Saving Time With Recipe Ready (A Giveaway)

Oh, Friday, how I love you!

Life lately has been kind of hectic. This weekend will be the first one in two weeks where I’ll be able to just sit around in PJs all day with no obligations. I. can’t. wait. Don’t get me wrong, I loved visiting family over the past two weeks, but there’s nothing quite like waking up in your own bed and drinking a cup of coffee in your own mug on your own couch. Am I right?

Anyway, I was going through old blog posts recently, and, man, do I miss all the free time I had in college! I was cooking and baking up a storm those days and I really wish I could figure out a way to get back to that with a full time job and a jam-packed schedule.

Jeff and I have been eating out a lot lately and I’m finding myself yearning for the time I used to spend in the kitchen when I was a broke college student and that’s all I could afford to do.

Somebody take me back!

Recipe Ready Chicken & Vegetable Grill

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Birds Eye asking if I wanted to try a new line of products called Recipe Ready.

Recipe Ready comes chock full of pre-sliced vegetables with a recipe included on the bag so busy people like me can save time in the kitchen.

Personally, I love chopping vegetables; I find it therapeutic. My father used to be a chef and I’ve watched him chop onions in two seconds with his eyes closed.

Me? I’d probably chop my hand off if I tried.  Chopping vegetables is easily the most time-consuming part of meal-prep for me.

So I sent an email back to Birds Eye letting them know that I’d love to try Recipe Ready, and, within a couple days, I had this lovely bag of frozen veggies in my possession.

Recipe Ready Chicken & Vegetable Grill 2

Ignore that it says chicken. I’m a vegetarian. I do what I want.

I think it’s pretty cool that Birds Eye includes a recipe on the bag, but I decided to use the veggies to spruce up one of my go-to, easy-peasy weeknight recipes: Baked Cheesy Pasta.

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Adding Recipe Ready to this old favorite was really simple. I just threw the veggies in a pan while the pasta was cooking.

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Then combined the pasta, sauce and veggies in a baking dish…

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…topped it with cheese and popped it in the oven (350 degrees F–covered with foil) for 25 minutes. Then removed the foil and baked it for another 10 minutes.

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So ridiculously easy and delicious!

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I loved that the package included veggies that I wouldn’t normally think to chop up and add to my pasta! The zucchini and squash were my favorite additions.

I also picked up a Recipe Ready bag for tacos, but haven’t had a chance to try it yet. I’m sure it will be just as tasty!

Recipe Ready Giveaway

Recipe Ready Coupons

Because I love you all so much, I want to give you an opportunity to try Recipe Ready, too! Birds Eye offered me five coupons to give away for free packages of Recipe Ready. I’ve decided to split them up so more than one of you can win!

One reader will win three coupons and two runners up will each win a coupon.

This giveaway will run until 11:59 EST Monday night (December 9) and is open to U.S. residents only (sorry to those of you reading outside the U.S.)

To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me how you save time in the kitchen, then click the “I commented” button on the giveaway widget below to earn an entry!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full Disclosure: Birds Eye provided me with coupons to try out Recipe Ready. The opinions stated here are my own.

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My Favorite Faux Meat Products

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while.

When my coworker Michael started at my company back in July, I was psyched to have a vegetarian office buddy to bond with. While discussing faux meat products one day, I was shocked to learn he had never tried Trader Joe’s Masala Burgers. I got right to work drafting up a list of my favorite meatless meat products for him. When I saw Emily’s request for meat substitution suggestions pop up on Twitter a few weeks ago, I promised her I’d share my list.

Emily and about 30 others have vowed to go meat-free for the entire month of March and are tweeting and blogging about their experience under the hashtag #MeatlessMarch. I think it’s awesome, not only because I’m a vegetarian, but also because I stopped eating meat in the exact same way three years ago. I called my challenge Vegetarian February. It changed my life completely, and I’ll be writing a guest post for Emily on that very topic later this month. Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite faux meat products.*

Before you start reading, I should note that Jeff is most definitely not a vegetarian (quite the opposite, actually), and he enjoys all of the products I list here.

Best Burgers:

I love one on a toasted whole wheat bun with all the fixins’: lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, ketchup.

Best Chicken:

  • Quorn Chick’n Nuggets (these me wonder what they put in actual chicken nuggets because they taste so similar)
  • Trader Joe’s Chickenless Crispy Tenders

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Best Hotdogs:

Tofurky Hotdogs

Best Meatballs:

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Best Deli Meats:

  • Tofurky (I like the oven-roasted turkey)

[No pic-but picture the sandwich I had for lunch yesterday: Tofurky Oven-Roasted Turkey, Avocado, Sharp Cheddar, Tomatoes and Kale on Whole Foods Quinoa Flax Bread-delicious!]

Best Meat Crumbles:

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Best Sausage:

For pasta

  • Links: Tofurky

For breakfast:

  • MorningStar Farms sausage patties (probably the only MorningStar Farms product I like)

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* I try to stay away from products with ingredient lists that are a mile long or with ingredients I can’t pronounce. I also try to limit my intake of fake meat products in general. I’d much rather make a meal from scratch than heat up a frozen product. But for those lazy nights when I get home from work and don’t feel like cooking, having these products on hand makes my life a lot easier.

There you have it- my favorite faux meat products! I hope you’ll try any enjoy them all!

How do you feel about meatless-meat products? Do you have any favorites?

Have a great Wednesday!

Note- I was not contacted by any of the companies listed to write this post. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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