TV Dinner Peas and Carrots. I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. Back then, it was a “treat” for Mom to serve me a TV Dinner before she and my dad went out with their friends on Saturday evening. Since I loved the peas and carrots combinations that came in some of the TV dinners, my husband created his “TV Dinner Peas and Carrots” for me.
For those of you who never experienced a TV Dinner, let me explain. Created circa 1950, a TV dinner was meant to be baked in the oven and then eaten in front of the television with the rest of the family. The TV Dinner came frozen in a tin foil tray with sections. Usually, there was a meat section, a starch section, a vegetable section, and a dessert or fruit compote section. Each member of the family could choose and enjoy a different TV dinner at the same time.
Some of the TV dinners were pretty good — at least to me. And some were horrible. I think the worst one that I ever ate was by Libby’s. It was called The Libbyland Safari Supper and featured fried chicken, spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce, mashed potatoes, corn and chocolate pudding. When baked in the oven, the chocolate pudding would run into the rest of the food. I’m a big fan of chocolate pudding — but not mixed into my spaghetti.
Later on, Libby’s revamped the Safari TV dinner. This version had a hot dog, sloppy joe meat, potato sticks, corn, and chocolate pudding. Another TV dinner that was not a favorite of mine was the Libbyland Sea Diver Dinner. It consisted of fish sticks, macaroni and ham in cheese sauce, corn with butter sauce, french fried potatoes, and chocolate pudding (oh, the carbs…). Most of the Libby’s TV dinners also featured a flavor packet used to flavor the glass of milk you were supposed to drink with the TV dinner.
My favorite TV dinner was Swanson’s Turkey Breast dinner. A slice of turkey breast with “dressing” and smothered with gravy and accompanied by whipped mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, and a cranberry cobbler for dessert. The cranberry cobbler juices would leak into the other items, and I was ok with that.
I remember trying this Swanson Beans and Franks TV Dinner. I liked my parents homemade baked beans and franks a whole lot better. This TV dinner also featured apple slices and chocolate cake.
The ever popular “Meat Loaf TV Dinner” was always a hit with my babysitters. I wasn’t a fan though. Chicken soup, meat loaf and gravy, mashed potatoes, peas & carrots & corn, and apple cake cobbler. Chicken soup in a TV dinner? Odd. Just one more item to leak into the others.
Swanson company came out with some “International” TV dinners, none of which I had the opportunity to try, fortunately. Chinese, German, Italian and Mexican dinners were offered for that “continental” flavor to “upgrade” an otherwise boring meal.
Now back to the recipe! I hope you enjoy making my husband’s TV Dinner Peas and Carrots! It’s a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables.
Start by peeling and dicing two carrots. You will also need to thaw some frozen peas. (If you are using fresh peas, blanch them with the carrots, plunge into ice water, and saute together. Canned peas tend to be too mushy for this dish and are not recommended.)
Blanch the carrots in boiling water for a few minutes, then plunge into ice water. Let dry and saute the carrots in a bit of butter.
Add the thawed peas and warm them through. Viola! TV Dinner Peas and Carrots! Except these peas and carrots will taste much better!
Serve with your favorite meat and starch!
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
TV Dinner Peas and Carrots
2 carrots, washed, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
Bowl of ice water
2 T butter
6 oz frozen peas, thawed
salt and pepper
1. Blanch the carrots for 4 minutes in a pan of boiling water.
2. Plunge the carrots into a bowl of ice water for about 3 minutes to cool.
3. Drain the carrots and dry them lightly with a paper towel.
4. Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium-low heat.
5. Add the carrots and saute them until the carrots have softened a bit and are slightly transparent.
6. Add the peas and saute until the peas have warmed through and softened a bit.
7. Season with salt and pepper and serve!
Serves 2 as a side dish. Serve these peas and carrots in the “TV Dinner” style with a meat, starch, and dessert! Or just serve as a vegetable along with your favorite meals.
Variations: Add some minced garlic to spice up this dish. Use olive oil instead of butter.
www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2013)