WIAW #8 – “Planned For” Meals
Yesterday actually illustrated the concept of planning for meals fairly well.
I’ve been showing you my oatmeal every week – but I haven’t mentioned that I always cook four day’s worth at a time, and refrigerate it. Then I scoop one serving into a bowl and microwave it… so my breakfast is ready right away. I eat steel cut oats – I like the chewyness (is that a word?) and they feel like a treat, but they take half an hour to cook. I can do that in the morning – but I’d rather not take the time in the morning.
And I finally thought to add some frozen blueberries – which have been right there all along – and make it more interesting… It is a nice change, actually. A little vanilla in the oatmeal as it cooks is pleasant, too.
And I had my yogurt/OJ/Protein powder shake… and coffee.
Lunch was a piece of chicken breast – I’d cooked two whole ones at once, we’d eaten most of one, and I had the rest for lunches and such. And I’d thawed some cooked winter squash – I’d baked a lot at once, and frozen part of it for later. I also had some pickles I’d made, and some (not shown) brown rice cakes.
I was working out of the house in the afternoon, and then running some errands near the job, so I knew I was going to be home late to start dinner. So I planned for our dinner – a combination of food I’d already cooked, commercial frozen food, and putting the invaluable kitchen servants to work. I had shredded pork shoulder I had cooked the other day. I had tomato paste I had frozen, and frozen vegetables I bought. I cooked chick peas in the slow cooker and brown rice in the rice cooker. (If I hadn’t known I would be late, and so hadn’t set up the cookers, or just didn’t want to, I had a can of chick peas in the cabinet, and could have cooked quinoa or pasta in almost as little time. Or even just served bread, in no time at all…)
I got home even later than I expected – I’d spent a lot of unplanned time with a customer, which is good for business if not for my schedule – so I was glad I had all this ready. I put a saute pan on the stove, lit the burner under it, put in some pork and some of the broth left from cooking it. Added chick peas and their cooking liquid, and some of the tomato paste I’d frozen (as I discussed in my last post.) I also added a dollop of jarred pesto. When all that came to a simmer, I added some cauliflower and some okra.
Then I sat down, asked Rich to set the table – and then asked him to serve what was in the saute pan over the rice… and we had dinner. (Well – not at the table this time – we’re sorting some stuff on the table – he set the desks… We usually do manage the table for dinner! It’s a goal of mine… )
So – a good meal with almost no effort at the end of a busy day, and food on the table sooner than if I’d called out. In this case, I had planned this specific meal – but I could have made the same meal if I had not. I was late, tired, cold, and hungry – this was exactly what I needed.
Joining Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday.