I always dismiss canned and frozen meals because they're so ridiculous and gross-looking. I decided to put my money where my mouth was and actually eat a frozen dinner and a canned pasta.
I didn't grow up on any of these things, that's why I naturally think canned and frozen dinners, and pre-made dinners, are ridiculous. My parents always made sure to cook something every day. We couldn't afford these kinds of foods either. Growing up on the Navajo Nation reservation, you don't come by these things as often and when you do, they're much more expensive than what you would normally pay at grocery stores in urban areas. Plus we were poor, so we couldn't be wasting money on things that we could made for cheaper.
I decided to get Amy's Kitchen Indian palak paneer. As you can see, it really doesn't look like the picture and it didn't taste like any Indian food I ever had. The rice was watery, the paneer was very spicy (there were way too many spices in it for comfort) and it sort of took over the whole dish. The bland rice was actually a relief to offset the powerful spicy spinach. The beans on the side were OK. At least it had a balanced flavor and still tasted like beans. It took me four bites to finish everything and I had an unpleasant aftertaste all day. I would never eat one of these meals again. I can make this stuff without the gross aftertaste any day and I'm going to keep it that way.
If you've never had Indian food, do yourself a favor and don't start in the frozen aisle. Have real food made by a real person. Indian restaurants are always doing their lunch buffets.
I got a can of Chef Boyardee from my sister. They were cleaning their pantry and I volunteered to take a can off their hands. I have never had Chef Boyardee food in my life and as soon as I opened the can, I was horrified. I immediately made myself a small side salad because I knew nothing in this can was going to give me any nutrients. I don't believe the "2 full servings of vegetables" on the can for one second!
I scraped the mushy mass of ravioli into a pan and warmed it up on the stove. Some of the raviolis came apart while I stirred it and I winced at the brown beef goo on the inside. When it looked hot I slid the pasta onto a plate and I prepared myself for an adventure.
It was disgusting. The sauce tasted metallic like the inside of a tin can. The sauce couldn't resemble a pasta sauce even if we closed our eyes and wished for it to. I thought maybe it would taste like ketchup, but it wasn't close to that at all. It was a very bland, sweet nothing. And that's what the whole can of food tasted like: bland, sweet nothing with a metallic, processed finish. The pasta was extremely soft and needed no chewing. The beef filling was nothing more than a brown tasteless paste. I tried putting Parmesan cheese on it but it got lost in the underwhelming sauce.
That's one meal I will never get back. That's 20 shitty minutes of my life down the drain.
On a recent trip to Wal-Mart, I noticed a very young couple (probably freshmen in college) with a full cart of Chef Boyardee and little frozen dinners. There were juice boxes and some cookies too. It's unbelievable that people buy this stuff on purpose. It's unbelievable to think that this is what they choose to live on.
They must not know how to cook. They must not know about food. They must have never tasted real homemade food. They must never go to restaurants. They must not value food and what they eat. Poor things.
These two meals made my heart sad. There was no life or real flavor in them. There was no soul. And it made me sad for the millions of people who eat like this. They must not fully enjoy life without fully enjoying food. There are whole aisles of canned and frozen foods in grocery stores. It made me realize that people don't care about food. No wonder people's diets are full of too much salt and cancer. And the Chef Boyardee meal made me mad because I know this is what people feed to their kids. They're turning their kids into eaters who are accustomed to the taste of machines and tin cans.
I am so thankful for my parents for always providing a homecooked meal every day. I'm glad I was never exposed to canned pasta and frozen Indian food.
I am thankful for being a born again eater, too. There was a time I didn't care about the quality of my food. But I've seen the light and I've changed my ways. I'm too far into the culinary gospel to turn back and partake in canned or frozen foods.
*knock-knock* Do you have time to talk about our Lord and savior, Good Food?