It’s been one of my personal challenges for a while to start cooking more wholesome filling meals at home, I often eat out and if I do eat at home my evening meal can very easily turn into cereals for supper. It’s silly really as I am (if I say so myself) a pretty good cook when I put my mind to it, I just need to reason and the inspiration to hit me.
Old El Paso got in touch with me and asked if I would like to try out some of their new items so I willingly agreed, I thought it might give me a few more ideas of easy meals I could cook when I have had a long day at work. When the box arrived at my office I couldn’t believe all the items which were in there! I quickly realised that there was too much for just one so invited my lovely Team Ox who I sit with at work round for a midweek Mexican feast.
From looking at the items I was particularly looking forward to trying out the smoky chipotle chilli and honey casserole recipe mix. I’m a big fan of rich beefy stews so this stood out to me as a great new addition to the kits even before I had started cooking. I also thought the stand and stuff soft taco kit looked fun as I cant think I have ever had tacos like this before.
One of my quests was a vegetarian so the night before I went out to get the ingredients I needed and other the kits which I had I only had to get, some mince, some beef pieces, some Quorn chicken a few peppers, a couple of onions, some cream, some cheese and some jalapeños.
We cracked open some wine after work and I got on with the cooking.
I layered up the nachos with the salsa adding my own cheese and jalapeños. It’s always a great starter however they are so moreish it’s difficult to stop eating. I nearly ended up forgetting about them and leaving them in the fridge but the squeezable guacamole and sour cream in bottles were a great addition to the night. With an opening life of 14 days you have enough time to be able to use them for a few days without them going off which I have never found before with guacamole in particular.
I actually cooked the poblano pepper and the smoky chipotle chilli and honey stews the night before due to the fact they needed one and a half hours in the oven, both were so simple to cook and only took a browning of the meat then adding in the veg and then mixing up the sauce.
The taco kit came with a sauce to add to the mince which made it smoky and fiery in taste. I loved the soft boats which came in this kit; however I challenge anyone to look glamorous when they eat one. Mexican would not be a meal for a first date! One positive about these was the fact the boats didn’t stick together like sometimes fajitas can.
The one pan rice meal was really easy too; again I used Quorn chicken pieces and added peppers and onions. You then add the spicy rice and water to a pan and let it simmer. The rice was delicious and a really nice accompaniment to the meal and the addition of the chicken made it feel like a dish of paella.
The poblano pepper chicken casserole went down a storm, and despite being made with Quorn chicken pieces I don’t think it detracted from the flavour at all.
I much prefer making my own sauces and concoctions however all in all the Old El Paso kits provided a really easy option to put together a feast for friends. Despite there been so many different dishes (many more than I would normally cook on a dinner party) it was so simple as most of the work had already been done. The main difficulty I had was finding dishes to serve everything in and trying not to eat all the leftovers all at once! If you needed to put together a meal in a hurry for several people these kits would be a fantastic option. If your looking for more inspiration then visit the Old El Paso website.
I was gifted these items, however all opinions are my own and team ox’s.