I have always liked the idea of once-a-month food preparation, but it’s never been a great fit for me. By and large, the weekend has almost always been the only time during the week when our family has a full day together, and that’s actually happening even less often now that the boys are older and involved in more activities. I’m not going to take the chance of planning an entire weekend of shopping, food prep, and cooking and chance missing out on a day when my husband and the kids and I could be doing something together. (Soon enough – they’ll be out on their own!).
But, second, really… we prefer freshly cooked food. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll use a meal from the freezer, and I’ve made a habit over the years of batch cooking things like breakfast foods or pasta sauce when I believe it will save time over the long haul… But often, it just doesn’t work out that way. And, while some things (like sauce or beans) taste better the longer they cook, others don’t. I don’t blame this on the microwave. I don’t find microwave reheated food particularly appealing, but that’s irrelevant, since we don’t have a microwave in our home. (We do in our RV, though.)
But there are still those days when both adults are out of the house right smack up until dinner time. On these days, I tend to rely on my slow cooker… which is better (and cheaper) than take out – but a person can get tired of one pot meals.
I felt like I’d discovered a new treasure when I tried these cooking bags from Ready Chef Go! designed to be used in the microwave or conventional oven, they are a modern innovation on the traditional gourmet technique of cooking en papillote. The Ready Chef Go! cooking bags are made of paper and polyester. You place the food inside, seal, and cook. The heat from cooking creates steam and pressure inside the bag, resulting in moist food with flavors blended from all the ingredients. The steam is born from the moisture naturally present within the food.
For my first meal testing the bags, I made the fingerling potatoes a wiht rosemary and garlic: (recipe found here, on the Ready Chef go! website) I didn’t have fingerling potatoes, so I used regular potatoes and cut them in wedges, a la fingerlings.
This was amazing. The texture of the potatoes and the mushrooms was perfect – and so simple and easy to do.
For the next meal – I decided to put the kids to “work.” Actually, the bags are so simple to work with, I really wanted to see how the boys did. For this meal, we had shrimp and potatoes. I put them in separate bags, because I knew the shrimp would need much less time.
(You have to click on the slide show to get it to play!)
Now: things to note:
- Ready Chef Go bags are to be used in microwave or oven – they are not designed for use in a slowcooker. I inquired with this specifically with the company.
- The cost, I figure comes out to $1 per bag. At first, might seem pricey compared with other food storage – but this isn’t just food storage, it’s a premium food cooking container, and it’s meant for convenience. Imagine preparing your family’s meal in a bag and freezing it. In the morning, take the bag from the freezer to thaw. At dinner time, pop it in the microwave and you have a homeprepared, homecooked meal in just minutes. Even if I put one in the oven, I still have done all the preparation earlier. I can put the bag in the oven as I come in the door, and by the time bags and books are stowed, hands are washed, and the table is set… dinner is done. One dollar is a lot cheaper than take out (and lets face it — the ready chef go bags are a lot faster, too).
- Not sure how long to cook something? NO WORRIES! Ready Chef Go! bags not only come with full directions — cooking times for both standard and microwave ovens are printed right on the bag – it doesn’t get any easier than that!
Normally, I’m a cast iron and stainless steel girl when it comes to the kitchen, but right here, I think I’ve found a wonderful option for those days when we’re all tired or just short on time, but still want something yummy from our kitchen – no take out needed!
This is a sponsored post.
Any opinion expressed here is mine alone.