I shared with you in December about the BzzAgent campaign our family has participated in for Kroger Skillet Meals (read my review here). Kroger Skillet Meals are a tasty, fantastic and easy way to get a healthy dinner on the table for yourself or your family in about 10 minutes or less. They’re found in the freezer section of Kroger Stores and come in a wide variety of meal types, including Italian, Asian and Mexican flavors; some with rice, some with pasta and some with just a protein and veggies. In our BzzAgent campaign, we were provided coupons so that we could try the Skillet Meals for free, as well as coupons that we could share with our friends for discounted meals.
In my first review, I shared with you how we loved our first choice, the Sesame Chicken Skillet Meal. We were so impressed with that one, that we bought more of them and made them for our Christmas lunch meal (along with a lot of appetizers and finger foods). This was perfect for all of us, because it gave us a healthy and delicious meal that didn’t take a lot of meal preparation time. We all found the Sesame Chicken quite delicious, as well!
One of the things we really appreciate about the Skillet Meals is that they are a pretty healthy meal for less than you’d spend for a family of three or four for fast food. So, for those evenings when you’re exhausted or you’ve been out with your family all day and need to get dinner on the table quickly, the Skillet Meals are amazing solutions. All you have to do is pull them out of the freezer, follow the heating instructions, and in 10 minutes you have a delicious and healthy dinner on the table.
Even though we’d already used our BzzAgent coupon for the free meal, we have bought more skillet meals. This time we continued on our Asian theme and bought the Spicy Orange Chicken and Chicken Stir-Fry versions of the Skillet Meals.
We cooked the Chicken Stir-Fry first. Sometimes the Skillet Meals come with either brown rice or pasta inside the bag, but this one did not. That was actually a nice benefit, though, because it included more chicken and vegetables! So before I opened the stir-fry bag, I started a couple of cups of brown rice in my pressure cooker. When the rice was about halfway done I opened the stir-fry. Again, the directions are so simple:
- Heat oil in a hot skillet (I’ve used both my 10-inch cast iron skillet and my 12-inch stainless steel frying pan, with identical results).
- Thaw sauce packet in bowl of warm water
- Pour contents of bag (except for sauce or extras like sesame seeds) into skillet
- Stir-fry over high or medium heat (the heat level varies with the different meal types) for 7-9 minutes
- Pour sauce over chicken and veggies and cook for one more minute, til heated through
We’re a family of three, and these bags provide a generous serving for each of us. The Chicken Stir-Fry had a sort of teriyaki-ish sauce, which was interesting and flavorful. In addition, there was enough chicken so that everyone felt he’d gotten enough. The vegetables in the Chicken Stir-Fry included broccoli, sugar snap peas, carrots, red bell peppers, water chestnuts, mushrooms, baby green beans and a few others. It was delicious with our brown rice and all three of us enjoyed it!
Today was our day to take down the Christmas tree and put away all the ornaments and decorations, so I knew that our other Kroger Skillet Meal would make a quick and healthful lunch. Although the Spicy Orange Chicken Skillet Meal comes with a small packet of cooked brown rice, I decided to prepare whole-grain spaghetti instead, so I put that on first. Then, I started the Spicy Orange Chicken meal. Its directions were identical to the Chicken Stir Fry, so I followed those. Like its predecessor, it also contained lean chicken breast (not fried, by the way, but grilled) and delicious veggies (broccoli and carrot slices). I wanted to add a little extra veggies, so I poured in about 3 oz. frozen peas. That rounded out the veggies nicely.
I was still a little concerned, however, about the spiciness of the sauce. Jackson (who’s 11) is slowly warming up to spicier foods but I wasn’t sure if this would be too spicy for him. So, before I poured the sauce over the stir-fry at the end, I spooned about a third of the stir-fried chicken and veggies into another pan and made a faux lo mein sauce for him (using teriyaki sauce and a little pure maple syrup). As it turned out, the spicy orange sauce was only mildly spicy, with the biggest kick in the aftertaste, but I think it would have been too much for the boy. This way, everybody was happy! And the whole-grain spaghetti was a perfect fit for both the stir-fry and the sauces.
Believe me, we’ll continue to stock up on Kroger’s Skillet Meals. Although they are not organic (which we prefer), they are very tasty and there are healthy selections available. For $6.99 per bag, you really spend less than you would on a fast-food meal for your family; plus you get the added benefits of healthier food with lots of flavor. Jackson really wants to try one of the Italian Skillet Meals (like Tuscan-Style Penne or Sausage Rigatoni) but we haven’t gotten to those yet. One of these days, for sure!