Saturday, October 30, 2010

**Product Review** Good Earth Dinner Kit

October marks a year since I learned about, figured out and wigged out over couponing.  Funny how that has become a verb.  And, I don't mind telling you, I've become pretty damn good at it.  I have cut our household expenditures by at least 60%, and that may be a conservative estimate.  All I can tell you is that it has added up...big time.

So, for quite some time I've been seeing and actually cutting out coupons for some product called 'Good Earth.'  I hadn't heard anything about it from friends, on TV, Facebook, nothing.  So, I saved the coupons, never saw a sale for this product, coupons expired, I clipped the next ones.  Well, a couple of weeks ago I decided to break this cycle and (insert audible gasp here) buy one at RETAIL (+ a coupon of course; I'm not crazy).  I only bought one to give it a go.  Here's how it all went down:

I chose the 'Mediterranean Chicken' kit.  It consists of a seasoning packet of herbs & spices (garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, onion), a cheese sauce packet (cheddar, cheese cultures, salt, etc) seasoned flour and whole-wheat angel hair pasta. Now, of course there are some components that come from a lab.  Hello people, we can't store stuff on the shelf, in boxes, jars, tubes or bags without a little help from the lab!  Although I hated chemistry with a passion, I must advocate for that's not all bad just because it has a long name that you can't pronounce.  Hell, we had more than one President who couldn't properly pronounce 'nuclear' and consequently have millions of Americans that now do the same, because, that's how the President(s) said it.  Ok, I'm off track...reeling myself in.  

The ingredients I was responsible for:  chicken, olive oil, milk, & hot water.  Trim and slice chicken (good for people like me who can't tolerate skin, fat or cartilaginous funk).  Coat chicken in seasoned flour and pan fry in olive oil until golden.  Then I added herb packet, hot water, milk and sauce packet.  Of course the pasta is boiling away at this point (a whopping 5 minutes, thank you angel hair).  Boil then simmer about 8 minutes.  They suggest either serving the chicken & sauce over pasta or tossing together.  I chose the latter.

It was very good.  Not $18 entree in a restaurant good, but a rockin' good entree for a 15 minute meal at home after work on a busy pre-Halloween night. (I "installed" cob webs on the porch and carved a pumpkin tonight too).  The flavors were very full and satisfying and the sauce pulled it all together...pasta, tender chicken and Mediterranean spices.  I had lots leftover and so I'm curious to see how it tastes tomorrow, since so many dishes are better on day 2.  And, here's good news:  a serving size is 1 cup and has 290 calories, 3g of fat and only 470mg of sodium.  The biggest problem with most "prepared foods" is that they have enough sodium to dry up 4 million jellyfish. 

So, if you want my opinion (you do, right?) give it a try.  Oh yeah, on the box, they recommend a variation using pork tenderloin sliced into thin medallions.  That sounds super duper to me, so that's what I'm planning the next time around.  As my life gets busier, I find it's just smart to have some little tricks like this hanging around in the cabinets.

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