I am not generally a big fan of convenience food products, but we’ve stumbled on a few lately that we (we being Will and I) really like. Even an ardent believer in home cooking like me believes that sometimes, packaged food can help create a decent meal in no time flat.
But remember, homemade is always best.
- Old El Paso Chipotle Taco Seasoning – I gravitate towards anything with chipotle. I would be lying if I didn’t say it’s at least due in part to how much fun it is to say. It has a really nice kick to it. I worried for a second that it might be too much of a kick for Will . . . uh, no. He gobbled two tacos up and made yummy noises all the time . . . Considering that a jar of chipotle chili powder is almost $8 at the local grocery store (ordering from Penzey’s is so much cheaper!), this is a great alternative when you are looking for that chipotle zing. Shawn liked this one too . . .
- Old El Paso Fresh Mexican Style Smooth Rojo Salsa – We don’t do mild here. It’s always medium and this is a nice, smooth (but textured) salsa that goes really well on tacos. Will ended up eating the remainder of this salsa that was on his plate with a spoon. It was that good.
- Trader Joe’s Korma Curry Simmer Sauce – Korma is an Indian dish. A few years back, some coworkers of mine ordered it in a restaurant and I was intrigued. It wasn’t something I had heard of but it hit my radar and I really wanted to try it. Just before Paige was born I found this simmer sauce at Trader Joe’s and bought it. Then it sat on the shelf . . . We shouldn’t have waited this long. It has a nice and authentic seeming kick to it. Will? He couldn’t get enough. Plus, it was ultra-easy. Just cook the chicken in a pan, add the sauce and heat through.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.