Tag Archives: Jamie Oliver

Try It Tuesday: Butternut Squash & Quinoa Pilaf

23 Aug

Oh Jamie Oliver, Β how you tempt me!

It seems every time I go grocery shopping and am in the frozen aisle I see a Jamie Oliver product I want to try, dangerous not only to my eating plan but also to my budget lol Lucky for me I seem to spot his items when they are on sale, or maybe they are always on sale…nah, that can’t be it!

Once again I bought the item thinking it was a meal on its own and it turned out it is actually meant to be a side dish. I figured I’d try eating is as such which meant I had to cook an entire meal -the horrors!

Here is what I started with…

Sorry it isn’t in focus, I would have sworn it was when I took the picture and the box is in the recycling now so too late to try again, oops.

Like the box says, this is a butternut squash & quinoa pilaf with mixed rice, pumpkin seeds and cranberries. The box makes a point of saying how it is made with whole grains and contains no preservatives or artificial flavours, so ya know, if that matters to you, there ya go. πŸ˜‰

When frozen it looks like this…

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Pretty decent huh? I chose to microwave it because (1) the box says I can do that and it’ll be fine and (2) my oven was busy cooking other things and coordinating multiple food items in the oven is not a strong skill of mine…something always ends up either burned or not fully cooked, ugh.

So yeah, this sucker got microwaved and turned out great! I paired it with some chicken from M&M Meat Shops and McCain’s Super Fries. Random? Yes. Tasty? Also yes. πŸ™‚

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A portion is 1/3 of the package, or 125 grams. I weighed my portion out then portioned out the remainder of the package so it would be ready for when I wanted the leftovers and there is actually more in the package than three full servings. Not a big deal, just a large spoonful over but if you are really strict about portions you’ll end up having a bit left over. I may have eaten the random spoonful and pretended it didn’t count but ya know, that is me, you do you! If you follow Weight Watchers the Smart Points are 6 per serving.

It isn’t some flavour packed dish, not that I was expecting that, I mean c’mon, it is butternut squash, quinoa and rice…none of those are particularly flavourful items. Having said that, it tasted good. It isn’t covered in some sauce or trying to pretend it is anything other than what it is, which is a nice change for packaged, microwavable food lol. I did put a spoonful of salsa on the left over serving I had the next day at lunch and it took it from good to yum, but you have to keep in mind I love salsa so I’m biased. πŸ˜›

I’d put this on my buy again list, as long as it is on sale! πŸ˜‰

 

Try It Tuesday: Chipotle Black Beans

28 Jun

I missed last weeks Try It Tuesday, not because I didn’t have something to write about but because time was not on my side. Lets get back on track shall we? πŸ™‚

Jamie Oliver’s Brazilian-style Chipotle Black Beans- it is a stew with chunks of sweet potato and sweet red peppers. Lemme tell ya, none of the “sweet” veg took away from the spicy which maybe I would have clued in to ahead of time if I had noticed the two little jalapenos on the bottom area of the front of the box. Apparently Jamie has a warning system that I didn’t notice, oops!

This is a side dish, something else I also didn’t notice and according to Jamie is best served with “crispy griddled chicken thighs, brown rice, fresh greens and a spicy tomato salsa or in a fluffy baked potato with grated strong cheddar and a dollop of soured cream”. Despite Jamie’s so thoughtful suggestions I went my own way and ate it as a stand alone stew – I’m such a rebel! πŸ˜‰ lol

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It heats up the same way all frozen meals do, take the tray out of the box, puncture the plastic top, pop in the oven for a while and boom! Food that took no effort on my part! This one takes 40-45 minutes at 350F. I could have microwaved it but I am already cheating by heating up a frozen meal, putting it in the microwave is just taking this whole lazy “cooking” thing too far.

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Not the prettiest thing when frozen, and I kinda failed at the whole piercing the plastic thing but meh, it all worked out in the end, shrug.

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I don’t know about you but I think that looks goooooood! Maybe it is because I am a sucker for sweet potatos, and stew, and easy cooking…who knows? After it is pulled out of the oven you are supposed to let it sit for a couple minutes and that helps it thicken up a bit. I left it a little longer than the box suggested because I like stews to be quite thick and it worked, it also made it so I didn’t have to blow on the spoon before every bite which was nice cause ya know, burning my mouth is not a thing I enjoy.

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It however lost some of its charming, yummy look once put in to a bowl, sigh. Now it looks like green mush, or slime, or something icky. It tastes way better than it looks, honest!

I tried some of it on its own and it was too spicy for me, sadness. I like spice but there has to be flavour along with the spice, not juuuust spice. So I added some ranch dressing to it, weird yes, but it works, lol, and it helped. If I had cheese in the apartment I would have topped it with that and I bet that would have cut down just enough on the spice while adding flavour and take it up that extra notch.

The entire package fit in to one of my small bowls so if you are eating it on your own it is a good size to be a meal by itself but if you are sharing it you’ll definitely need something else to go with it -perhaps one of Jamie’s suggestions?

 

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