Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dinner Zen!

I just got back from making a TON of food at Dinner Zen. I think that my freezer has never been so full. I may have to double check that the door completely closed.

Anyway, here was my menu:

Turkey Meatloaf with Sun-dried Tomatoes1
Wild Rice & Butternut Squash Wrap1
Wasabi Crusted Chicken1
Tilapia Parmigiano Packets1
Harvest Pork Tenderloin With Herbed Stuffing1
Baked Shrimp & Feta with Orzo1
Bourbon Chicken1
Cider Glazed Pork Chops with NEW! Apple Orzo1
Finger Lickin' Chicken & Sweet Potato Fries1
Pretzel Roll Toastie: Ham & Swiss (Pre-assembled)2
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp & Grits1

Let's go through this and how the evening went. I got to skip the orientation because I had been there before. I stashed my stuff, got my apron, washed my hands, and got my menu.

I started with the wraps because they were the closest to the sink. Easy peasy. They had wild rice, butternut squash, onions, cheese, ham, and some other stuff, and wrapped up like a burrito. They are HUGE. I forsee Micah and me sharing one of these for lunch. For our family, I am going to estimate that this was really 3 meals (6 wraps).

Next I was on to the Finger Lickin' Chicken. This was awesome. The chicken was soaked in buttermilk, hot sauce, and a bunch of spices and then rolled in panko, flour, and spices. It went into 2 trays, each of which will make 1 meal. So 2 meals there. I can't wait for this one.

I moved on to the pork tenderloin. Now, I was pretty sure that this would not be able to be split because it's a tenderloin. But I was wrong! It was two tenderloins! each was dressed with olive oil, garlic, and poultry seasoning and packaged in individual tins with stuffing next to the pork. I'm fairly certain that for my family, each tin will feed us one dinner for all 3 of us plus a lunch for 1 of us, so call this 3 meals.

Keeping with the pork theme, I went onto the cider glazed pork chops. Here I made a mistake and forgot to split the glaze mix, but I split it afterward. I hope it comes out OK. Here, too, there was disappointment, as it did not actually come with apple orzo but rather with cinnamon apples. I think I will probably make some orzo and turn the apples into apple orzo, but as one of the other women there said, "that is not what I signed up for." This was my first and so far only disappointment with Dinner Zen. I'm not sure what happened because there was plenty of orzo on site for the shrimp w/ orzo dish. So, weird. Anyway, this will be 2 meals since Micah really likes pork chops.

Next I went onto Turkey Meatloaf. I wasn't 100% sure of whether I wanted to make this, as I have a great meatloaf recipe myself, and my family likes it. But when I put it together it smelled great, and I think it will be awesome. It's in 2 loaf pans and I foresee leftovers, so call it 3 full meals for my family.

Onto Bourbon Chicken, which doesn't actually contain Bourbon. But we've had it before and we know it's awesome. It's really a dump recipe (chicken in one bag, sauce in another, rice in a third) and really easy to make. I wish i could sneak a picture of the recipe one of these times. It contains apple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. We know this will feed us 2 times and no more because it's SO GOOD.

BBQ Shrimp and Grits--actually I can't for the life of me remember what's in this. I hope it's good. It'll probably feed us 2 times as we love shrimp. And grits.

Wasabi Crusted Chicken--it was like the Finger Lickin Chicken only with an egg wash and panko with wasabi powder. YOW! Can't wait. 2 meals for sure.

Next I did the Shrimp w/ Feta and Orzo. Again I split this into 2 and it will probably feed us just two times, not because of the amount of food but because we love shrimp so much. The majority of this was prepping the Orzo, which included tomatoes, feta, spices, and I don't remember what else. You spread it in a pan and put a ton of shrimp on top. It looks awesome.

The funny thing was that there were about 4 of us there doing major cooking plans and 2 who were there for 1/2 hour and then gone. Of the 4 of us doing the major cooking plans, all 4 of us left our tilapia dishes for last. So I got to the tilapia station and there were already three people there. So I got some coffee and hung out. (actually 2 of the women actually had other dishes to make, but we all got to the tilapia at the same time). Anyway, the packets had a scoop of rice, a GIANT piece of fish, coated in this parmasean paste, sprinkled with panko, sprinkled with salt, and wrapped up. I think it's going to taste pretty good. I also see it feeding us for 3 meals because the fish is so huge.

I didn't have to make my pretzel roll toasties because they were pre-assembled. I got 2 orders because we love them so much. In fact, three sandwiches are in the fridge so we can just make them soon. These are HUGE and so we usually have two among the three of us. Since I have 12 sandwiches, call it 6 meals.

I like to do this add-up because I need to see what the average price per meal is. So total we ordered 12 meals, but for us it comes to 30 meals. At $246 including tax, that's $8.20 per meal. You certainly can't eat out for that, and you can hardly eat out at a fast food place for that. And if you're me, you can't even easily make food at home for it either.

I would say that I now need to just make a few more meals to round out my freezer meals but I literally have NO room in my freezer for anything else. I nearly had to have Adam take his coffee out of the freezer. Haha.

OK all done for now :) Can't wait to eat!

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