Wednesday, September 17, 2008

cooking on the fly

having a kid makes you become first less efficient (A LOT LESS!), and then suddenly more efficient. i am finding a new groove at last. (thank you exersaucer!) i am learning to roughly plan ahead and to make stuff up on the fly. i now go to the grocery store with no real list, but instead, some vague notion that we should maybe have some food in the house and that some extra diapers wouldn't go amiss. and maybe more advil. for example, on saturday i just went to the store with this notion of coming back home with FOOD. and here is my smartest idea ever: buy a whole big family pack of boneless chicken breasts and all kinds of random vegetables. grill the whole pack of chicken. and then for days--you have dinner almost made already. i keep making random stuff with grilled chicken and veggies, and man--it's been pretty good. here are some successes:

one night i roasted a butternut squash--i chopped up half a pear (random) and put it in the cavity of the squash, rubbed the whole thing with olive oil, sprinkled a bit of cinnamon on it, and baked it for somehtng like 50 minutes at 350. when it was done, i scooped out the squashy goodness and mashed it up with a little more cinnamon, and voila. with that we had some cous cous (one of those near east boxes--i think this was the toasted pine nut variety) to which i added a handful of spinach. and by the way, i will definitely be doing THAT again. i just threw the spinach in on top of the cous cous and let it steam for a few minutes, and then stirred it in--it wilted beautifully, and man, it was good. and i think my hands on time for this whole meal was maybe 15 minutes.

chicken caesars. easy peasy. use real parmesan for this, people, and you can't go wrong.

last night i took half a box of pasta and cooked it. then i added it to a saute of mushrooms, halved grape tomatoes, and some frozen soycutash from trader joes(although you could also use pretty much any frozen vegetable or a can of something), a cup of chicken broth, some sprigs of thyme, and a few red pepper flakes. and you know, chicken. fast, low fat, and delicious.

sandwiches with sliced chicken, roasted red pepper, basil or watercress, and herbed mayo. or if you want them to look fancy, drop the mayo and serve them open faced with shaved manchego cheese and a drizzle of olive il and balsamic vinegar. yum.

burritoes!!! take some of that chicken and add some avacado, some salsa, maybe some black beans and cheese, a little cilantro if you have it. roll it up in a tortilla.

tonight we will have some sugar snap peas and something. maybe a stir-fry. i'm sure i still have some other vegetable bits and pieces hiding in that crisper drawer--half an onion, a red pepper, some mushrooms...something...

i realize there's nothing earth-shattering here, but it's made all the difference to my psyche this week. last night the hippie was reveling in the fact that we're eating at home, and that it's not all PB&J (although yum! PB&J!). it's good, finally getting back into the swing of my kitchen.

ps--speaking of PB&J, can i just tell you how good this strawberry and rhubarb jam we found is? we bought it in a general store out newr my hometown, and holy lord--YUM! just sayin'...

1 comment:

Allegra said...

don't know if you're interested in one or not, but one of the best gifts I got after Satya was born was a slow cooker. OMG, heaven sent. I get so much use out of it, especially in the winter...I use it usually three days during the week when my work days are nuts.
Hope you all are doing well!