I had originally planned to grill pork chops tonight. Then I thought I would grill pork chops, slice them, and make big ol’ salads.  Instead, we had frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken.

It’s no secret that we don’t do a lot of convenience foods.  Cooking is not something that is a chore in our house.  We both like to cook and don’t mind taking a little time to put a meal on the table.  Besides, it doesn’t necessarily take a lot of time – or effort – to put dinner together.

That being said, every now and again a shortcut is in order.

Tonight’s shortcut was doctored up Mandarin Orange Chicken.  It was chilly and damp outside and I just didn’t feel like grilling.

So I didn’t.

The doctored up part of the meal was a bit of clean out the vegetable bin with mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, and bell pepper.  I sauteed it all up and added it to the cooked chicken.

The sauce in the package is never spicy enough for us, so I usually add some chili paste and maybe a bit of apricot jam if I’m adding more goodies.  Tonight, though, I added some of the guava sauce I made the other night.  It spiced things up very nicely.

Brown jasmine rice completed the dish.

The only thing that took any time was the brown rice – and I was answering emails and updating other stuff while it was cooking.  Actual active kitchen time was maybe 10 minutes.

And we have more of that caramel apple galette for dessert later on…..