As you might have guessed from my Tuesday Dinner series, I’m fascinated by what people cook during the week—not fancy food, but the fast, ordinary meals prepared after a tiring day of work. Ever since the baby arrived, I’ve developed a new strategy. Instead of grocery shopping one meal at a time (I now think of those days and laugh), I cook large quantities during the weekend and reheat during the week. What I lose in spontaneity, I make up for in speed and peace of mind.
On the internets, people’s lives have a tendency to look glossier than they really are. (Surely this explains the email I received after this post appeared, from a reader accusing me of being a trust fund baby.) The truth is this: I try to get a home-cooked dinner on the table about 70% of the time. Do I enjoy cooking every night? No. Sometimes I’m so tired I wish I could swallow the balanced-meal-equivalent of a pill, and collapse into my pillow. But I try to eat at home most nights because I care about the food we eat, I don’t want to weigh 1,000 pounds, and I pinch pennies like everyone else.
Today I’m sharing my week’s cooking routine: what I prepared one weekend, and then how we ate it during the course of seven days.
What I cooked:
Over the weekend, I steamed a pound of asparagus, sautéed broccoli rabe with chili flakes and garlic, boiled up a pot of quinoa and couscous for packed lunches, and prepared a chicken tetrazzini casserole. (I also made some baby food.) My husband cooked a pot of chili.
What we ate:
Sunday – Turkey chili, basmati rice, cheddar cheese, and pickled red onions (made the previous week).
Monday – Chicken tetrazzini, reheated at 350ºF for an hour until golden and bubbly.
Tuesday – Peanut butter/ sriracha toast, sauteed broccoli rabe. (Note: husband ate chicken tetrazzini, but I’d had an enormous lunch.)
Wednesday – More turkey chili, basmati rice, cheddar, avocado, and pickled onions.
Thursday – Japanese-style donburi bowl. Salmon (cooked this way), avocado, asparagus, broccoli rabe, pickled red onions, black sesame seeds, and dashi broth over sushi rice. This is one of my favorite meals, but it’s only fast if you’ve cooked the vegetables in advance.
Friday – Vegetarian burrito from Chipotle. We get take-out once a week and I look forward to it.
Saturday – Dinner out with friends (delicious Korean food at Hanjan). Drank a martini and forgot to take pictures (sorry).
A few observations:
–We eat a lot of food in bowls!
–My late-night food photography needs work (sorry about those #struggleplates :)
– Not pictured: the asparagus and broccoli rabe also appeared at lunch, atop of quinoa, with sliced turkey breast and cherry tomatoes.
– The rice cooker is my best friend–it produces perfect grains every time, with no pot watching. I’m not sure how I survived so long without one.
– Though we didn’t dip into our freezer this week, I rely on it most weeks.
I’d love to hear about your weekly cooking routine!