Dinner when life is too stressful
Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:11 PM
So - what do you do when life comes down like a ton of bricks but you still want something satisfying for dinner? (I can use some ideas for tomorrow.)
But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina
Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:24 PM
Well I either want something effortless or something complicated to take my mind off things. Rarely though do I choose the latter option. For me though braised dishes or pasta like you've done. I can whip up short-ribs in the pressure cooker within 30 minutes of getting home. Follow it with potatoes and carrots. Or do a slow cooker/pot full of pork-chops, sliced onions and apples with mushroom soup as a sauce and have it ready 8 hours later when returning from work. Steamed rice can be ready in 20 minutes or about the same with egg noodles as an accompaniment.
Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:43 PM
Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:44 PM
Notice there's a pattern? That's because I like carbs.
Although sometimes, Korean fried chicken fits the bill but for that, I need to travel.
Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:47 PM
I also recently found this orzo with sausage and peas and I think it's incredibly easy and satisfying.
Hope things ease up for you Elaine. This time of year can be stressful.
Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:06 AM
There are also a lot of really basic pasta dishes that serve this. Pasta w/ eggplant that's been browned and then simmered w/ canned tomatoes. Pasta con sarde. Or with tuna, even. Simple.
Edited by ChrisTaylor, 28 November 2012 - 02:09 AM.
Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:10 AM
Still, if things land on me all at once with no warning, and no end in site, breakfast/lunch is usually frozen peas/maize (meaning, I don't even bother thawing), tinned beans, possibly some bresola actually earmarked for my boyfriend's lunch, and insane quantities of Wasa and sweets. My boyfriend then comes home, expresses amusement/mild horror at all the empty sweets packets, and makes dinner. I'm lucky.
Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:42 AM
Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:49 AM
2 15 ounce cans black beans, drained
1 15 ounce can of low sodium chicken broth (I usually use homemade chicken broth from my freezer, but its not essential)
1 cup of good salsa, whatever spice level desired (I also use homemade salsa here, but its not essential.)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder (look for salt-free chili powder, because otherwise with salt in the canned beans this can get too salty)
Handful of cilantro, if you have it in the house
Dump all the ingredients in a pot. Whee! Simmer for about 10 minutes, then partially puree with an immersion blender. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese or sour cream.
Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:56 AM
Then again, if I'm feeling really stressed I go straight for the Volquetero, which is a carb-protein bomb. That's a layer of plantain chips, a layer of chochos, a layer of popcorn, a layer of tostado, a nice hit of encebollado (onion and tomato, finely chopped, with lime juice), and a whole can of tuna in olive oil overtop, oil and all. Takes about 5 minutes to assemble one, and it's crazy satisfying.
My eG Food Blog (2011) ⋆ My eG Foodblog (2012)
Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:28 AM
Sometimes I'll take a handful of pasta and throw it into the same small saucepan, get it to where it's just about done, and then add whatever veggies are around and which seem apropriate. Dress it with sauce of some sort, and there y' have it.
It's easy to make a meal of salad and a baked potato ... likewise, whipping up some eggs is a no brainer.
Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:59 AM
It doesn't require any real hands-on time. (I LOVE my Zojirushi rice cooker).
Teriyaki Chicken with Bok Choy
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup Teriyaki sauce (or Yoshida sauce), plus 1/4 cup for glaze
4 bone-in Chicken Thighs
1 cup long grain rice
2 bunches baby bok choy
Combine garlic and 1/4 cup teriyakii sauce in ziplock bag. Add chicken, turn to coat and marinate several hours.
Cook the rice according to directions.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 450°. Place chicken on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast, basting with the reamaining 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce, until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.
Ten minutes before the chicken is done, add the bok choy, pour the 1/4 cup saude over. Serve chicken and bok choy over rice.
In fact, this is what's on the menu for tonight.
Edited by lindag, 28 November 2012 - 08:01 AM.
Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:55 AM
Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:53 PM
Eggs in any form are also a life-saver - omelette (good way to use leftovers), soft-boiled (with mouillettes aka soldiers, topped with butter and ham), hard-boiled, poached (with a salad), fried with bacon and toast, scrambled, cocotte, etc...
Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:13 PM
Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:20 PM
Dust off your slow cooker, throw in a couple of beef shanks (sear them first, if you like), then throw in a bottle of passata, roughly chopped shallots, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, a sprinkle of dried italian herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Leave on low heat for about 8 hours, will smell great when you get home from work. Serve with a risotto, save some of the sauce to go with pasta the next day...
Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:21 PM
Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:25 PM
Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:29 PM
But sometimes the best way for me to de-stress is to take the time to cook. It might not be cutting edge gastronomy, but some sous vide chicken breast in the fridge is really versatile for whipping up something from a salad to pasta.
You might want to look at Jamie's 15 minute meals for ideas.
Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:36 PM
I'm considering Charcterer's pork steak tomorrow. (My sweet husband is cooking tonight - salmon risotto, roasted broccoli and green salad. I'm de-stressing here before I go back to the paperwork while he stirs the risotto.)
But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina
Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:43 PM
Although, when under mega pressure (I do month long projects that are literally 16-20hrs/day), I'll take one day off in the middle and cook something ridiculously complicated and long that I've never cooked before. For some reason that kind of resets me...
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)
Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:48 PM
In summer you can grill the meat.
Add a quick salad (usually arugula and/or spinach here). This can be put together in no time and varied easily.
Of course, there's also always the pasta with ketchup thing though :-)
- Thomas Keller
Diablo Kitchen, my food blog
Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:47 PM
I'm also a big fan of eggs, whether hardboiled and part of a composed salad or made into a tortilla or frittata. Quick and versatile. Almost as easy is a souffle. Though not as quick, most of the time is in the oven while you can be enjoying an aperitif. It makes you feel very special to have a souffle in the middle of the week.
Finally, I like to have good canned tuna on hand. Whether it's added to a green salad, tossed with rice or beans, or whatever, it can turn something simple into something that feels like a meal.
Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:45 PM
Go get some sushi and warm sake, and let some soothing music reset you tense rhythm.
Sushi, it’s so simple, elegant and calming just like a Japanese garden. Zen.
Posted 29 November 2012 - 12:39 AM
I had just chopped stuff up and got a basic garlic/onion/ginger mix frying when my cell phone rang. An old and very good friend - but she was on a major downer and feeling ridiculously, self-indulgently sorry for herself. But I felt obliged to let her whine on, although I was getting very impatient towards the end.
While being distracted listening to her diatribe against the world, I somehow managed to add three times the amount of the curry mix that my friend had suggested then, ignoring its obvious redness indicating its chilli content, I one handedly chopped a couple of Thai chillies and threw them in. (The other hand was still holding my cell phone to my ear as friend rattled on and on.)
Finally she went off, no doubt to call someone else to whine at, and I added my beef and mushrooms and left the mixture to simmer.
Of course when I went back to test the beef for tenderness, I found the whole shebang utterly inedible.Of course. By now it was 10 pm and I was seriously drained of energy and starving.
Canned sardines on toast then bed in a less than joyous mood. The end of a perfect day. Not.
(I seldom have such disasters - can't remember the last one and I do love my friend really.)
Edited by liuzhou, 29 November 2012 - 12:42 AM.
Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:30 AM
I also love my Korean BBQ grill. From thinly sliced meat to flank steak, it cooks up easily alongside with some veg.
Soup noodle is also quick and easy - stock, noodle and top with whatever you want: meat, veg, tofu, fish balls/fish cakes, corn, egg, etc. If I don't have premade stock, I just use the box stuff, and maybe add some miso.
Edited by annachan, 29 November 2012 - 03:36 AM.
Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:31 AM
... I found the whole shebang utterly inedible.Of course. By now it was 10 pm and I was seriously drained of energy and starving.
I'm sure you tossed it. But IME the heat often fades significantly after an overnight in the fridge! Often to my disappointment. And a little served with a lot of steamed rice is a good way to combat over-spiced curries and 5-alarm chili's. I treat it more like a condiment in this situation. Not to say I'm above trashing a fail!