Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Quick & Delicious Dinners with Club House Flavourful Recipe Mixes

Dinner time gets pretty stressful in our house. And it can get pretty boring too. Since we don't usually get home from work until 6pm or later, and we have a kid who needs to be in bed by 8:30, there isn't a lot of time to spare. If I'm not careful to plan in advance and have preparations begun the night before, we are often left debating dinner plans in the car. Then we either end up grabbing rather unhealthy (and pricey) take-out, or resorting to dinner from a can or some sort of prepared and fat-filled dish from the freezer section. Plus, even when we do plan, we generally stick with one of our tried and true recipes, since we don't want to have to think too much about the steps in our time crunch. That, and Little Boo is pretty picky, so the path of least resistance often wins.

I just don't have the energy to be creative or fight with a picky eater after working in the office all day.

For all of these reasons I was pretty happy to get the chance to try Club House's Flavourful Recipe Mixes. The promise of a quick, easy and healthy meal definitely appealed to me. Each mix packet comes with a recipe printed on the back, so you can pick up any ingredients you need right while you are in the store. These recipes and more are also available on the Club House website.

Since we all love pasta, and I had chicken breasts in the freezer, I decided to try out the Creamy Parmesan Chicken Penne mix. This packet contains no artificial flavours or colours, no fat, and all the seasonings necessary to make the recipe. No poking around for your spices and measuring out a 1/4 tsp of this and a 1/2 tsp of that. That in itself saves a bundle of time.

Here is the link to the recipe I used, which I found on the back of the packet. This was it for ingredients (plus butter). Nothing out of the ordinary, although since we don't use cream in our coffee I did have to grab the half and half from the store with my weekend grocery shopping.

Basically, just cook the penne as you would normally. While that's doing, slice the chicken thinly, then saute it in butter over medium high heat until lightly brown. Then add a cup of half and half, 1/2 cup parmesan, a 398 ml can of diced tomatoes, plus the seasoning mix. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes, add the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Seriously. The most difficult thing was slicing the chicken, and that was just because I think raw chicken feels yucky. It took all of 2 minutes to slice. The entire meal was presented on the table in about 30 minutes. Perfect for a busy week night at our house. I rounded out the meal with a store bought Caesar salad and garlic bread.

This is what remained of my meal when I was done. Do you think I liked it?
Hubs and I both really enjoyed this meal and cleaned off our plates. The flavour is full and rich and the dish is very satisfying. Mr. Picky Pants announced he didn't like it though. I think he found it too rich. Even at 6 he is not really into any herbs or spices in his meals, even avoiding pepper. Nevertheless, we will be making this again. It was really easy to make a little extra pasta to toss with butter and parmesan for the little guy.  This has to be one of the more tasty and well-rounded meals we have had lately on a week night.  Dinner on the table in less than half an hour? Priceless!

The only complaint I have is actually with the packaging. Or maybe with my ageing eyes. I found the recipe printed on the package was in really small type and difficult to read. But, I was able to figure it out, plus it's available online as well.

Are you interested in trying these mixes out for yourself? Club House has a special coupon available now - "Buy any two Club House Gravies, and get one Club House Flavourful Recipe Mix for Free." You can request you coupon through save.ca

What's more, one lucky Raising My Boys reader will be receiving a Club House product prize pack, along with a $50 gift card to help with your shopping. Contest is open to Canadian residents only and entries will be accepted until 12:00 midnight EDT on October 12. Readers may enter across multiple blogs, but may only win once. Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good luck!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Club House Flavourful Recipe Mixes Blog Tour by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Club House. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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