Thursday, February 7, 2013

simple weeknight meals

i love to cook. i also tend to work late. these two things do not lend to early dinners : ) so that we don't eat at 9.30 every night, i've had to develop a system. i take stock of the fridge, freezer and pantry in the morning when i grab my lunch and then think about it all day. on the bus ride home, i google the random ingredients i remember and see what pops up. if it looks like it takes less than 45 minutes, it wins!! haha. bonus if there are leftovers for work lunches : )

this night, i googled chicken + swiss chard + mushrooms. we ended up with a quick braised chicken breast with mushrooms and chard (chopped stems and leaves). i'd never braised before, and i'm not sure i did it correctly. but it was quick and only used one pan! this made one lunch of the same meal and one lunch of a salad with chopped chicken. 

this search was ground turkey + jalapeno. it became turkey chili. i didn't even thaw the meat - i put the entire frozen block straight from my milk delivery box into a pot. no joke. then i added garlic and the chopped jalapeno, followed by a random beer from the fridge to get the little browned bits, and whatever beans and tomato cans i had in the pantry. no chips, so i took the end of a package of tortillas and made crispy strips in the oven. this made two lunches! 

other nights, i have an idea of what i want to make, but want to switch it up. again, the bus is a great time to brush up on familiar recipes. i've made taco ring for years and years. but i knew that we were out of crescent rolls in the fridge, so i learned how to make my own dough between k street and dupont circle. while the ground beef was browning, i made up my own dough and then made a taco ring like i usually do and served it with store-bought salsa. there was enough dough to make rolls for breakfast the next morning, too : ) 

and some nights i just don't feel like cooking. this night i made quick nachos under the broiler. bag of chips, refried beans, veggies, and ends of random cheeses from the cheese drawer. and i may have had a pre-dinner snack of refried beans. i'm sure no one else has nights like that... : )

i'm always open to new quick, weeknight dinners - send me your suggestions!

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