Somewhere along the line, life with kids turned overly hectic. Dash here, rush there… Practices, meets, games,  play dates, activities…. We could restrict them to less but right now, we’re letting them make some choices and try out different things.

Unfortunately, what it has done is make me even less likely to want to plan meals. We’re scrambling to get places on time and fitting in full meals just seems, well, impossible. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a husband who is willing ton step up and take over where I fail.  He’s a great cook and I’ve been spoiled by that since the day I met him.

But even hubby gets tired of cooking. We end up eating out way more than we should and we’re trying to figure out a way to break that cycle. As part of a campaign for MyBlogSpark, I received a package of Wanchai Ferry Beef and Broccoli.  Yes, a frozen dinner. Home cooking – even in frozen dinner form – is better than eating out all the time.

So the other day, amidst our chaos and lack of planning, I asked hubby if Asian food sounded good for dinner. He agreed so I set off to slave over the hot stove for the advertised 14 minutes to prepare it.

Like I said, it’s a frozen dinner, so a last minute decision to make it is never a problem. It was my first time making this particular brand so I wasn’t sure how it was going to be. The package contained three things – the main mix (of beef and vegetables), a package of microwavable rice and a sauce pouch. The only good experience that I have with microwave rice is packaged Uncle Ben’s – which I love. With other microwave rice such as those found in single-serve microwave entrees, the rice ends up dry and undercooked in places and overcooked and mushy in others. So I was anxious to find out how Wanchai did with theirs.

Here’s how it went:
Ease of Preparation: I grabbed a pan for the sauté portion of the meal.  It was a very simple process and didn’t take much time at all.  Literally like 15 minutes.  While working on the meat/veggie part, I prepared the rice in the microwave.  What a fast and easy process this was.  With our hectic schedule, this was fantastic.

Flavors: The taste of the stir-fry was very good and the rice was cooked perfectly.  It was surprising how good it tasted considering how easy it was.  The sizes of the meat and vegetables must have been carefully calculated to prevent undercooked meat with overcooked broccoli.  The vegetables also kept their form and texture as opposed to getting mushy.

Portions: It is very often that our family makes due with smaller portions for dinner. As an example, we’ll cook up one chicken breast or one steak to share between the four of us. With that being said, the fact that this meal was packaged as a “complete meal for two” didn’t bother me too much.  HOWEVER, once it was done, dinner for two was truly dinner for two – or less. When we were done eating, we were still hungry. The girls each had small portions but even factoring the small amount they had, I think it still wouldn’t have been enough. I would have felt much more satisfied if the portion of rice was bigger. That’s kind of funny considering the rice was the part of the meal I didn’t think I would like!

How about the kids?  They love Asian foods as long as they get to use their kid-friendly chopsticks.  Their favorite entree is, without a doubt, General Tso’s chicken.  However, they’re always willing to try others and beef with vegetables usually fares well also.

Overall, it was a good meal and I would be interested in trying other varieties of the frozen dinners as well as checking out their boxed dinner kits.  How about you?  Are you up for an easy Chinese dinner?  Grab a coupon and get it at your local store!  In the meantime, enter to win!

The Prize: Wanchai Ferry Prize Package
Participants –
…must provide a US shipping address (no P.O. Boxes, sorry)
…must provide an email in the first comment, email me directly with an email address or have email accessible from their profile.

Sometime on August 14, 2010, a winner will be chosen at random from all valid comments left. Winner has 72 hours from posting/notification to respond. If winner cannot be contacted, I will move on to the next random selection.
How to enter: (GIVEAWAY CLOSED)

67 thoughts on “Chinese Dinner in a Rush

  1. Have already tried the Shrimp Lo mein, and it was excellent! Easy to follow directions, short cooking time – all in all a good experience. Next we'd like to try The Orange Chicken – yumm!

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