In my twenties I swore I’d never get a microwave nor eat frozen food. I was too in love with the idea of living the European fantasy that my home in Manhattan allowed: buying only what I needed on that day, going to multiple stores, spending a good hour or more cooking dinner which started at 9 and ended just in time for me to stay up late reading, going out, whatever. Well, that fantasy’s a goner. Two kids, a move to a car town (L.A.), and the necessity of an early bed time has led to more frozen food than I’d ever expected. (particularly shrimp for a last minute scampi, peas for a minty green pea puree to accompany lamb, fruit for smoothies, and the occasional Trader Joe’s beef taquito for when my wife’s out, the kids are in bed, and all I want to do is watch TV and eat microwaved food.) And on a foodier front, I now treat my microwave as a separate burner of sorts: thawing meats, steaming vegetables, reheating a ragu, melting butter.
There’s another reason to exploit that freezer/microwave nexus: Peas of Mind Puffets, which are essentially little organic souffles designed for toddlers. They’re not too sweet nor salty, which are common perils of processed food. While they’re meant for toddlers (and are designed to be holdable), I have to say I probably dug them even more than my kids, who still quite liked them. The carrot risotto puffet is lovely little side dish for grilled or sauteed chicken and the banana puffet has a homey, cinnamon-toast-like appeal. Check out peasofmind.com for stores and to order.