When is convenience food ok, and which do you use?

Yummy tea last night. I bought a Swarz paella mix and rice from Aldi a while ago and thought I would give it a go. I stripped the meat from two chicken thighs instead of using the prawns they suggested and replacimageed the peas and pepper with a courgette and runner beans from the garden. I also used half a chorizo ring, again from Aldi. It was absolutely scrumptious and we had leftovers for lunch as well.

I am not sure of the cost but I think it worked out pretty cheap, and was really nice enough for a dinner party.

This is the kind of easy meal
I need after work. If I was at home I am sure I would cook everything from scratch but working full time, time is of the essence and I don’t want to spend my whole evening cooking.

Some cheats are better than others I think. I never use pasta sauces from a jar as they are always too sweet and it’s quick to make my own, but I happily use casserole mixes as they are nicer.

I am even going to try some pastry and crumble mixes that I got from Approved Food, although I have to say I used a batter mix for Yorkshire puddings from them the other day and it wasn’t great.

What convenience foods do you find acceptable, and which are worth avoiding?

8 thoughts on “When is convenience food ok, and which do you use?

  1. AuntLeesie

    That looks good! I, too, use rice mixes from time to time. My favorites are seasoned long grain and wild rice, jambalaya, dirty rice and rice pilaf mixes. My guys like boxed macaroni and cheese a few times per year. I buy corn bread mix on a semi-regular basis… it’s only 69 cents per package, and is ready-to-bake in just a minute or two. The other thing I regularly buy (as a seasoning, mostly) is packaged French onion soup mix; our Dollar store has it, and there are three envelopes in a box.

  2. AuntLeesie

    Gigibird, I forgot… I keep instant mashed potatoes in the pantry for a super-fast Shepherd’s pie topping. Are you in the US or UK? I’ve never seen frozen mashed potatoes. I cook for and feed six adults every week on a tight budget, but sometimes… with all that work… I’ll use some convenience along with home made. As long as I can find a great sale! 🙂

  3. Charlotte Pountney

    We occasionally have Sainsbury’s best oven chips…I can’t face deep frying and they taste fantastic! I tend to use canned beans and chickpeas too and quite a lot of frozen petit pois from Aldi!

  4. Linda Kay

    I seldom use any prepared foods, I find the taste kind of weird. So can’t say I have any favorites because of this. However, I do think Lean Quisine makes some pretty good small meals when you don’t have anything else to fix.

  5. Magge McGregor

    From Margie in Toronto – I keep pkg. mashed potatoes and some seasoning mixes. Occasionally if there is a good sale I’ll buy a frozen lasagna (mostly the seafood or roasted veggie versions) – I’m on my own so it’s expensive & time consuming to make something like this for myself and like you couldn’t start from scratch on something like this after work.


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