As you might have noticed, this is a food blog, and I am a food blogger. My welcome message is not an exaggeration; I live to cook. So, being without a kitchen to cook in is starting to make me itch.
My Twitter feed is brimming with delicious-sounding, tempting recipes, and a trip to the grocery store is an exercise in creativity and restraint, as I search for foods that are microwavable, flavorful, affordable, involve minimal prep, and contain as few artificial ingredients as possible. The refrigerator hasn’t been this empty in a long time, maybe since we took our trip to California. But life does go on, and we must eat. Here’s what we ate this week.
This is an Italian Sloppy Joe sandwich and Quinoa Chickpea Vegetable Soup, all pulled from the freezer and allowed to thaw in the refrigerator, then warmed up in the microwave in serving-size portions. The Italian meat sauce is browned ground beef and a locally-jarred sauce. I made a big batch of this, so there is more of it waiting in the freezer. The soup was also a big batch, with more in the freezer for later. Really, if you’re going to make soup from scratch, make a lot and freeze it. There’s almost no soup you can’t freeze, especially if you use grains or beans instead of pasta for the starch (pasta tends to get mushy in frozen soup). It’s not a fancy dinner, but it’s hot, flavorful, and satisfying, and it meets one of my goals for this remodel – as many home-cooked meals as possible.
Look, it’s Tex-Mex night! If it weren’t for the paper plate, you might not know this was a remodel meal. The black bean, beef, and corn burrito filling (again, made in a big batch) came from the freezer, and was dressed up with store-bought salad mix, flour tortillas, sour cream, jarred salsa, and a packet of guacamole. I normally make my own guacamole, but that’s not possible right now. The store-bought guacamole is a pretty decent substitute; there’s nothing in it that I wouldn’t put in my own homemade guac. There’s so much flavor and texture on this plate, it seems like a freshly-made meal – another one of my goals.
To repurpose the Italian meat sauce, I took a chance and bought two packages of frozen microwave mini cheese ravioli with tomato sauce, and heated the meat sauce with them. Add a can of green beans, and it’s a meal. The ravioli were suprisingly good, and again, had no ingredients I wouldn’t have put in them myself. Winner. Dinner.
Week one has ended, and the demolition continues. There may not be much cooking going on, but there is still some pretty good eating.