What’s for Dinner?
It’s really one of my least favorite questions. And I remember it being one of my mother’s least favorites as well…. Now I understand her reasoning on a whole new level. My favorite answer to this untimely question? “Food.” Or, a squinty glare (the so-called “hairy eyeball) that speaks volumes.
Yep, it’ll be food. Probably edible. And you will eat it. That’s my policy (ages 0 to 110+)
It’s hard enough to spend an entire day working (albeit from home, but it’s not like I sit around eating bonbons), but by 6:30 at night I have to know what I’m cooking for dinner, how I’m cooking it and whether or not I have the ingredients I need to cook it properly (not necessarily in that order). AND make sure the kitchen is clean enough to cook in!
My planning skills in this department are mediocre at best; about once a month I sit down and try to plan meals for the week, but something always gets in the way: Tuesday night oil painting class, Wednesday night Bible study, Thursday night work social…. Let alone carving out an hour to shop for groceries! By the time the weekend arrives, just about all I can do is dial up a delivery from the Chinese place down the street.
But that’s the behavior of a young wife living in the bustling city of Chicago, right? I get a pass for now, I hope. It’s still a goal of mine to integrate weekly trips to the grocery, a 7-day meal plan, and plenty of fruits and vegetables into our dining regimen. But… it’s a process.
Until then, I will settle for the 2-3 nights a week I get things right. So, What’s For Dinner?
This was a red curry base (you can pick up all types of curry pastes at your local grocery: golden, green, red, etc.) that includes curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce and a bit of brown sugar to tone down the heat. There are so many varieties on this sauce, it’s worth testing out the recipe several times to find your own preference of heat and flavor.
I sauteed my veggies first (red pepper, carrots, red onion, garlic), then added in the pork for a nice sear, then put that whole bunch in a separate bowl to the side. Next [using the same pan to save time on dishes later] I set up my curry sauce and gave it a good simmer before adding back in the veggies/meat. I let that simmer on low for about 15 minutes (to finish cooking the meat, and let everything absorb the flavors of the curry sauce). With about 5 minutes to go, I added some frozen cut green beans for extra color and nutritional value (somewhat). A few minutes more of simmering and the curry is ready to go!
While the curry was cooking, I also soaked and boiled some rice noodles on the side. I love rice noodles for their texture (like angel hair pasta) and low caloric value! They don’t have a ton of nutritional value (I have yet to find *brown* rice noodles), but they are a great “carrier” for curries and other sauces.
All in all, this meal took me about 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish. I won’t evaluate the economic value… but I’m thinking it was nowhere near as expensive as ordering out from the Thai place! So, for ease of preparation and nutritional value, Thai curries are the way to go for dinner….if not once a week, at least twice a month. 🙂