Just to go along with a general topic on my blog lately, I wanted to tell you about dinner last night!
Chris made dinner (which he has been doing because he is a GREAT partner to have and is taking some of the cooking responsibilities off my shoulders so I can focus a little more on my dissertation). We had no plan, no recipes, just a bunch of food we had in the fridge. You know, food from that general grocery list I laid out a few days ago. I wanted to explain HOW we use that food to make delicious dinners withOUT any muss, fuss, or stress!
I am a big believer in filling my house with a variety of veggies and a standard group of proteins and fats... and the meals will come easily!
He made us turkey burgers, which I ate on a bed of romaine, and a really lovely soup from the random veggies we had in the house - butternut squash, a bag of parsnips, a bag of carrots (he also used some carrot greens we had from last week), onions, leeks, and mushrooms! It made a really thick and filling soup - not planned ahead. He peels and cubed the squash, did some basic chopping of the other veggies, boiled them up in stock, spiced it up, let it simmer for a while to really build the flavor, then blended it up till it was creamy!
We worked on getting the basics of making a soup down some years ago - layering the flavors, spicing it how we like it, getting the right consistency with either stock or coconut milk and a hand blender.
Now, we both kind of feel like magicians who can take some cold veg out of the fridge and cook them down into a filling, tasty soup that warms you up on a cool fall night :)
This kind of meal making is so easy - doesn't need anything specific, really just a carby vegetable (like squash or sweet potato or carrot) that will blend up nicely and whatever other flavors you like. I felt treated because of the unique flavor (never had parsnips in our soups before) and it was so simple!
I will often make a sweet potato soup with coconut milk and give it some Thai spices, then add mushrooms and onions after I've blended the sweet potato/milk mixture for a different feel.
Another easy type of soup we make is leafy greens and meat in broth (not blended up and creamy) - Chris likes kale greens and sausage or some variation thereof.
The possibilities are endless - all we rely on is a REALLY good grocery shop that stocks our fridge and our imaginations.
We eat insanely healthy and we eat a lot of the same foods over and over... but somehow, it's never boring. I only rarely get a craving to go OUT for something special (like Indian food - chicken saag or tikka masala... because sometimes the effort put into a great recipe by an amazing cook is so worth it!!!) because we get a great variety of flavors and textures and types of foods in our daily meals (even thought we really do seem to buy the same stuff every single week... seasonal variety in vegetables keeps things interesting!).
Okay.. enough blathering about how we cook. Just wanted to give some insight into the type of meals we can make from the list I gave you before.
Everything else is going pretty much as normal... the calm before the storm, as I said (maybe the storm won't be so bad, though ;) ). I am going for tons of walks lately, the weather has been great. I am also back to doing some serious at home strength training and yoga. I've been rewarding myself for working on my dissertation with some crappy reality TV during which I will spend an hour stretching and strengthening my body.