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Pre-Made v Home-Made

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pre-made food is definitely convenient, but making it yourself you can control exactly what's in there.

This thought came from a discussion in a team about macaroni cheese. The concensus seemed to be (from America) that pre-made packs of Mac-cheese are a great emergency food, at the very least, but that they aren't the healthiest food. But it is also an excellent stand-by for any occasion, is another message I am getting. And from this latter, that the pre-made stuff is much tastier, and therefore much more acceptable than making it for yourself.

All I can think, for folk who think this, is that good old-fashioned MSG is in there.
I will admit that I used to enjoy a tin of macaroni cheese, cold, just straight from the tin. And I reckon that, if I let myself, I could still take a 14oz tin all to myself.
I just won't go there, now, if I can avoid it. If the label shows chemicals in the ingredients, I just so do not want to eat it.

My biggest-ever problem in this regard is German wurst. Not really any of the other deli meats, apart from occasional salami, not even bacon!

But - as I try to live a healthy life, I also try to live a life of moderation in all things. So I can enjoy some wurst, because nearly everything else I have is homemade and so I can work out my food.

Ironically, it would actually be far easier to track my food if I used prepared stuff - so much of the foodstuffs in the trackers is pre-made sauces or mixes or whatever.
So much in SP recipes uses pre-made sauces or mixes, or pre-made other ingredients.

Tracking foodstuffs from scratch takes so much longer. I don't make the same thing the same way another time, because I use what I have at the time.

No matter - I will continue with my DIY in food.
What I make usually suits my folk.
And this evening, the ultimate meal accolade - younger son came to me and said that that was "the most totally delicious meal in for ever".

For those of you who like my food blog stuff - tonight's dinner was -
Slices of lamb roasted on the leg, served in a sauce - I'll come back to the sauce.
I had roasted sweet potato for son, boiled potato with turnip and carrot for hubby.
Hubby also had baked aubergine. Son had broccoli.

The sauce -
Lots of leek, I used up all the older leeks we had, sliced, then braised very gently in a very wee bit olive oil.
Add in sliced mushroom and several cloves of garlic, finely sliced. Stir and toss as much as possible, so everything is covered in the original oil if possible.
Season and add some water or stock - so you don't need to add any more oil.
Add some double cream and stir through.
At this point I added a stock cube.
I also took a load of water from the pan where I was cooking potatoes, with carrot and turnip (for hubby) into a separate wee pan, seasoned, then thickened with Bisto - stirred that into the leek, mushroom and cream mix.

To this sauce, I then added -
the sliced roast lamb, particularly the slices that were not sufficiently cooked.
Then I added a full packet of spinach leaves - yes, this is a pre-packed, pre-washed packet, but no added chemicals.

I have to say - the spinach leaves didn't get completely wilted, because the flavour as they were beginning to dip into the sauce was amazing.

I can only go back to my son's comment - it was soooo delicious. Even I have thoroughly enjoyed, despite having to make it!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You are a wonderful lady, doing all that good cooking. If I were close to you I would invite myself for dinner. You are so right about being able to control the ingredients !
    Keep up the good work, your friend, Barbara emoticon emoticon
    1656 days ago
    Home cooked beats pre-prepared any time.
    1671 days ago
    Christine: Sorry I sounded so defensive! It sounds like you are a wonderful cook who puts a lot of time and thought into your meals! I also enjoy cooking and agree that homemade is generally better than convenience foods, both healthier and better tasting. I have read through your food blogs and intend to use some of your ideas. Thanks, Millie
    1705 days ago
  • ANNIE1114
    It sounds like you put a lot of time into your cooking. I have always thought home made food was better than store bought.
    1706 days ago
    MILLIFRED - I did comment in the discussion (I think) that I do also realise that making from scratch is time consuming. I count myself very fortunate to have that time.

    When my sons were wee, the older one loved a tin of spag-Bol for his dinner. I wouldn't even have it in the house now! But son doesn't seem to have taken harm from it. Again it was moderation - that was only one meal out of several more healthy ones.

    I certainly have not intended to annoy or upset you.
    1707 days ago
    Sounds like you are a short order kitchen. We eat what is prepared or else.......
    1707 days ago
    I wish I could come and break bread with you, your meals sound amazing Chris emoticon
    1708 days ago
    wish could drop in for dinner at your house the meal sounded delicious
    1708 days ago
    Point taken but in our defense, the mac cheese we are talking about isn't as bad as you might think. It is essentially macaroni enriched with vitamins and minerals as all macaroni products are and a dehydrated cheese sauce. It does have yellow dye as the only chemical additive. I would serve it with a vegetable or probably two and possibly a vegetarian meat substitute.

    Your meal sounds absolutely delicious but also time consuming which we don't always have. Also, our temperatures right now have been running in the high 90's (farenheit) and that makes it a little too hot to do extensive cooking. I don't believe you can even buy lamb in the local stores. Tonight we had a salad with lots of fresh veggies, a little cheese and again some soyameat ' this time worthington fri chik which we really enjoy. I call it a vegetarian chef's salad.

    I usually do most of my cooking from scratch as it is healthier and as you say I know exactly what is in it. However, if like the lady I was discussing this with you are a single working mom or like myself have a busy day when you aren't home to cook we sometimes use convenience foods. Oh, by the way, the kids all think Kraft Mac and cheese dinner is the most delicious meal you can make for them; just ask any American kid!
    1708 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/18/2013 7:34:11 PM
  • ANYVAR54
    Sounds so very tasty and makes me wish that I could drop in and dinner at your house.
    I like your sauce recipe and adding the spinach sounds delicious. Maybe I will give it a try.

    1708 days ago
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