Since going gluten-free in August 2013, it’s rare that I eat Chinese food, especially in a restaurant, the chance of the establishment not knowing what I mean when asked whether they have a GF menu is saddening, and we usually walk out hungry. So when I met Ivy of Ivy’s Garden Food, creator of tasty Chinese frozen family meals and self-proclaimed “Chinese Supermom”, at a GF Expo in San Francisco a few years ago, I was thrilled to taste her food. Since then, she has expanded from online orders only to having her meals sold at Safeway stores in the Northern California area, as well as stores in Portland OR.
I had purchased direct from her about a year ago, however, this time, I bought at Safeway to see the difference in freshness. I was not disappointment in my meal, in either freshness, taste, or value.
Currently, Ivy’s Garden Food has 3 delicious frozen meal options – Lemon Chicken, Chicken Nuggets, and Sweet & Sour Chicken, which is the item I tried. The box boasts “simply delicious”, “no preservatives, no MSG”, “made from all-fresh natural* ingredients”, and telling me my meal has “chicken (white meat), pineapple, and green pepper”. I made the meal for my husband & I, however, I did embellish it with added pineapple since I had some in the fridge.
The meal was ample enough for “2” (as stated on the packaging) and we enjoyed it over a bed of Jasmine rice (not included in meal). We extended the ingredients by cutting the chicken in smaller more manageable bites (the chicken pieces are bigger than I expected). The sauce so tangy, yet sweet, the chicken was tender. Oh, my mouth is watering as I type!
I love having convenient meals, like Ivy’s, available for nights I don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen cooking; it’s there in the freezer, and you have the choice of cooking in the oven & stovetop (about 20 minutes), or in the microwave (less than 5 minutes); I always choose the microwave unless it’s cold outside and I want to heat the house a bit more with the oven heat, and then there is no dirty pan as Ivy provides all you need to cook it.
Add chopsticks and we were good to go!
IF, and that’s a big IF, you have any leftovers, be aware that the breading on the chicken will not adhere to the pieces after sitting in the sauce overnight, it blends into the sauce. Frankly, I have no problem with this because the taste is great, even day 2.
Ivy’s Garden Food can be purchased online or at Northern California Safeway stores. Her website is a wealth of information, with tried-and-true GF recipes, and articles on gluten-free living.
*minimally processed; no artificial ingredients.