Don’t you love a new discovery?

Posted on March 25, 2012

It might surprise you all, given my half-heartedness at times and my regular ‘aaaugh, what am I going to cook for dinner?’ tweets, but I am generally a ‘from scratch’ cook. Mostly, convenience foods leave me cold. The few exceptions are pasta from the fridge section (sorry, seems just way too hard to make my own), salad dressing (I know… I know…), and I use the Barilla tomato/basil sauce on my pizza bases (which I make from scratch or use Lebanese bread when time is short).

So, it’s rare for me to try a new meal-in-a-box or packet. I just find that they all taste the same. And I also find that most dishes don’t take that much longer if you use the fresh ingredients rather than the dehydrated doo-dahs.

Then I discovered Marion’s Kitchen. The only reason I decided to give the range a whirl was that I loved Marion Grasby on Masterchef – possibly the last series of Masterchef I watched – and was outraged when she was sent home for an inferior satay sauce. I mean to say. Rigged or what??? (Vestiges of outrage still remain.)

When I saw her line of handy meals, I passed them by several times. Then one day I decided that I needed to put my money where my mouth was and actually support her. After all, she didn’t get a cookbook deal*. She might need my $6.99 to get by.

I tried the red curry first – and it was good. Good enough for me to go back the following week and give the green curry a go. Love at first bite. It actually takes like proper green curry – with zing and zest. It takes less than 15 minutes to make (including rice). Everything you need bar the protein and the vegies is in the box, neatly labelled, with simple instructions. I think even The Builder could manage this one.

So, I’m hooked. And happy to recommend it**. You can even try the satay sauce for yourself.

What was the last supermarket discovery you made? Do share. Let’s make this week’s meal planning easier for everyone!

*Though I note that she does have a cookbook – I might buy that as well.
**As always, disclaimer: not sponsored, not paid, no free product, no nothing. Just sharing.


  1. Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue

    ooh I’ve made her fish cakes and they were delicious – will have to try some others. Cool to see her again on Master Chef All Stars

  2. Jodie Ansted

    Well, then we are the same, because I rarely buy pre-packaged stuff either. We make our pizza from scratch (although, last Friday I got lazy and took the boys to Pizza Hut!!!), and we have even made our own pasta! But that’s not every time we eat pasta. No way. I was thinking about this just yesterday, because whenever we go to one friends’ house for dinner, they always make something pre-packaged. We had hamburgers there last time, and I thought at least they might be patties from the butcher. Nope. They were those horrible frozen hamburgers from the supermarket. Ugh. They are so quick and easy to make with some mince, herbs and the like.

    But sometimes Hubby travels so maybe I’ll give this a go next time he does. No point cooking just for moi if I don’t have to, huh? xox

  3. kaichronicles

    Marion’s satay mix is FABULOUS!! It’s my favorite.

  4. MultipleMum

    I haven’t seen those about in the supermarket – must look harder. They sound like a great alternative to Friday take away! x

  5. River

    I’ve looked at those boxed things too, but I put them back because I’m not sure how they’d taste, btu having so many people here say they’re good, I’d be more willing to give them a go.
    My latest supermarket find was the “Emilio” range of frozen pizzas. I didn’t like them.

  6. Kirsten

    I’ve stared at those branded boxes in the supermarket a couple of times now and been tempted, even though it’s not the usual thing I would buy. But as I tend to throw meals together in about 15 minutes these days, I will grab one next time… I always admired her calm and intuitive way of approaching everything.

  7. Rhonda

    I have done a few boxed meals of certain ethnic foods that I find daunting to replicate by scratch, such as Thai and Indian. They’ve been good, but I still think I should try it on my own!!

  8. Melissa {Suger}

    I’ve had the Pad Thai* and even though it didn’t have peanuts for sprinkling, I’m in love with it. It was SO good. Looking forward to trying the others. I do LOVE a good green Thai curry.

    *Disclaimer: not sponsored, not paid, no free product, no nothing. Just sharing. Yup, ditto

    • allison tait

      And now I’m looking forward to trying the Pad Thai. 🙂

  9. alison@thisbloominglife

    Sssh, for even less outlay you can buy the mae ploy curry paste (big supermarket little sachets, asian stores big pot for $3.50!!!!), squid brand fishsauce, good quality coconut cream and it is amazing. A Thai friend put me onto it and it really is the bomb (they use the paste in most thai restaurants). I add keffir lime leaves which I grow anyway and my kids beg me to cook it every week.

    • allison tait

      Hmmm. That’s how I usually make it (though did not know about the Mae Ploy brand). But then I have to think about it. This is almost like getting takeaway as it takes no thought process whatsoever! I do take your point though.

  10. Siobhan C

    Yes, but how does the satay taste?

    • allison tait

      No idea. My supermarket doesn’t stock that one. If anyone does know, please report back!

  11. melissa

    I just bought the green curry one and I’m looking forward to having it this week. No new discoveries here – but I do buy those Coles Indian meals when they are reduced – we stick them in the freezer and have instead of takeaway. I could freeze leftovers but my frozen stuff always goes dry and icy…

    • allison tait

      Great idea Melissa! Take away at home…

  12. SameliasMum

    Oh wow – great minds think alike. I just made Marion’s San Choy Bow for dinner this evening… and it was super delish!

    • allison tait

      I think there’s three people with the San Choy Bow so clearly I need to give it a whirl!

  13. Jo @Country life experiment

    I love those basa fish fillets too! I don’t trust ‘fresh’ fish this far from the coast anyway. I am a cook from scratch girl too, but I do like sharwoods korma curry paste – so much easier than trying to get it right yourself. My friend (who is Indian) put me on to them, and I figure if she uses them, they must be OK.

    • allison tait

      I confess that I do use an occasional Sharwoods myself. Like them better than the other main brand.

  14. Maxabella

    I love the Barilla ricotta and tomato sauce in a jar. It’s just delicious and I’ve never been able to replicate it. x

    • allison tait

      Haven’t tried that one. On the list!

  15. Anonymous

    Would you believe it – McCain’s Tuna Mornay (in the freezer section). I hate buying processed stuff for the kids but it has ALL normal ingredients – no preservatives, fillers, etc etc. I was shocked. It is great when I’m having one of those days and the kids are hungry as soon as I walk in the door. It’s definitely not for adults though. Coles also has a ready made Indian range that is the same – all wholesome ingredients – that one is good for adults too!

    • allison tait

      Well, there you go! I never would have thought of that! Good to know for back-up.

  16. Diminishing Lucy

    Isn’t that funny – I bought Marion’s san choy bow box the other day, to try. I did like her an awful lot of Masterchef.

    Supermarket finds – I have come recently to Basa fish. It is wonderful and low fat and white and clean tasting and no bones and the fillets are just the right size. So not a convenience food, as such, but so simple it might as well be, if you like a little bit of fishy in your dishy for tea…


    • allison tait

      Hmm. Might give the Basa a go. We definitely don’t eat enough fish round these parts.

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