I mentioned a few posts back that I’m “in training” for my first half marathon. While I’m not doing a crazy high mileage training schedule, I am now having a couple of evenings each week dominated by running. So, no time to cook, but a definite need to do some post-workout recovery eating.
My latest solution to this challenge is to prep ingredients for some kind of dinner bowls on the weekends for reheating and assembly during the week. When a running evening rolls around, it’s just a matter of how fast I get myself through the shower before sitting down to eat. Since we’re in the middle of a drought, the shower part is fast 🙂
This particular bowl was inspired by the beautiful bibimbap bowls you can get at most (okay, probably all) Korean restaurants. My take uses a mix of freekeh, black beans, and sauteed cabbage as the base, which I realize is not at all the same as the usual base of rice. An array of vegetable toppings rounds out the upper layer of the bowl. I like to get in a few different colors and a mix of cooked and raw vegetables to keep things interesting: zucchini and eggplant stir-fried with ginger, garlic, and tamari; blanched broccoli, a little raw carrot, and a few bean sprouts. For some extra protein, I also added a a sliced up egg pancake, but you could also use tempeh or a few fried tofu cubes for vegan alternatives. A handful of scallion slices, a sprinkling of black sesame seeds, and a nice dollop of my thai basil sauce finish things off and makes it all look (and in the cast of the pesto, taste) a little less “I threw this together while wearing a towel” and a little more “this is a legitimately awesome dinner, thank you”.
Dinner in five: minimalist salad + freezer soup
After getting off to a cool start, August slowly heated up. It’s only a few days in, but September seems to be maintaining the trend. One result? We’re both less inclined to want a big meal in the evenings (it just feels too heavy). Fortunately, we have a nice little stash of soups still squirreled away in the freezer, so dinners most nights involve throwing together something vegetable-y and reheating whatever our soup of the moment happens to be.
Continue reading What we ate: Peanuty Kale Salad and Tom Kha soup
Most of our dinners follow a fairly simple formula: entree plus one or two sides of vegetables. This Suday, however, I wanted to put something a little more exciting on the table. It’s Sunday, right? Traditionally, you should be sitting down to a big roast dinner with all the trimmings. This week, I decided it should be a “Sunday dinner” night a little late in the game (say, Sunday afternoon…), so I didn’t have the opportunity to go all out. Instead, I took a rummage around the fridge and started thinking about how to combine what I had on hand into something a bit different.
I decided the best approach would be to go for variety, rather than focusing on a single complicated dish. I started with two sets of leftovers from a previous evening: sauteed kale, and chickpeas seasoned with the Chile Ginger Garlic Lime Sauce from our August batch cook.
Using the flavoring of the chickpeas as the pointer for where to go next, I decided we’d be having an Asian inspired Sunday dinner this week. I pulled some spicy peanut sauce out of the freezer (another batch cook creation), and let it start thawing while I chopped some squash, peppers, and eggplant and started them cooking in the skillets. When the vegetables were almost done, I added the peanut sauce to the skillet and let it cook for a minute or two more.
I used the time between mixing around the vegetable medley to do the prep work for the last part of the plate, stir-fried cauliflower rice. Mr. C&V loves this dish (I’m pretty partial to it as well) and it seems a little fancier than our usual fare, so it was an obvious choice for rounding things out. I used our food processor to quickly grate a head of cauliflower, then chopped up a few other little vegetable odds and ends to add some flavor and color to the dish:
Overall, this meal had a lot in common with our regular weeknight meals (lots of vegetables, some of the same sauces and flavorings), but it still felt fancier because we had more flavors than usual, plus something we hadn’t eaten in a while (the “rice”). Oh, it probably also helped that we had that peach and blackberry tart from earlier in the week for dessert. I’m going to be trying to make Sunday dinner more of a thing for us, now I just have to think up some other options for meals worthy of the designation!
Question: Do you have a Sunday (or Friday or Saturday) dinner tradition? What foods do you make or eat?
Wednesday’s dinner was a favorite of mine, a bowl full of curry and greens:
Keeping it simple
In general, we eat solid meals off of plates around here. Our dishwasher will take more plates than bowls, and of course some things just work better on a plate. But I still like eating dinner out of a bowl from time to time, it feels very cozy and comforting.
Continue reading What we ate: curry and greens bowl
Last night’s meal was another combinations of freezer food, leftovers and freshly prepared, an approach I’ve really come to love for putting together an interesting meal without too much trouble. In this case, the chickpeas were part of a huge pot that I threw together several weekends ago: onions, garlic, chickpeas, curry powder, a few crushed red peppers, turmeric. Super simple but super tasty.
Continue reading What we ate: Curried chickpeas and garlicky mashed cauliflower, with recipe
Soup is clearly one of our go-to meals. Every 6-8 weeks, we spend a Saturday morning doing a large “batch cook”, where we make 5 or 6 different dishes to freeze and eat throughout the coming weeks. It makes putting a good dinner on the table so much easier and less stressful! Because it freezes so well, our batch cooking usually involves at least one kind of soup, like Tom kkha:
Tom Kha soup, mixed vegetables with peanut sauce, broccoli
Continue reading what we ate: Tom kha soup with peanut vegetables and broccoli