VH Sauces Mealtime Makeover Quiz
1) You missed the grocery store, it’s dinner time and the kids have a game in less than an hour. You’re thinking: a. My trusty fajita recipe is the perfect solution for nights like this. Who cares that we had it last week, and the week before, and the week before… it’s on the table in less than 30 minutes. b. Looks like it’s going to be take-out again. I can swing by on my way home. c. Quick sandwiches for the kids now. I’ll grab something for myself once they are in bed. 2) Your relatives just called and they are on their way over for dinner. Your first reaction is: a. No sweat. I hope they like tuna casserole. I can whip it together in 15 minutes flat. b. Come on over. I’ll just reheat the take-out leftovers from the past two days and pass it off as my own cooking. c. I’ll put on the BBQ – hot dogs for the kids and steaks from the freezer for the adults. 3) You think Lemongrass and Sweet Chili are: a. I have no idea! b. The main ingredients in my favourite Thai takeout dish. c. The names of funky paint colors. 4) During a typical week your dinner menu consists of: a. Meatloaf on Mondays, tacos on Tuesdays, stir fry on Wednesdays. b. Anything I can find in the yellow pages. c. Chicken nuggets and roast beef. 5) Your idea of trying a new meal is: a. Substituting asparagus for green beans when preparing a side dish. b. Trying take-out from a new restaurant. c. Having something without ketchup in it. 6) Your go-to ingredients when the dinner hour strikes are: a. A can of tomato sauce and a package of pasta. b. A takeout menu. Why would I need groceries when I can order pizza or Chinese? c. Ketchup and oregano. 7) Your meal time inspiration for dinner time cooking is: a. Alice from the Brady Bunch. b. Colonel Sanders or Mr. Greek. c. June Cleaver and Julia Child.
Results If you answered mostly: A - You are a routine-strapped cook B - You are a take-out queen C –You are a two-meal mom
Routine-Strapped Cook You are a talented home cook who is stuck in a mealtime rut. Week after week, you turn to the same old recipes to feed your family– meatloaf Mondays, taco Tuesdays, tuna casserole Wednesdays. Your dinner menu has fallen victim to repetitive entrées and side dishes that lack taste and excitement. Though you want to branch out, be creative and try new things, you fear that deviating from trusted favourites will mean more prep time in the kitchen for you and outbursts from disapproving little ones who don’t want to try new flavours. Luckily, there are easy ways to add variety to your mealtime repertoire that will banish the boredom, jazz up the kitchen and invigorate your family’s taste buds -- like introducing new flavours and spices by pairing them with familiar ingredients. Here’s an interesting spin on a popular staple: meatloaf. Chili Glazed Meatloaf
This simple to prepare meatloaf will become a tasty family favourite. Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 90 minutes Makes: 6 servings 1 ½ lb (700 gr) ground beef 1 lb (500 gr) ground pork 1 cup (250 mL) VH® Sweet Thai Chili Sauce 1 cup (250 mL) onion, finely chopped 2 tbsp (30 mL) Worcestershire sauce 2 eggs ½ cup (125 mL) bread crumbs 1 ½ tsp (7 mL) salt 2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano or thyme 1. Mix all of the ingredients together with ½ cup (125 mL) of VH® Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, reserving the other half for the glaze. 2. Place loaf pan on a baking sheet, pack mixture into loaf pan. Spread remaining chili sauce over the meatloaf. 3. Cook in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 1 ½ hours, or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F (70°C).
As an interesting alternative try replacing the chili sauce with VH® Tandoori Sauce or VH® Pad Thai Sauce. Slices of leftover meatloaf are great on sandwiches with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.
Take-out Queen You wrestle with the thought of what to make for dinner every night after a long day of working through the demands of your job and family. As you make it out of the office late again, you cringe at the idea of trying to put together a meal. You would like to try new recipes, but life is too hectic for this time-consuming endeavor and you want to relax after work. Take-out seems to be the only easy answer. With this recipe, you can toss the take-out menus aside and create a flavorful meal the whole family will enjoy. Vegetable Pad Thai with Snow Peas
This is a great vegetarian dish with loads of flavour, texture and colour.
Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Makes: 4 servings 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil 2 cups (500 mL) onions, finely slivered 4 cups (1 L) napa cabbage, finely sliced 2 cups (500 mL) red pepper, coarsely chopped 1 cup (250 mL) carrots, peeled and finely sliced 2 cups (500 mL) snow peas 1 bottle (355 mL) VH® Pad Thai Sauce ½ package Pad Thai noodles (prepared as directed on package) ½ cup (125 mL) roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped 1. In a large pan heat oil over medium-high, sauté onions, cabbage, red pepper, carrots and snow peas until tender, about 12 minutes. 2. Add VH® Pad Thai Sauce and noodles to pan and toss until heated through. Serve sprinkled with peanuts. To avoid noodles from sticking to the pan turn off heat while tossing with sauce. Tips:
Add a package of diced, firm tofu to the pan 4 minutes before vegetables are cooked for a great source of protein. When cooking the noodles be sure to lightly salt the cooking water.
Two-Meal Mom You are a primary meal preparer on overdrive! The kids won’t touch “adult” food and there is no way the adults in your household would be caught dead eating chicken nuggets! You are a meal pleaser and your desire to satisfy everyone is stifling your ability to try new foods in the kitchen. Your two-timing ways must stop! There are easy ways to offer a meal that will appeal to the whole family, providing the kids with the comforting foods they love while meeting the taste and flavor needs of the more adventurous adults. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to enjoy a meal with the family and expand your meal repertoire at the same time. Here is an easy way to create one meal the whole family will enjoy.
Pad Thai Burgers with Peanut Sauce
Try this twist on the classic burger and bring a bit of excitement to the dinner table.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Makes: 6 burgers 1 ½ lb (700 gr) ground beef ½ cup (125 mL) VH® Pad Thai Sauce ½ cup (125 mL) bread crumbs 1 egg ½ cup (125 mL) green onions, finely chopped 1 tsp (5 mL) salt 18 thin slices English cucumber ½ cup (125 m) Alfalfa sprouts Peanut sauce (recipe follows) 1. 2. 3. 4. In a large bowl mix together first six ingredients. Form into six patties and heat grill to medium-high. Grill until cooked through, about 10 minutes on each side. Garnish with cucumber, sprouts, peanut sauce and serve.
Peanut Sauce ½ cup (125 mL) VH® Pad Thai Sauce 2 tbsp (30 mL) smooth peanut butter 2 tsp (10 mL) VH® Soya Sauce 1. Stir together VH® Soya Sauce and peanut butter until well blended. 2. Stir in VH® Pad Thai Sauce until combined.
Tips: This burger is also great with traditional toppings, such as tomatoes and cheese. The peanut sauce is great for chicken and beef satays or the VH® Sweet Thai Chili Chicken Skewers.