Thursday, August 30, 2012

Exotic Convenience

I know we usually post actual honest-to-gosh recipes here, but my ability to cook has been seriously compromised this week.

Seriously . . . new job, classes starting, deadline for a book.  Normally, I'd pawn the cooking off on the hubs, but he's joined a new band and been working extra hours.  There's a whole lot of tired in our household.

We've plowed through baked potatoes, vegie burgers, and dressed up frozen pizza.  It's all getting a little old already.  So I made an emergency run to the grocery store this afternoon and came home with a tasty, exotic 10 minute meal.

What did I get?  The stuff for a simple but fundamentally yummy and completely satisfying Indian feast:

  1. Packaged naan.  Naan is a flat Indian bread, similar to pita but softer with a slightly buttery flavor.  My Kroger now carries a display of packaged naan in the bread section of the store, and you can sometimes find it in the freezer section.  Either way, preheat the oven and throw the naan in to heat up for a couple of minutes.  Not kidding . . . a couple of minutes.  Because the bread is so thin, it heats quickly.  If you cannot find naan, try a soft pita, wrapped in foil and warmed in a 350 oven for about 10 minutes.
  2. Ready rice.  Uncle Ben's makes these little pouches of rice that you simply toss in the microwave for 90 seconds.  Ninety seconds!  I picked up basmati, but they also have regular long grain, jasmine, or brown varieties.  It lasts on the shelf for a while, so pick up a few bags, and have a supply on hand for emergency meals.
  3. Tasty Bite Indian entrees.  This particular brand of vacuum packed (in a pouch) entrees can be found at Kroger and World Market.  You may have to look in the health food section instead of the international food section.  Tonight we're having Bombay potatoes (which is a little spicy) and Punjab eggplant (which is a little sweet).  All of the flavors I have tried have been delicious, all are vegetarian, and most are vegan.  Toss the bags in boiling water for five minutes, then cut open, pour, and serve.  Again, these last on the shelf, so stock up for last minute dinners when you have nothing else to serve.
I know all about busy, but busy need not be bland.

And I promise a real recipe next week.  Honest.


  1. Wendy - Great suggestions and good luck with the start of the new school year. The transition from summer to fall is a little crazy for everyone, especially for families getting their younger kids ready for classes and their older children transported to college. Marc and I had our own too-busy-to-cook issues recently with a fridge on the fritz, a broken sink, and a sick cat! But that's what take-out is for (and budget-wise purchases like the ones in your post). Have a good week, good luck on the new job and deadlines, and I hope you can find the time to enjoy a little of the upcoming Labor Day weekend with your hub. (Busy need not be bland is a great way to put it, too. :))

    ~ Cleo

  2. I hope things settle down for you soon, Wendy. I buy the Naan at my local Kroger, too. It's pretty good!

    ~ Krista

  3. Good luck with your new job and classes. I didn't know you can buy pre-packaged Indian food. We don't have a Kroger but maybe Whole Foods has them.