9:30 PM "Mom?"
"Yes?" "I'm hungry" "🤨🤨🤨" I don't know about you, but I have no desire to cook by this time in the evening. It's a good thing she's cute, lol. She's been doing this for years, but it's gotten worse (and weirder) during the pandemic. During the most extreme part of shelter-in-place/quarantine, our days and nights were pretty fluid and I wasn't getting take out. That means every meal we ate, I made. I tried some frozen meals and snacks but the quality of the meals was iffy. Rubber chicken, mushy veggies and freezer burnt rice and pasta abounded. The frozen fried foods were much tastier....but also come with a healthy dose of mom-guilt. These are not the healthiest of options. Times have changed and now I'm more comfortable with takeout from local restaurants but DoorDash and I are in a fight and it's expensive. Sandwiches for two + fees = $40? Really? Enter Cadence Kitchen. I really wish I had known about these chef prepared, liquid nitrogen flash frozen meals last April. It would have given me the occasional much needed break from cooking. Plus, the food science nerd in me is fascinated by their liquid nitrogen freezing process. Faster freezing means fewer ice crystals which equals a better taste. If it's frozen in moments there's no chance for the food to lose it's flavor. Now that I know, I've started keeping a little stash of these delicious meals in my freezer. It's amazing that I can open up a bag, pour it in my favorite pan and in 8 or 9 minutes we're eating food we both like with veggies and proteins that are actually appetizing.
It turns out that they have also solved some other meals for me. Like today, Em is at school and I'm spring cleaning and dancing around and I'm hungry. I look in the fridge and see there are some leftover sides in their but nothing to make a meal out of. I don't want to cook because I'm in the cleaning zone, you know? *Boom* Cadence Kitchen Chicken Stir Fry goes in to the skillet, heat up the leftover rice and I'm eating (on the kitchen floor, don't judge me) 15 minutes later.
So far we've tried their Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya, Chicken Stir Fry, Chicken Tikka Masala, Four Cheese Mac & Cheese, Prime Rib Beef Roast & Gravy, and the Surf & Turf Fried Rice. Here's our reviews:
Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya
This was actually the first CK meal we tried. I was really impressed by how tender the chicken was and the bell peppers still had texture. If you've ever had something with frozen bell peppers you'll know they're often reduced to mushy little blobs or basically just the skin remains and the rest dissolves. Not appetizing. I was so impressed I called my mom to tell her about the peppers. 😂
Chicken Stir Fry This was today's lunch and it was so good with my leftover rice. The chicken was incredibly juicy, the veggies cooked up like I had just sliced them myself and the little bit of spice was just right. Em ate the leftovers after school and said the cashews were "little bits of magic". Direct quote, 😆.
Chicken Tikka Masala OK, broken record, I know, but the chicken is just too tender to believe it was frozen. If you'll try it you'll understand. The sauce was so good that Em and I were almost fighting over who would eat the last of it. I let her have it but next time... it's mine! Em's making some as I type. That's right, it's easy enough for my 11 year old to make.
Four Cheese Mac & Cheese Em doesn't really care for mac and cheese so I made this while she was at school. I topped it with some thick cut, gochujang and honey glazed bacon. Oh man...this is seriously cheesy. Like actual cheese pull when you spoon it out. My only complaint would be that if I wasn't eating this with bacon I probably would have wanted to add a little pepper to it. It wasn't bad, that's just my taste.
Prime Rib Beef Roast & Gravy Em doesn't like gravy but she gave this a try. The meat was so tender and flavorful that she ate a few pieces anyway 🤣🤣. The pearl onion in this were great. It was impressive that they retained their texture despite being frozen. I'd eat this again with mashed potatoes or rice but it's not one of the ones I keep in the fridge. It'll be one of the ones I pick up when I'm in the mood. Last, but certainly not least,
Surf & Turf Fried Rice This is our favorite. There will always be some of this in the freezer which is sort of amazing because it has eggs and peas in it. I hate eggs and Em refuses to eat eggs but we both love this. Go figure. The shrimp is clearly a modern miracle because I've never had frozen shrimp turn out well. It always turns in to rubbery, shrunken bits of shrimp before the rest of the meal kit is done. Not with this CK meal. They remained plump and juicy. The beef and chicken are also tender and flavorful. I have to watch Em to keep her from stealing all of the beef chunks before I can get to it. This is a fabulous dish. This one is really a "dining out at home" experience, especially when paired with some air fried egg rolls or steamed dumplings. Em asked me if we could have this for dinner tonight and when I said no, I'm cooking I got a very disappointed "aww". Traitor 😆 Don't get me wrong, I still love crafting homemade meals, but I'm more than happy to let Cadence Kitchen do the cooking for me now and again. If you're interested in trying these meals (and you totally should be), head out to your local Schnucks because they're having a buy one, get one free sale now until April 13, 2021. You can try two of the entrees for $10 and that's a steal! To find a store near you that carries Cadence Kitchen head to https://www.cadencekitchen.com/where-to-find-us/ Conveniently yours, E *Cadence Kitchen has sponsored this post but all opinions are my own. The first Cadence Kitchen meal I tried was not sponsored.