Diary of a kitchen novice

Spiced chicken created using 'My Food Bag'.
PAULA HULBURT/STUFF

Spiced chicken created using 'My Food Bag'.

By her own admission, reporter Paula Hulburt is a whizz with a microwave. As the first delivery of My Food Bags arrive in Blenheim, she took one for a test drive.

Monday: I keep opening the fridge door to take a peek at the colourful, fresh goodies inside which have just been delivered. I'm not sure what to do with some of them, but feel satisfyingly smug and a bit healthier just looking at them.  

Five nights' worth of meals arrived carefully packed in a huge cardboard box. There is fish, steak, chicken, mince and a huge array of fresh vegetables. I briefly panic at the thought of how my old vege peeler will cope with its return to service but am quickly distracted by the bright, shiny vegetables and coloured recipe cards.  All ingredients have been carefully labelled and I'm eager to start.

My 5-year old is excited to pick what we have for dinner and chooses chicken korma with supergreens. Gulp. While a lovely idea, what happens when she realises this crime-fighting trio of shelled edamame beans, broccoli and wilted spinach are in fact your garden variety vegetables?

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The helpful recipe card, which called for some pantry staples like salt and honey, indicated a prep time of 25 minutes. Forty-five minutes later I serve-up a meal made from scratch. I may well have just won a Nobel Prize I am so proud. The children eat all their dinner, even the veges and I almost cry in gratitude at the thought of all the B vitamins and folate they have just eaten.

Ingredients and five recipes cards arrived with the 'My Food Bag'  delivery.
PAULA HULBURT/STUFF

Ingredients and five recipes cards arrived with the 'My Food Bag' delivery.

Tuesday: Tonight's creation is spiced chicken with bulgur wheat and beetroot. I eye the beetroot in the pantry uneasily thinking of its staining potential brandished about on the end of a 5-year-old's fork.

The recipe seems easy enough to follow and its a relief to know that all the ingredients I need are already here. I peel and chop and then roast the vegetables. Feeling like Martha Stewart, I watch as the plates are scrapped clean and decide to ignore the dishes to the morning. There is not a beetroot stain to be seen.

Sous chef Emily Hulburt, 5, helps out in the kitchen preparing a 'My Food Bag' recipe.
PAULA HULBURT/STUFF

Sous chef Emily Hulburt, 5, helps out in the kitchen preparing a 'My Food Bag' recipe.

Wednesday: I have just encountered my first problem. Fish En Papillote calls for four sheets of baking paper. A cursory look in the pantry and my fears are confirmed, I do not have baking paper. The tin foil glints at me so I grab it. Sorry Nadia. The fish that's been delivered looks amazing and, an hour later I'm pleased to say it tastes amazing too. Roasted kumara, parsnip, onion and capsicum looks great and the meal is surprisingly easy to prepare. MasterChef, here I come.

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Thursday: Pride does indeed come before a fall. I am no longer a contender for MasterChef, in fact I probably shouldn't even be watching it. Miso orange and beef salad looks like it'll be no problem to a three-day pro like me. The instructions are easy to follow but I take my eyes off of the lean sirloin steak for a few minutes and accidently cremate it. The recipe calls for fine slices cut against the grain. Not only can I not see the grain but I will need a chainsaw to slice it. I cut off the edges and we all tuck in, ignoring the tinge of charcoal.

Friday: After last night, I'm somewhat relieved to see the last recipe is for Greek Venison and Beef Bowls.  Again I peel and chop the veges with flair, even if I do say so myself. The result is delicious and nothing goes wrong. The children wait nervously but the smoke alarm stays silent. I can honestly say I will be ordering from My Food Bag again, it's much, much better than My Kitchen Stuff-Up.

Getting ready to make the Chimichurri yoghurt dressing for 'My Food Bag' spiced chicken recipe.
PAULA HULBURT/STUFF

Getting ready to make the Chimichurri yoghurt dressing for 'My Food Bag' spiced chicken recipe.


BE IN TO WIN


Marlborough Midweek and My Food Bag have joined forces to give five lucky readers the chance to win a Classic My Food Bag containing five meals for your family.

To enter, please send us photos of dinner at your place.

Reporter Paula Hulburt's attempt at chicken korma curry with supergreens from the 'My Food Bag' range.
PAULA HULBURT/STUFF

Reporter Paula Hulburt's attempt at chicken korma curry with supergreens from the 'My Food Bag' range.

Entrants need to live in the 7201 post code area for delivery.  All entries must be received by Tuesday, September 26 at 10am.

Please email entries to paula.hulburt@fairfaxmedia.co.nz or drop them into the Express office in Arthur St, Blenheim.  

(Your photos may be published on the Marlborough Express Facebook page).
 

 - The Marlborough Express

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