Quick Suppers Made Simple

Posted on July 27, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , |

Food - Quick Supper

Pork chops in the crockpot, frozen French beans quickly steamed with a squirt of lemon and butter, leftover cucumber salad

Ok, so the other day I complained about food manufacturers manipulating people by producing food-like products that make consumers think they are cooking.  But the reality is many people don’t want to take the time to cook and there are days I feel this way too.  No, don’t tell me people want to cook but they don’t have the time.  I just don’t believe that.  We make the time for the things we find important and most Americans don’t find cooking to be an important activity for themselves and their families.  I’m sad about this, but it is reality.  So, what do I recommend for these people and for us home chefs who need an easy night?  Here you go, a list of ways to make healthy and tasty suppers as quickly as the boxed and frozen garbage they are trying to sell you in the store!

1.  Plan to make leftovers.  Many dishes are actually more tasty the next day.  The cucumber salad, above, I made double the first night knowing it would make a great side dish the next night again.  This gave the cucumbers and onions time to wilt and absorb the mayo/vinegar dressing – delicious!  To make a big batch of something saves time for the next few days.  You don’t have to get all the equipment out again and you can rest easy knowing one part of the meal is already done.

2.  Know what is in your freezer (put something good in there!) and pull something out a day in advance.  A whole frozen chicken is a treasure, but impossible to work with the same day.  Throw one in a pan in the refrigerator so you can cut it apart and bake it the next night.  This way you can pick up extra items and have them available within a day without having to run to the market.  By the way, fish defrosts super fast in a pan of cool water in the sink.  If I’m having fish the same night I put it in water right when I get home, then go get into comfortable clothes, make salad or other vegetables, then cook up the fish which is usually already defrosted (depending on thickness.)

3.  Make friends with a crockpot.  It doesn’t work for everything but for something like pork chops or soups it is the way to go.  For easy, tender pork chops just take them right out of the freezer, squirt both sides with a little organic ketchup, sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  It falls apart, it’s so good!

4.  Frozen vegetables count.  Most nights I make a big salad, but it is a lot of cleaning and chopping.  Last night I grabbed a bag of thin French green beans, steamed them for about 10 minutes, put 2 pats of butter on them with a squeeze of fresh lemon.  This was so easy, healthy and good.  It’s my go-to quick veg for an almost-no-cook night.  Frozen vegetables, while usually not as good as fresh can have a place for work-averse people!  It’s better than having no vegetables.

5.  When you do make a salad dress it like the Italians do:  a drizzle of olive oil and then a drizzle of vinegar (any kind you have on hand will do, but apple cider vinegar will add health and seasoned rice vinegar will add tons of flavor.)  This is so cheap, easy and healthy it is amazing to me anyone buys the bottles of chemically glop they sell in the store as salad dressing.

So there are my first 5 suggestions.  I’ll keep thinking about this and I’ll do another list as I pay attention to my own low-cooking nights.

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2 Responses to “Quick Suppers Made Simple”

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Good ideas! Our society’s food environment today really is a shame. And I totally agree. Yes we’re all busy blah blah blah but the no time excuse gets so old!

I agree. The other flimsy excuse is it’s too expensive to eat healthy. Fruits and vegetables are some of the cheapest foods in the store, especially if you shop at a discount store AND being healthy is a lot cheaper than getting sick!

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