We tend to have our “date nights” on Wednesday nights. This works out well because it’s the night I take our son to karate and, by the time we get home, my husband has our girls all tucked in. We eat late, linger over some wine, and reconnect– important, because we’ve been apart since 7:00 that morning.
Last night, my husband was really craving Chinese take-out, which got me off the hook for making a fancier, home-cooked meal. Honestly, I enjoy a mix of those things– the fancy homemade stuff and the easy, no-work-for-me stuff.
No matter which option we choose, however, one thing remains the same– I cook for the kids. I feed them all before we head out for karate and I freqently make something very simple like my Cheesy Beans & Rice.
Because they had seen the package arrive, however, my children were all clamoring to try something new last night. Who was I to argue?
I am going to be totally blunt here– I was pretty suspicious of this boxed concoction. I mean, I liked the idea of a grain salad– and I was thrilled that my children were so excited to try it– but I couldn’t envision much quality coming out of some little packets.
Nonetheless, I was impressed with how easy the whole process was. Essentially, I boiled a big pot of water, tossed in the mesh-like pouch full of grains, and just let it gently boil in there for about twenty minutes. After that, I ran it under cold water, then dumped it in a bowl. Seriously simple. I was amazed that three different types of rice and quinoa could all cook evenly that way, but I’m not arguing with easy.
I mixed up the dressing packet and assembled the Harvest Grains salad. Here’s how it looked:
Pretty, right? I was perhaps most impressed with the quantity of almonds and cranberries included. Too often, packaged dishes seem to skimp on that sort of ingredient.
The verdict? All three children ate it. And liked it. All three children, however, also thought the dressing tasted funny. I tried it, and I think it’s overly sweet. Of course, one of my kids regularly eats French dressing, so I wouldn’t think the sweetness was bothering her. I’m not really sure. I think I would maybe make a quick bleu cheese vinaigrette if I were to cook it up again. It wouldn’t take much time and would be AMAZING with the cranberries and almonds. Dressings are highly personal things, but I think my family would like something with a little more zing and little less sweetness.
I’m truly looking forward to trying the other two varieties– Tuscan and Southwest. I think adding some chicken and veggies could turn one of these into a super simple, satisfying meal, actually.
What do you think? Have you seen these before? (I hadn’t!) Which one sounds the best to you?
Disclosure: I was provided with a sample gift box and product information through Platefull. All opinions are my own– and, in this case, my children’s!