Dinner made easy, the cooksimple way

In case ya’ll haven’t figured out from my ranting and raving, I’m a busy gal.

Between working 40 hours a week at a job I love, spending 24/7 being a mother to my feisty toddler and needy infant and a wife to my husband, it can get really, really hard to find time to do the things I want (like baking cupcakes and then running said cupcakes off).

Heck, it can get really, really hard to find time to do the things I don’t want to do (like clean the house, do laundry, wash the dishes and vacuum).

Sometimes, I’m the kind of girl that likes to pick her dinner from some assortment of menus shoved in our kitchen drawer; more often than not though, I’m the kind of girl that likes to make dinner for her family.

Unfortantely, I don’t always have the time needed to acquire groceries to make said meal, let alone actually cook the food. Take the last two weeks for instance: I threw a gender party for a close friend, I had to fly to California for business, I had softball lessons and we had family in town. See, what I mean? Busy.

Thankfully, some super friendly folks from The Healthy Pantry contacted me about testing out a few of their products. They specialize in pre-packaged meal kits that are designed to not only taste good, but to suit diets of all shapes and sizes, from meat eaters to vegans.

 I was lucky enough to test out three kits of their current line up: cranberry wild rice, Tibetan dal and Punjabi Curry.

I’m not going to lie, I’m a real sucker for curry, so the Punjabi was the first thing I made. And let me tell you, it was by far my favorite of the meals I got to try. I love curry so much, but I’m so, so, so bad at making it. So to be able to pop open a box and add my favorite protein to it was great.

What’s even better is most of the kits aren’t just sensitive to different diets (some of the boxes suggest adding chicken, but also recommend plant-based protein such as tofu and tempeh), they’re really customizable too. My husband and I aren’t the biggest pea lovers, so instead of adding all the peas the kit provided we added half. The dinners vary in cook time, but the three I had took anywhere from 10-30 minutes tops (and some of that time is probably because I’m a bit clumsy in the kitchen).

I’m also a pretty big fan of all things lentil, so the Tibetan dal was the perfect blend of earthy and tangy by just adding tomatoes. The cranberry wild rice is a nice change of pace from your run-of-the-mill rice dish, and would make the perfect compliment to some sort of Thanksgiving or feasty type of meal.

In addition to the products I was lucky enough to try, Healthy Pantry’s cooksimple kits are available in: Skillet lasagna, white bean chili, New Orleans jambalaya, tamale pie, cowboy chili and asian burgers.

 These kits are available at most health food stores, particularly the big-name ones, Whole Foods, Earth Fare and Wegmans. More information on the products I was lucky enough to sample, in addition to kit variations and ingredients can be found at http://www.thehealthypantry.com/.

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