Lunches are a little forgettable in my house. When I cook, I usually cook dinners and then we scour the fridge for leftovers for lunches. The other day I was shopping at Sam’s Club and found a great deal on some Lean Cuisine frozen meals. I love these because my husband and I are watching what we are eating these days and I know these entrees won’t break the calorie limits that we have set for ourselves. I picked up a 6 pack of Asian inspired meals for only $9.98 and a 4 pack of Italian inspired meals for $6.98. If you see the math it is less than $2 per meal.
While an entree is nice, I needed something to complement it. I have been wanting to try my hand at baking Asian sweet bread since I pinned a recipe a few months ago, this was my opportunity. What better to go with Asian food than Asian sweet bread?
While Asian Sweet Bread is a staple in Asia, I was not familiar with it. The secret is the tangzhong which is a paste made from flour and water that makes the bread very moist while keeping the crust crunchy. I adapted my recipe from a instructables tutorial.
- 5 1/2 cups bread or all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup of milk
- 4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 6 tbsp butter
- tangzhong recipe
- For the tangzhong:
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup of water
Make the tangzhong by mixing the water and flour together in a small saucepan. After completely dissolving the flour, cook on medium heat until mixture thickens enough to see a line when putting a knife through it. Remove from heat.
Combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl.
Add wet ingredients and kneed for about 30 minutes. I used my Kitchen Aid dough hook and ended up doing it by hand after about 20 minutes. I added some flour as I went to make sure the dough wasn't too sticky.
Place dough in greased bowl, cover and let rise for about 40 minutes.
Separate the dough into 4 balls, cover and let rise for another 20 minutes.
Create shapes and place them into greased pans. I made a loaf and about 18 rolls from one recipe. Let dough rest in pans and rise for 50 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
Brush a beaten egg over the top of the bread and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
The bread was delicious and the perfect side for a pasta or rice dish.
With all of the calories I saved from eating light, I decided to treat myself to a Skinny Cow ice-cream sandwich! Each one of these are only 150 calories and 2g of fat! While it is light, the flavor is not. They taste just as good as a regular ice-cream sandwich. Sam’s Club sells these in boxes of 20 with vanilla and cookies and cream flavors for only $8.98… less than 50 cents per dessert!
Can you believe that I got everything I needed for 10 lunches for under $26?
What are some of your creative lunch ideas? Do you have any #FrozenFavorites meals you rely on in a rush?