Dinnertime is definitely one of my favourite moments of the day. Not only for the simple fact that I am an unashamed food lover and it means sitting down to devour a big meal, but also for the social side of it. Tom and I always sit and eat dinner at the table and I hope that’s a tradition that we continue if we are lucky enough to have a family one day. Although Tom and I work at the same office, we don’t actually see much of each other throughout the day as we work in different teams, and so dinnertime is the time when we sit down and reflect on the day; chat about the challenges and successes that the day has brought. The rest of the evening sometimes means separate rooms, with Tom on the sofa watching TV and me either on the computer blogging or reading in another room (I can’t read when there’s background noise!) but the dinner table is the one place where we are always together, with no distractions. Although we aren’t as rigid as to say no phones at the table, 90% of the time we enjoy just chatting and catching up on the highs and lows of the day.
I was recently given some vouchers to try out some Birds Eye products as part of their new ‘Food of Life’ campaign. Their new campaign focusses on the role that food plays in people’s lives, and champions ‘real food’. I must admit that the frozen aisle is the one area of the supermarket that Tom and I rarely frequent, usually stocking up on fruit and veg, fresh food and dairy instead. Although this supports our attempts to eat more healthily, it doesn’t always support our attempts to save money, and we sometimes find that we’re binning more food than I would really like, as we discover the brown lettuce at the back of the vegetable drawer that didn’t make it into the salad, the too-brown bananas in the fruit bowl or the yoghurt that’s a few days past its sell-by date. So the newest Birds Eye offerings, from haddock fillets in a white wine sauce, to sticky BBQ chicken, to vegetable rice fusions, certainly caught my eye – not only for the ease of cooking them and the pocket-friendliness, but for the yummy sounding flavours and really healthy options.
We grabbed a packet of chicken with a garlic and herb sauce from their Inspirations range (£2, Asda // 310 cal when baked in oven). I took the opportunity to try making some cheesy polenta chips, which I did by making up a packet of polenta, boiled with chicken stock and lots of herbs, then baking it in the oven for about 15 minutes, then leaving overnight and cutting into chips and re-baking the next day, sprinkled with cheese (parmesan would work best). Both elements of the dinner were delicious, though I do admit that we should have added some veg – some peas would have been a good addition here.
Our next Birds Eye dinner was a fish dish – fish, chargrilled with lemon, rosemary and thyme (£2, Asda // 115 cal). I worried they would be a bit flavourless but they were so tasty. We served it with another Birds Eye product, their Mexican Rice (£1.75, Asda // 215 calories). Again, really delicious and filling. This was a really nutritious and wholesome dinner, for the cost of £3.75 for both of us, and only 330 calories (would be a great dinner on the 5:2 diet).
The Birds Eye website has loads more inspiring recipes, and I wholeheartedly recommend checking out their new products the next time you’re in the supermarket. Not quite as virtuous but I must admit that their Fish Burger recipe has rather caught my eye; I will always be a devotee of the fishfinger sandwich!
The first graphic in this post is from an article on ‘Rules of Dinner‘ and I absolutely love them – ‘The table is a safe place’ I think is my favourite; i.e. no bickering or lecturing at the table! Will have to take note of that one, though it’s usually Bodhi getting told off for watching us while we eat, hoping his dinnertime is imminent!
Is dinner-time important to you too? What are your dinner-time routines?