I’d like to start off the post by introducing myself.  My name is Freddy, A.K.A. “Fast Food Freddy”.  I’m a freelance writer and the newest member of the WithoutMama.com staff.  Like many of you, I live an active life running from place to place.  While I would love to make Peter’s balsamic reductions and pizzas every night, I just don’t have the time.  Peter has asked me to review some different frozen dinners and fast food options to find the tastiest, easiest, quickest choices you can make.

Throughout the column I’ll do the following:

  • Review frozen entre choices
  • Review new fast food options
  • Compare comparable fast food menu choices for flavor, nutrition and cost
  • Provide ways to enhance your on the run dining experience

Let start the series of posts off by reviewing P.F. Chang’s new frozen line which goes by the official name of: P.F. Chang’s Home Menu: Meals for 2. (http://www.pfchangshomemenu.com)

What is it: P.F. Chang’s Home Menu is a new line of frozen entres from the popular asian chain restaurant.  They come in a variety of choices including Orange Chicken, the one I had and will be discussing tonight, shrimp lo mein, beef with broccoli, and more.  They can be found along with the other frozen food at your favorite super market.  Each entre comes with some kind of vegetables in the package and/or noodles.

Price:  At 8.29 per package which serves 2, they come out to just 4.15 per serving.

Ease of cooking: Cooking couldn’t be easier, put in a pan, cover for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  They also have microwave directions.

Taste: The entre was surprisingly good, especially for a frozen entre.  The chicken remained tender and didn’t have a weird texture that I usually find with frozen meals.  The sauce was good and reduced down to a nice thickness.  It was sweet but had a nice spicy kick to it.  The vegetables were nicely cooked and the water chestnuts added an enjoyable crunch to the meal.  The breading held up well throughout the freezing and reheating process.

Notes: Some frozen chinese meals will give you a packet of sauce to add at the end of the meal.  With this one, the sauce was actually frozen into little cubes and mixed in with the rest of the entre. It thawed and cooked with the meat.  I don’t really know if this makes a difference, but I like to think so.

Tips:  Want to finish off the meal?  How about a bag of microwaved rice.  Priced around $2 for a 2 serving bag it can be heated in just 90 seconds. 

Want to make it a family night?  Try a variety of entres and let everyone sample the different choice.  Serve over rice of lo mein noodles.

Overall: A quick and easy way to prepare dinner at home without having to go to the drive through.  Good taste, affordable price.

-Fast Food Freddy (Freddy@withoutmama.com)