Tag Archives: Frozen Food

Harvest Creek Seasoned Chicken Breasts: Product Review

A few years ago, I bought a large chest freezer with my Costco and American Express cash back checks, and since then I’ve been able to take better advantage of all the deals that are offered at Costco. My family is not vegan, and we buy a lot of meat, but we try to buy smart, always getting what’s on special, ideally something easy to freeze so we can buy in bulk. For some reason I’d always resisted buying the Harvest Creek Seasoned Chicken Breasts; maybe I was afraid to buy something that came in a box, or was such a good deal. I’m happy to report that my fears were unfounded, and that this chicken may just be the best deal at Costco!

Harvest Creek Seasoned Chicken Breasts

Harvest Creek Seasoned Chicken Breasts

First off, let’s talk price; the Harvest Creek Seasoned Chicken Breasts (also skinless and boneless) costs $24.99 for a 3-kilogram box. That’s about $8.3 per kilogram, compared to about $14 when fresh, also at Costco. This translates into a saving of about 40-45%, which is huge. The bag contains three kilos, which in the case of the box I bought, meant 15 chicken breasts, or $1.66 each. It also means that on average, each chicken breast weighed 200 grams, which is quite a healthy portion.

It’s also worth noting that these Harvest Creek chicken breasts come with no skin or bones, meaning that you get all meat for the price. If your breast weighs 200 grams, you’ve got 200 grams of meat and proteins, which is nice. No waste.

When it comes to taste, your results will vary depending on the method you use to cook them, and how they are seasoned. Personally I put them in the oven, following the instructions, sprinkled liberally with Herbes de Provence, which give them a nice perfume without overly salting them. I also put a little bit of salt and pepper. When you look at the ingredients, you’ll notice that it’s not just chicken:

  • Chicken
  • Water
  • Salt

This suggests that the chicken breasts are injected with brine prior to freezing; while I would not normally be a fan of such a practice, the price is reasonnable enough that I can live with a bit of water and salt.

Moreover, the result is that the Harvest Creek Seasoned Chicken Breasts are quite moist and tender, not dry as breast meat usually ends up being. I’m very happy with my purchase, and will certainly restock as soon as I’m done with this box. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Costco has these items on special, but the regular price will have to do!

Molinaro’s Hand Stretched Pepperoni Pizza: Product Review

Despite what you might think reading this, I usually try to stay away from outrageously processed foods. I’m no health nut, that’s for sure, but when a food item has more in common with cardboard than with it’s supposed to be, I guess that’s where I draw the line. This is why I was so pleasantly surprised by my latest Costco purchase,  Molinaro’s Hand Stretched Crust Pepperoni Pizza. It was on special, so I bought a box, thinking they would make quick lunches, and I was right. Not only quick, but delicious!

Molinaro's Hand Stretched Crust Pizza

Molinaro’s Hand Stretched Crust Pizza

I usually buy the Kirkland Signature Pepperoni Pizzas, but those were on special, so I decided to give them a shot. I bought them at Costco yesterday; the regular price is $14.49, with a $3 instant rebate. This brings down the price to $11.49, or $2.87 per pizza.

The thing is that each pizza weighs 460 grams, which is really not that much if you are planning on sharing. The Kirkland Signature Pepperoni Pizza are a bit more expensive, but each weighs about 800 grams. My wife, my 4-year old son and me can eat one and be reasonably satisfied. My wife and I shared a Molinaro’s, and we both wished we’d baked another one, we were still hungry. Thankfully, we’b bought awesome Kettle Chips at Costco, so we didn’t go hungry!

Of course, I’m not a big fan of just putting a frozen pizza in the oven: it needs to be customized, first. Here’s what mine looks like going in the oven!

Molinaro's Customized Pepperoni Pizza

Molinaro’s Customized Pepperoni Pizza

In this instance, I added some anchovies and some pickled roasted red peppers, which will be the object of an upcoming review.

In terms of nutrition, don’t expect too much. Each 115 grams, or quarter of a pizza, contains 300 calories, 15 grams of fat (including 5 grams of saturated fat), 30 milligrams of cholesterol and a massive 30% of your daily sodium. The ingredients list is massive and overwhelming, but there is nothing really weird or unpronounceable, so at least there’s that. These Molinaro’s pizzas are made in Canada (in Ontario, actually) from domestic and imported ingredients.

Healthy they are not, but they are quickly made, so that’s that!

You put the pizza in the oven from a frozen state, straight on the grill of the oven – not on a baking sheet. This ensures that the crust is nice and crunchy, rather than too soft. The pizza cooks, from frozen, for 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees, which is long enough for the cheese to get bubbly and for the extra stuff I put on the pizza to become quite cooked and delicious.

For my money, I think the Kirkland Signature Pepperoni Pizza are a better deal, but since they were on special, I quite enjoyed the Molinaro’s Hand Stretched Crust Pepperoni Pizza. I might even buy another box before the special is out!

Chicken Pelmeni European Dumplings at Costco: Product Review

Yesterday was a bumper crop for new Costco items; I’ll be the first to admit that as much as I like trying new things, the essence of Costco savings is replenishing your stock of existing products while making sure you get the best possible price. That being said, yesterday we bought a bunch of new things, including what turned out to be absolutely delicious uncooked Chicken Pelmeni European Dumplings. Just to give you an idea, I had absolutely no idea what ‘pelmeni’ meant until I came back home and Googled it. Turns out they’re peroguies, with a fancy name.

Chicken Pelmeni European Dumplings

Chicken Pelmeni European Dumplings

This 1.4 kilogram bag of dumplings costs $9.99 at my local Costco, and contains approximately 125 dumplings. Each dumpling thus costs about 8 cents each, and each portion of 9 dumplings costs less than 75 cents ($0.75). This is a great price for something that is so incredibly delicious.

Speaking of new things, I made video review of this product, my first ever! Check it out below, and make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel to be notified of new reviews!

I really had no idea what to expect when I bought those, and even less when I cooked them, but I needn’t have worried. The meat is extremely tasty, meaty and filling, and the dough, soft and silky yet pleasingly chewy, a little like Asian dumplings. I made the choice of cutting each dumpling before eating it, just to check out the consistency of the filling, but they can and probably should be eaten in a single bite, as the chicken filling has a tendency to pop out when cut. It’s not a real problem.

Now it turns out that these were our main mid-day meal, rather than the appetizers they are almost certainly meant as. My wife had some soup, while I polished off some leftover pasta to go with the dumplings. I used both Oyster Sauce and Hoisin Sauce as dipping sauces. I found that while delicious, their taste were a little overwhelming for the delicate taste of the chicken, so next time I’m thinking a simple soy dipping sauce will work great, maybe with some green onions and whatnot.

One of the things I really appreciate from these little perogies is that the ingredients are really wholesome. No conservation agents, nothing unpronounceable. See for yourself:

Filling Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Onions
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Dough Ingredients:

  • Wheat flour
  • Water
  • Canola Oil
  • Salt

End of list. Incredible, isn’t it?

I go through the nutritional information in the video (see above), but in a nutshell, each serving is 220 calories, and overall, these are not really bad for you, eaten in moderation. There are few vitamins but some iron, they’re not too salty or greasy, et cetera. You could do a lot worse with something that comes out a bag in the freezer.

The cooking process, as recommended by the packaging, involves boiling the pelmeni and drizzling them with oil once drained, in order prevent them sticking to each other. It’s really fast and simple. The longest part really is waiting for the water to boil.

I will be buying these Chicken Pelmeni European Dumplings again; they are really good and will be great for stocking up our freezer. I hope they go on sale so I can stock up. These dumplings are also made in Canada, so you know you are supporting a local company and local jobs. Are they available at your Costco? If so, in what flavors? Let me know in the comments below!

Cardinal Roadhouse Quarter Pound Beef Burgers: Product Review

To me, nothing means summer more than burgers, and like most people, I have my favorite recipe for beef patties. Without going into details, it includes onions, garlic and beef Bovril, for that extra beefy taste, among other things. This is why I was so excited to see that the Cardinal Roadhouse Quarter Pound Beef Burgers were on sale at Costco this week.

With the price of beef being what it is these days, I’ll take any break I can get, especially for my summer staple. The regular price of these beef patties is $21.99 for 24, which comes down to $8.15 per kilo, or 92 cents per burger, just for the beef. This compares advantageously to the price of regular, lean ground beef, which is $8.99 per kilo at Costco these days.

Cardinal Roadhouse Quarter Pound Beef Burgers

Cardinal Roadhouse Quarter Pound Beef Burgers

If that wasn’t awesome enough, I managed to buy this box with a $5 instant rebate, which lasts until the end of this week, which brought down the price per box to $16.99, the price per patty to 71 cents each, and the price per kilo – and this is where it really looks good – to $6.29.

In any case, anyway you look at it it’s a great deal. Or is it? They have to make money somewhere, right? So let’s look at the ingredients, in order of appearance:

The good news here is that there are no obvious disgusting conservation agents, or weird unpronounceable ingredients put in solely for the sake of ease of manufacture, as you’ll find in many products. So I’m happy about that.

I’m also happy that these patties are seasoned and flavored much like I would do, with garlic, onion and ‘flavor’ which I assume is their equivalent of beef flavor concentrate – Bovril.

What I’m less happy about is the fact that there seems to be quite a bit of filler material in here; I mean, when I make my own burgers, something that is happening less and less, I’m pretty sure I don’t put toasted wheat crumbs, and absolutely certain that soy protein, concentrated or otherwise, is not on the list of ingredients.

That being said, and as the box helpfully suggests, they are ‘just like home-made’ insofar as they taste very similar to good burgers I would make myself. It’s just that I know, thanks to the ingredients list, that they cheat a little bit.

When it comes to nutrition, you should not expect too much; this is mostly beef, after all, with all the calories and fat you can expect. For the record, each patty contains 240 calories, 8 grams of saturated fat (43% of daily value) and 18 grams of proteins. Since ‘lean’ ground beef contains 15% or less of fat, I believe that these beef patties fall into the ‘lean’ category, or very close, since each patty weighs 113 grams, and contains 18 grams of total fat. The question is, what actual percentage of the weight of the burger is beef.

Overall, I’m really happy with the Cardinal Roadhouse Quarter Pound Beef Burger. They taste just right, and don’t contain any disgusting chemical products. They do, however, contain filler, but you can’t have everything. They cook nicely and quickly from frozen on the barbecue, and I’m going to have some more tonight, with a nice tall glass of iced tea to ward off the summer heat!

Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets at Costco: Product Review

I’m a big fan of frozen food I can just take from the freezer, pop in the oven and enjoy quickly. With two little ones at home, it’s even better when I can buy these sort of things on special, which is why the Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets, which I buy at Costco, are always a favorite.

For the regular price of $9.99, Canadian dollars, you get 2 bags of 1 kilogram each of delicious, uncooked breaded cutlettes, also known as chicken nuggets. Why you shop smart, and I try to, you wait until they’re on special, and you load up the freezer, which I did. I bought 2 boxes, each with a $2.50 instant rebate. This brings down the cost per box to $7.49, no taxes, which is really a great deal. Even at their regular price, these chicken nuggets, bought at Costco, are about half the price of anything of comparable quality you can find elsewhere.

Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets

Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets

According to the nutritional information, each Harvest Creek chicken nugget is 25 grams; this means than in each box, you get 80 nuggets,  more or less. That comes down to 12.5 pennies per nugget at full price, or a ridiculously low per-nugget price of 9.36 cents when on special. That is hard to beat.

When it comes to nutritional value, these chicken nuggets are a not exactly what the doctor ordered, although they are not that bad. Each 4 nuggets contains 3.5 grams of saturated fat (no trans fat) and 450 mg of sodium (19% of daily value).

On the plus side, you get 16 grams of proteins and 10% of your Iron, so hurrah for that!

The ingredients are not horrible, either. The meat part of the nuggets is made from:

  • Chicken white meat
  • Water
  • Soya protein
  • Toasted wheat crumbs with spices
  • Salt, Glucose, dextrose and spices

The batter, for its part, comes with the following ingredients:

  • Toasted wheat crumbs with spices
  • Whole grain wheat flour
  • Yellow corn flour
  • Corn starch
  • Salt, Wheat flour
  • Dried egg white, modified milk ingredients, dextrose, high oleic sunflower oil, guar gum

I’d written an article about these nuggets about two years ago, but it wasn’t nearly as complete or detailed as this one, so there you have it. If you would like to know more about the history of chicken nuggets, feel free to read this Wikipedia article.

I’m really happy with these Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets, which I guess is why I buy two boxes -or more – at a time. They are tasty, not terrible for you, and quickly made, only 20 minutes in the oven. My son loves eating them, and they make a quick dinner the whole family is happy with. I’m cooking them right now with some home-made sweet potato fries, but I usually I have them with rice and sauteed vegetables. They are made in Ontario, but are available in Quebec as well. If you have them in other parts of the country, let me know in the comments.

Update – August 17th, 2017 – Good news, everybody! The delicious Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets are back on sale at Costco, same price as before. Make sure to stock up!

Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend at Costco: Product Review

As regular readers of my blog will know, I am a fan of Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand, and always try to review these products before others. It is with some element of surprise, and a little bit of regret, that I discovered that a staple of my freezer, the Kirkland Signature Stir-Fry Frozen Vegetable Blend had disappeared from my local Costco, only to be replaced by the Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir Fry Blend.

Now, my reasons for liking frozen vegetables are much the same now as they were in the summer of 2014 when I wrote my review of the Costco frozen vegetables (which you can read through the above link). The convenience, price and taste are generally unmatched, and numerous studies have shown that frozen vegetables retain their vitamins and nutritional value just as well as fresh ones.

The reason for the switch, I believe, is caused by the reduced value of the Canadian dollar compared to the US currency; the price of the Kirkland Signature – made in the USA – had been rising steadily before the product was removed from the shelves. I think that the perceived value to Costco members was now too low compared to what it had been. Maybe sales had dropped. Who knows. Here is the product that took its place!

Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend at Costco

Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend at Costco

According to the nutritional information sheet printed on the package, each serving is 85 grams, meaning that there are 23.5 servings per bag.

  • Item name: Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend
  • Bag size: 2 kilos (2,000 grams)
  • Price of bag: $6.99 (Canadian dollars)
  • Serving Size: 85 grams
  • Servings per bag: 23.5
  • Cost per serving: just under 30 cents

This compares advantageously to the Kirkland Signature mix, which cost 34 cents per serving, when it was at the original price, but there is one thing that is disappointing: the quality seems to have gone down. Check out a typical bowl:

Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend at Costco (detail)

Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend at Costco (detail)

Compared to the Kirkland Signature blend, you can see that the pieces of vegetables are smaller, and unfortunately, the comparison doesn’t get better when you get to the ingredients list (in order of importance):

  • Sugar snap peas
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Water Chestnut
  • Baby corn
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Yellow Onions

While the ingredients list are quite similar, you’ll notice, as I did, that the mushrooms are common white mushrooms, not whole shiitake mushrooms as in the Kirkland blend, which is sad. I like shiitake mushrooms.

On a positive note, my wife likes these a lot more than the Kirkland Signature blend, which she found tasted a bit too much like the freezer. Maybe its just the way that I cook them, however. I find it challenging to get just the right texture when cooking frozen vegetables, a hit-or-miss kind of thing.

The Arctic Garden Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend, now available at Costco for $6.99 in 2 kilogram bags, is packaged in Canada, presumably from local and imported produce. This can in great part explains why it has remained so affordable in a period of economic uncertainty and the loss of value of the Canadian dollar. In any case, I’ll be stocking up. It’s cheap, delicious – except for the missing shiitake mushrooms – and nutritious, and my wife likes it!

Janes’ Lemon Pepper Breaded Cod Fillets at Costco

Since I’ve discovered sushi – and that was a while ago – I tend to like my fish raw, or severely under-cooked, rather than fully cooked. Unfortunately, the rest of my family does not share my enthusiasm, so we occasionally have to eat cooked fish.

Since I feel like I’m ruining fish by cooking it, I sometimes buy frozen, breaded fillets. They are delicious, easy to make and surprisingly healthy. Kind of. My favorites are Janes Lemon Pepper Cod Fillets, uncooked and breaded, which I purchase at Costco in a convenient 1.36 kilogram box.

Janes' Lemon Pepper Cod Fillets at Costco

Janes’ Lemon Pepper Cod Fillets at Costco

Each box claims to contain 10-13 fillets, which in my experience has been quite accurate. I’ve been buying these for years now. Each box costs $13.99, Canadian dollars, at Costco, which means that each fillet costs between $1.07 and $1.39 – roughly.

It’s not the cheapest frozen fish you can get, price-wise, but the quality is definitely there. See that big chunky piece of cod on the box? That’s what the fish actually looks like. It’s not a frozen, breaded fish paste like some other suppliers peddle. This is actual fish, and it tastes good, too.

Costco Janes Lemon Pepper Cod Nutrition Facts

Costco Janes Lemon Pepper Cod Nutrition Facts

For something that comes frozen out of a box, it’s also actually quite healthy. Have a gander at these here nutrition facts.

190 calories per portion is very reasonable, if that’s what you’re counting. I usually eat two, with some rice, to be satisfied.

The box also claims ‘low in saturated fat’, which at 1 gram per portion, is true. In fact, only 15% of your daily fat in a breaded product is pretty good. Thanks to the fish, you also get Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which have been linked to all sorts of benefits, notably for cardiovascular and mental health. I doubt these fillets will make the difference, but it certainly can’t hurt!

There’s also quite a bit of Iron – 8% – and 11 grams of proteins.

Like most prepared foods, sodium is where Janes’ Lemon Pepper Cod Fillets fail: 20% of the daily value in each fillet, which is too high. But they certainly are tasty. Of course, you should not be eating this at every meal. My family and I have this once every two weeks or so, when we have it in the house.

Costco Janes Lemon Pepper Cod Ingredients

Costco Janes Lemon Pepper Cod Ingredients

As you can see by the ingredients list, there is nothing that is patently terrible in the cod fillets. I know that some people have a problem with soy, and I know that modified palm oil can’t be that great. I also realize that it’s not a primary ingredient and that my body can certainly live with a little bit of it.

In conclusion, I am happy to recommend Janes’ Lemon Pepper Cod Fillets, uncooked and breaded, to anyone that’s looking to make a quick, tasty and relatively healthy meal. If you can buy it in Costco-sized packages, all the better!

Update – July 23rd, 2015 – Jane’s Lemon Pepper Cod Fillets are on special at Costco locations in Eastern Canada! You get a $4 instant rebate, which brings down the price to a measly $9.99! Get’em while they last!

Kirkland Signature Vanilla Ice Cream Product Review

Who doesn’t *LOVE* vanilla ice cream? Come on! No one? That’s what I thought. Vanilla Ice Cream goes well with everything dessert. You can pour any kind of syrup on it, it’ll be delicious, you can count on it. This is why I was particularly excited to find out that Costco’s Kirkland Signature Vanilla Ice Cream was on liquidation this week, along with all other ice creams, to make room for the winter stuff in the freezers. I bought a modest 4 half-gallons, or 1.65 liters each container, for the low-low price of $3.97 each. If you know your ice cream, you know that this is an exceptional price for an exceptional ice cream.

Kirkland Signature Vanilla Ice Cream

Kirkland Signature Vanilla Ice Cream

What I like about this Kirkland Signature Ice Cream is the ingredients list. Except for some stability agents, the list reads like something you would do yourself. Here goes, in decreasing order of content:

  • Cream
  • Sugar
  • Skim Milk
  • Egg Yolk
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Carob Gum
  • Guar Gum

This ice cream is certified Nut and Peanut-free, for allergies, and is made with 100% Canadian milk. There is a warning next to the ingredients list that specify that it may contain soy, which I suspect is there for legal reasons than for anything else.

This vanilla ice cream is delicious, simply put, and at only $3.97 per 1.65 liters, I could hardly say no. It is smooth and creamy, and will go well with any dessert, especially apple pies!

Kirkland Signature Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend Product Review

I love eating meat and carbohydrates, which is not ideal for my waist. Of course, my wife is always recommending that I include more vegetables in our meals, particularly for our son, but when I’m the one cooking, and it happens often, vegetables are always somehow left behind. I greatly dislike the hassle of cleaning and cutting and cooking. Always makes a mess, takes forever. I also dislike the frozen vegetables you get at the grocery store. They are overpriced and undersized, and I feel like I’m being had. This is why I am so happy that I discovered Kirkland Signature’s Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend, available exclusively at Costco. Finally, frozen vegetables that look even better than they would have if I’d prepared them myself!

Kirkland Signature Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend

Kirkland Signature Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend, $9.99 for 2.5 kilos at Costco

I’m a *huge* fan of the convenience of frozen vegetables, and generally speaking, studies have shown that frozen vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh ones, even more so when compared to imported, out-of-season vegetables. (source)

Compared to other frozen vegetables I’ve bought in the past, Kirkland Signature’s Stir-Fry Blend is quite impressive. The pieces are large and varied, unlike others that are all broccoli stems and peas. Here you’ll find plenty of baby corn, shiitake mushrooms and water chestnuts, as well as the more traditional broccoli, carrots and peas. Here are the ingredients, in descending order of volume and quantity:

  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carrots
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Baby Corn
  • Yellow Onions
Kirkland Signature Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend (in bowl)

Kirkland Signature Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend (in bowl)

The nutrional value is of 40 calories per cup, with plenty of vitamin A and C, no fat,and very limited amounts of sodium and carbohydrates, all natural, as there is no sugar or salt added.

It is worthwhile to note that while onions are possibly the cheapest ingredients in the list, they appear last. That’s too bad, because I love onions, so when I stir-fry these vegetables, I always add an extra onion before starting to cook the frozen ones.

I always love to cook my vegetables until they are still a little crunchy, rather than soft and shapeless. I find that a quick stir-fry in the work, with some vegetable or olive oil and (eventually) a dash of soy sauce works perfectly. You’ll have, of course, to define and refine your own method!

Overall Value

The quality and taste of these frozen vegetables is exceptional, but what about the dollar value? Well, each 2.5 kilos (about 5 pounds) bag costs $9.99 Canadian at my local Costco. Each serving, according to the label, is 85 grams, or 1 cup, so that boils down to about 30 servings per bag, each costing approximately 33 cents. Let’s say 35 cents.

Taking into consideration that the vegetables will shrink slightly when cooked, I usually cook them about 5 servings at a time, which gives me enough vegetables for my wife and myself, our son (who doesn’t eat much vegetables yet) and another serving for lunch the next day. Math tells us that cooking about 5 cups costs $1.75.

  • Product Name: Kirkland Signature Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend
  • Available at: Costco (exclusively)
  • Size of Bag: 2.5 kilos
  • Cost of Bag: $9.99 (Canadian)
  • Servings per Bag: 29.41
  • Cost per Serving: $0.34
  • Cost per Meal (for me): $1.75

Being able to feed my family delicious, high quality and nutritious vegetables for $0.35 per serving, taking into consideration that there is *zero* prep time, is incredible. I highly recommend Kirkland Signature’s Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend to anyone who trying to introduce more vegetables into their diet, but finds fresh vegetables a little hard (or annoying) to work with!

Ling Ling Pork and Vegetables Potstickers Product Review

I’m a big fan of products that can be taken out of the freezer, cooked as-is and be ready quickly. I guess it’s a side-effect of having children. As long as they’re reasonably healthy, as in not too full of salt and fat, I don’t have a problem with the occasional frozen meal, as long as it’s not the whole meal. I went to Costco today to do a little bit of ‘essentials’ shopping, and returned with these delicious Ling Ling Pork and Vegetable Potstickers, or dumplings.

Ling Ling Potsticker Dumplings

Ling Ling Potsticker Pork and Vegetable Dumplings (item 341132 at Costco Canada)

To be honest, it’s a little difficult to write an enthralling food-based product review on a full stomach. I mean *full*. I just had a full lunch of dumplings, and I must say that they work. That’s the reason the bag is opened on the picture at right.

So let’s start with the basics. These Ling Ling ‘Asian Kitchen’ Pork and Vegetable Potstickers (I just call them dumplings) are available at my local Costco (item number 341132 in Canada), and the 1.91 kilogram bag costs just $11.69, non-taxable. There were a total of 61 dumplings in this particular bag, for a price per dumpling of $0.19. That’s 19 cents, people. Those dumplings are affordable. Also supplied are four (4) little pouches of special soy-based dipping sauce to be warmed up, but I didn’t bother today.

For the record, the company considers 5 dumplings to be a serving, and each serving represents a surprisingly low 280 calories. I ate 7, because I have a large appetite, with 3 small onions and a side of 1/2 cup (dry) of Kirkland Signature Basmati Rice. As a dipping sauce, I use a mixture of Bull’s Eye BBQ sauce and everyone’s favorite, Rooster sauce!

I know what you’re saying. ‘That’s way tooooo much starch!’ Don’t think I don’t know. I like starch, what can I say. This simple meal must have cost less than $2, everything included, and I’m super full.

Cooking these dumplings is very simple. I know that they can be boiled, then fried, but on the recommendation of the Costco ‘demo ladies’, I cook them covered in a pan with a little water, which I then uncover and let boil away. The dumplings get a nice golden brown afterwards. I also add the onions at the beginning of the process, with a dash of soy sauce to jazz it all up.

I read on one of my reference sites that these dumplings are also available in the Chicken and Vegetable variety, but alas, not yet in Canada. The Pork and Vegetables ones are quite delicious, affordable and easy to make, and to top it all off, they’re not terrible for your health, either.