Monday, August 8, 2011

What's in Your Fridge (or cupboard or whatever) - Part 2 {Keys to Quick Dinners}

Last night, Kendall woke every single hour to nurse.  What?!  
Guess what else?  I happen to feel really tired today.
Dragging.  Not wanting to grocery shop or cook anything that requires thought.
What to do?  I happen to keep foods around my kitchen, for such a time as this.

There are grocery items that I try to keep around, to aid in "last minute" dinner.
By last minute, I don't mean,
you will literally have everything in your cupboard for a meal in 15 minutes.
I mean, I can be going about my day & not have planned a dinner for that night.
With these items on hand, I can throw something tasty together.
That is, with these items, plus whatever veggies I have from the weekly farm box.

I know not everyone has weekly veggies delivered,
or the ability to keep their kitchen stocked.
I know it is a privilege.
I don't know the best way to run a family kitchen.
These are just some of my things.
Take what you will.

I get most of these things at Costco to easily keep them on hand.

Pasta / Polenta / Rice - 
All items can be combined with a meat & veggies for a simple meal.
Polenta topped with sausage & veggies.
Spaghetti with tomato & ground beef sauce.
Rice with sauteed chicken breasts in light sauce.

Chicken Stock
Soup or Sauce Basic
Use to make Risotto, cook rice in it, or braise potatoes in it.

Canned Tomatoes
Make your own sauce for spaghetti or pizza, 
add tomatoes to sauteed chicken or fish.
Use with chicken stock & add to shredded chicken with olives & saffron, garlic, onion & thyme.
Serve that over polenta or egg noodles.

You can add this to most any dinner to make it tastier.
Store it in your freezer.
You can make "breakfast" for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Chicken Breast Tenders
They thaw faster than the bigger cuts.  
(But, I keep the bigger breasts in my freezer, too.)
I use the tenders for quick curry dishes.
Or maybe cook them up in some store-bought mole sauce.

Coconut Milk
needed for curry sauces - our favorite quick meal.

Ground Beef
Again, meat that thaws quickly.  And cooks quickly, too.
Spaghetti sauce, tacos, meatloaf, chili.

Canned Beans
Quick protein.  
Make a fast chili, serve in salad, serve wittortillas.

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