Think Inside the Box!

Let’s face it. Even as a die-hard home chef, you can’t always be cooking dishes from scratch. Occasionally, you will have to resort to those meals-in-a box. Not the microwaveable kind of dinner stuff, but those that require some semblance of actually “cooking!”  Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so you may  be thinking about  your turkey stuffing. Or you might have been invited to a potluck and your busy work schedule just doesn’t allow you to go grocery-shopping, let alone preparing a home-cooked meal. So you end up bringing macaroni and cheese, straight out of the box.

But hey, let’s give a little credit to some of those boxed meals.  They might even impress your guests who will think you’re such a gourmet cook!

I love Paella and Arroz Valenciana, but it’s not everyday that I can prepare this dish from scratch.   I frequent The World Market (Cost Plus) and always find some amazing imported food items that come in a box.  One of my greatest finds is this product of Spain, Paella Valenciana (brand name Vigo).  All it takes is 30 minutes to cook up this delicious yellow rice and seafood dinner. And nothing prevents you from adding ingredients like fresh shrimp, clams, chorizo or your favorite vegetable. As for me, I decided to add 1/2 cup of green peas, 1/2 cup of sliced Portuguese sausage and fresh to tomatoes.

Sometimes, it’s good to think inside the box!

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