My husband and I are Boy Scout volunteers. Some evenings we have very little time for cooking after work. While doing our grocery shopping we look for quick and easy meal ideas that we could try a couple times a week. On our last trip we found the Gourmet Dining Shrimp Fried Rice in the freezer section. On the left hand corner of the package are the words “Freezer to Fork in Minutes”. The bottom front of the package reads “Complete Skillet Meal with Shrimp, Rice, Vegetables with Egg and Gourmet Teriyaki Sauce”. All this and it touts it is 98% Fat Free, I was sold. As we both like oriental food we thought we’d give it a try. Tonight I prepared the meal and it was fantastic. The instructions are simple and easy. The back of the packaging contains both stovetop and microwave instructions. I prepared the meal using the stovetop instructions.

Upon opening the package I found three separate plastic bags. One contained the sauce, one contained the shrimp and another larger bag contained the rice and vegetables. Upon first inspection I thought the meal also contained pineapple. I was wrong; the bright yellow bits are the egg. To prepare the meal all I had to do was the following:

Step One: Thaw the unopened sauce packet under hot running water. The instructions contain DO NOT THAW IN MICROWAVE in big bold capital letters. So I put the sauce packet into a pan of hot water and let the water run slowly over it. While the sauce was thawing I pre-heated a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat and sprayed it good with Pam cooking spray. The instructions called for one tablespoon of oil or a nonstick cooking spray as I used. I then opened and added the shrimp into the pan and cooked for 2 minutes stirring frequently. I checked the sauce before going on to step two and as it was almost thawed I placed it back into the pan of hot water and turned the water off. I should of probably used my friends rice cooker.

Step Two: The instructions are to remove excess liquid and as there was no excess liquid in the skillet I was able to add the rice and vegetable blend as instructions called for. Stirring frequently I heated this mixture for 5 minutes. I wondered how the rice would cook without adding moisture but soon realized the moisture in the frozen vegetables was all that was needed to cook the rice. There were plenty of Sugar Snap Peas and tiny bits of carrots, onion and egg in the blend. Once I was happy with the tender crisp quality of the Sugar snap peas and carrots I was ready to go on to…

Step Three: I stirred in the gourmet teriyaki sauce and the meal was ready for our plates.

From start to finish it took 10 minutes to prepare this delicious shrimp fried rice meal. The packaging lists servings per container as 3 to 4. As my husband and I have healthy appetites we were able to eat and have just enough leftover for a light lunch for one of us the next day. I enjoyed the sweet crunchy taste of the sugar snap peas and my husband liked the mild heat felt after swallowing. He thought maybe there would be wasabi listed in the ingredients but the package does not list wasabi. Soy sauce, pepper, garlic and “spices” are what gives the sauce its gourmet taste. I could taste the soy sauce right off and then caught the hint of garlic.

When my husband said “this is a keeper”, I knew I had found a quick and easy meal that he would eat if I prepared another time. He did suggest, however, that a spring roll or egg roll each would be a nice addition to the meal. I do agree with that. This meal would be good for a single person that likes leftovers or a couple with hearty appetites. If it was prepared as a side dish to another main course it would serve 4 but I don’t think so otherwise. If you like fried rice do pick up Gourmet Dining’s Shrimp Fried Rice on your nest shopping trip, you’ll find it in the freezer section.

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