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Old 05-12-2011, 08:00 PM
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Sprig Sprig is offline
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Lightbulb Possible Long Term Food Item - Betty Crocker Helper Complete Meals



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I am a single person, and I like to keep my meals small, cheap, and EASY!

Well, I picked up a Betty Crocker Helper Complete Meals - Fried Rice with Chicken.

Never seen one of these before and decided to try it.

I just opened the box to take a looky; SURPRISE!!!

The "Savory Broth with White Chicken Meat and Vegatables" is CANNED!

The rice is an average plastic packaging. The seasoning mix appears to be in a foil lined paper package. The "best by" date is 03APR2012.

There are instructions for cooking via Oven, Stove-Top, Microwave, along with information on what to change for High Altitude preparation.

The box was about 2/3rds full. The other 1/3 was just empty space. If used as a prep item, the BOX has got to go.

There is a good chance this food thing might actually taste OK. If the two packages were vacuum sealed, the shelf life would be extended considerably. I'd consider sealing the can, packages, and instructions together in a larger bag; just to make it a single grab and go.

I'll give it a taste test, likely based on the microwave cooking method, as soon as I get brave enough to have it for dinner...

Wanted to include the link.

Helper Complete Meals have it all -

Last edited by Sprig; 05-12-2011 at 08:06 PM.. Reason: Spelling - Clarification
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:44 PM
michiganmom michiganmom is offline
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We have bought that kind of Chicken Helper on sale before, but it didn't come with canned chicken and veggies. It had dehydrated veggies, and you had to add your own chicken.

Maybe they improved it because it wasn't very good. Of course, I'm basing that on my kids' opinion. They like homemade fried rice much better than any kind of instant rice, and they complained when I made it.

Of course, my kids enjoy my cooking because that's what they've always eaten.

You may like it just fine, depending on what you are used to.
Old 05-12-2011, 09:04 PM
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iflylowrn iflylowrn is offline
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I looked at these meals this past weekend. I have always liked hamburger helper. I think I will have to give them a try. I think I will wait until I can catch them on sale..
Old 05-12-2011, 10:19 PM
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I think the Complete Meals and the Helper products are two different things. I"ve thought about storing Tuna Helper, but I just don't like it very much.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:38 PM
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Ya don't look to bad except for i read the reviews and exactly what i thought... There was hardly any meat at all in the meat entrees, but what do u expect ya know??

I'm sure there not the cheapest either, especially not stockin up on a bunch of them, If i was going to prep something like that i'd rather get a pack of mnt house for a couple bucks more and a lot more convenient/easier to prepare!
Old 05-12-2011, 10:41 PM
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We've bought several of these and enjoy them for a quick "oh crap what are we having for dinner" meal. Lots of food to go around for two adults (one beefy), and we've been able to find them on sale for $1.99. Mtn House can't come close to those prices for this quantity of food.

No you're not getting a t-bone in the can of meat, but you are getting a decent meal at a decent price.
Old 05-12-2011, 10:58 PM
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Good to know! I might look for a few of these for the nights that my 12 y.o. daughter wants to cook. Especially if it includes a canned meat/veggie.

She could probably handle it if it's not too hard.
Old 05-12-2011, 11:09 PM
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Check the sodium content...I haven't, but a lot of these packaged meals have a a lot of sodium....but think about it, you could always add a small can of chicken if there isn't enough meat for you and you could even throw in a can of mixed veggies and with bread could make two meals out of it for two people..... I'm gonna check it out...might be something to consider......even though I don't usually do "boxed" meals.......
Old 03-29-2013, 12:11 AM
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Most of those packaged "skillet dinners" can be made from scratch using very simple ingredients. For example, Tuna Helper... egg noodles, white sauce (made from flour or cornstarch, butter or olive oil, milk), a can of tuna, a can of peas.

If you start with the basic cans of meat (ham, chicken, turkey, tuna) and have the base ingredients to combine with them (pasta, sauce, veggies), you can put together your own skillet meals for less than the packaged ones. You can even group the ingredients together in advance if you want organized, ready to go, emergency meals.

For example:

ham + macaroni noodles + Ragu Cheese Sauce (or velveeta, which has a surprisingly long shelf life) + can of peas = homestyle mac n cheese

turkey + mashed potatoes or stuffing mix (or both) + can of green beans = turkey & gravy dinner

chicken + green chili enchilada sauce + navy beans = white chicken chili

TVP + kidney beans + red beans + diced tomatoes + chili powder + cumin + onion power = vegetarian chili

There's even a lady out there who coaches people on how to pre-queue their emergency dinners in mason jars (using all dehydrated/powdered ingredients) - this is great if you buy alot of bulk dried ingredients and want the convenience of grab-n-go.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprig View Post
I am a single person, and I like to keep my meals small, cheap, and EASY!

I do too. That's why I learned to cook fresh food instead of heating a bunch of packages.

I store LTS and will cycle through it, but 90% of my daily meals come from the produce and meat departments, not the shelves down the middle of the stores. I pretty much consider grocery store bought pre-packaged food as non-food. High salt, high sugar, high refined starch, very little actual meat and vegetables, plus a whole lot of stuff I cannot pronounce but are synthetic additives derived from corn processing.

I find that buying fresh, in season, and with an eye to loss leaders saves me a lot of money over packaged poison pumped out by Con-Agra and ADM. Might as well be eating at Mickey D's for all the nutrition that packaged stuff offers.

As for easy and small just do like most good cooks do. Cook one day a week and portion control for the whole week. 5-6 days a week I'm just a 10 minute wait on the microwave to reheat a nutritious and balanced meal. As for the one day of cooking I do my house cleaning, shopping, and laundry at the same time. I was going to lose the day anyway with my personal logistics so making a week of meals doesn't really add to the burden.

But you have to learn how to honestly cook first!

Proper cooking is a bonafide survival skill. Heating a can or package is not.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamZeke View Post
I do too. That's why I learned to cook fresh food instead of heating a bunch of packages.

I store LTS and will cycle through it, but 90% of my daily meals come from the produce and meat departments, not the shelves down the middle of the stores. I pretty much consider grocery store bought pre-packaged food as non-food. High salt, high sugar, high refined starch, very little actual meat and vegetables, plus a whole lot of stuff I cannot pronounce but are synthetic additives derived from corn processing.

I find that buying fresh, in season, and with an eye to loss leaders saves me a lot of money over packaged poison pumped out by Con-Agra and ADM. Might as well be eating at Mickey D's for all the nutrition that packaged stuff offers.

As for easy and small just do like most good cooks do. Cook one day a week and portion control for the whole week. 5-6 days a week I'm just a 10 minute wait on the microwave to reheat a nutritious and balanced meal. As for the one day of cooking I do my house cleaning, shopping, and laundry at the same time. I was going to lose the day anyway with my personal logistics so making a week of meals doesn't really add to the burden.

But you have to learn how to honestly cook first!

Proper cooking is a bonafide survival skill. Heating a can or package is not.
No arguing those points - everyone very true and I agree 110%, however there is a reason the military carries MREs. Sometimes one can't stop in a survival situation and make the meal we would like. It's best to have multiple options.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by East Coast Woods View Post
No arguing those points - everyone very true and I agree 110%, however there is a reason the military carries MREs. Sometimes one can't stop in a survival situation and make the meal we would like. It's best to have multiple options.
I have LTS that I cycle through, though what I consider LTS and what others do might not always jive. If it isn't good for a decade plus I mostly don't bother with it.

I also have my food to march with. Salmon pouches and parboiled rice in boil bags. I don't truly care about variety for my BOB gear. I'll have other worries than trying to entertain myself with food variety. I'll supplement that fish and rice with plant foraging for my fiber and micronutrients.

LTS done and go-food done. That leaves me free to eat fresh food as long as modern society holds together.
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