It has come to my attention that when it comes to lengthy, complex meal prep, I am an outlier: I enjoy spending an hour or so chopping, dicing, mincing, blending, and preparing ingredients for a recipe. Often, I gain more satisfaction from the prep work than I do actually eating.
Probably because by the time the dish is served, I’ve tasted and tasted to the point where I’m full!
Making sauces from scratch allows me to control the ingredients, including spice level, to meet the tastes of my family. However, there are times when I get home and my carefully planned dinner was abandoned about an hour into my commute…when I realized it would be AT LEAST another hour before I pulled into my driveway.
That’s why I keep certain items stocked in my pantry, including Saffron Road Simmer Sauces. They come in flavors like Tikka Masala, Lemongrass Basil (which was a huge hit!), Harissa, and Thai Red Curry. Also on available are Moroccan style, a Korma-style coconut curry, and my husband’s favorite, Korean Stir Fry. He simmered meatballs in the Korean-style sauce and gobbled them up!
Generally, the packets of sauces run in the $2.50 o $3.00 range, though I’ve found them on sale for less (that’s when I stock up). They’re not super-cheap, but do add a lot of flavor to dishes.
The sauces can be used to simmer meats or tofu along with vegetables, or can be used a base for creating something unique. I will admit to doctoring the sauce with other ingredients when the mood strikes. Granted, I’m the person who can’t follow a recipe without adding my own twist here and there.
Saffron Road also offers a wide variety of gluten-free meals that can be pulled from the freezer for quick meals — the options are also great ways to discover new cuisines or to inspire new dishes. And I would be remiss if I neglected to mention one of my absolute favorite products by this company: crunchy chickpeas. I love these so much I have to hide the bags from myself!
Have you tried Saffron Road Simmer Sauces?
Tip of the Week
Another great trick for getting meals together quickly is to freeze sauces for later. I like to double or triple a recipe, and carefully package leftovers for future use. Curry pastes can be frozen in ice cube trays, while full-blown sauces are saved in serving-portion size containers for future reheating.
Gluten-Free Meal of the Week
Me: Too tired to cook. Too tired to go out.
Husband: (Looks worried, like I’m going to suggest he whip something up)
Me: (Shops in refrigerator, formulates plan)
Husband: Here. Wine.
Me: Pork chop over rice noodles with veggies simmered in Lemongrass Basil sauce.
Husband: (Secretly thinks I’m a genius!)
- Rice Noodles
- Chopped or frozen veggies (seriously, keep a bag of frozen mixed veggies on hand for nights like this!)
- Saffron Road Lemongrass Basil sauce, or a sauce of your choice