Cooking has taken on an entirely new rhythm in the past year. We switched to a smaller weekly CSA share that corresponds pretty closely to the amount of veg that we need to get through a week. This means that I don’t need to game plan my vegetable use quite as much, so my meal plan lives mostly in my head. One of the biggest downsides to this approach is that I am not starting my day with a particular plan in mind. Meals are easily foiled by the ebbs and flows of my day. Lately, we’ll go days with nothing but “last minute meals.” Breakfast for dinner! Nachos! Leftovers from a day where I actually had energy and brain space to cook. We have been on rotate for a l-o-n-g time with the only variation being that Taco Tuesday has tacos/tostadas/nachos in a perpetual swap.
It is fine and we are eating well enough (there are veggies on top of those nachos!), but after days on end of just pulling containers out of the fridge to piece a meal together, a girl needs something with at least a little bit of intention. I turn to the ubiquitous meal in a bowl to get out of those ruts – a quick cooking grain, a protein, simply cooked veggies, and maybe one ingredient with a little more pop of flavor and you have yourself a proper meal!
We went without a protein for lunch today (cause all I had ready was black beans), but ended up pretty pleased with what came together in the time it took to cook the grain:
- Quinoa – cooked on the stovetop with a smidge of olive oil and salt
- Brussel sprouts – roasted in convection oven at 375º until crispy
- Mushrooms – pan-fried in butter
- Spaghetti squash & kale – Sautéed in olive oil and taken to a creamy consistency with the help of a couple of tablespoons of cream, broth and parmesan.
I put the brussel sprouts into the oven first. Then got the quinoa going on the stovetop. While those two made their way to a ready, I cooked the creamed spaghetti squash and then the mushrooms. Came together in about 30 minutes total and everyone (including the rumored-to-be super-tasting 18yo) was a fan.
Only downside: three separate pots and a sheet pan to wash at the end.