then take 'em right back out again.
Now it's time for your meat! This will also be thrown into your pan, but with an added step of...
...breaking up your meat! You can easily do this with a wooden spoon, but if you have arthritis or joint issues (hey, things happen, be nice) breaking it up before you put it into the pan to brown is perfectly fine!
At about three minutes (again, this is only an approximate time - follow your instructions), flip your meat so the other side can brown. This photo shows exactly what I'm talking about.
Look at that meat, all browned up and read for the next step. And speaking of next steps...
...Throw your veggies back in. Be careful, because this was one of two accidental facials I gave myself via steam. I would suggest turning your ventilation on before doing this step.
Now for your sauce! I promise, it will look better after cooking for a bit and will not continue to be a soupy consistency. Pinky promise.
Mix every so often to keep things from burning or sticking
DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT dump all of your cheese in at once like I did. I read my instructions wrong and didn't have the second half of cheese to sprinkle on top, like a dummy. It was still delicious, so whatever.
Ta-daaaa, you did it! At this point was when I realized I may have made an error somewhere, since the picture on the box is much lighter than what's in the bowls. Weird, but again, whatever, I still ate every bit of it.
"I'm ready for my closeup, mister director"
This another one of those times when I have someone test out what I've made (but it technically doesn't count, since I was planning on making dinner anyway). Surprisingly, My grandma liked it! This was great to hear since I'm always trying to find new ways of giving my grandparents healthy recipes or meal preps for the week. With these meal kits, they can even do them on their own if I'm out of town or again, being lazy at my house.
"She likes it, hey Mikey!"
Overall, even if I were not given the opportunity to test this Tyson Tastemakers™meal kit out, I would have eventually tried it anyway after seeing it on Instagram. Would I try it again? Of course! My next attempt may even be one of the cheaper, meat only versions so I can create a dish around it!
Also, go show some love to TX Elizabeth! This is all thanks to her and the random selection software that picked me :)
** Though this post was made possible by Tyson Tastemakers™via a free product coupon won through a contest, all of the above words - including thoughts and opinions - are my own. **