I'm a meal planner through and through, but I realize I may be in the minority. Cooking for my family is a task I look forward to each day, and you too may be finding this task a regular part of your day now that we are staying home due to Coronavirus.
It has felt a little bit like I'm stuck in an episode of "Chopped" this week. I could go to the store with a meal plan and a grocery list, but my store may not have everything I need.
I want to give you permission to substitute when necessary. Whether you're averse to visiting the grocery store right now or can't find what you're looking for when you go, there will come a time that you do not have an ingredient for a recipe you're ready to cook. Do not fear. If it's not the main ingredient, leave it out. You can always google "substitutions for X" and do the best you can.
Here are a few easy recipes that my family likes (and requests) that don't require a lot of fancy ingredients.
I made this for dinner last night in fact! Even though it has a very short list of ingredients, I was shocked when I went to the fridge to grab the whipping cream "I KNEW I HAD IN THERE," only to find I was out.
I'm not going to panic, I simply need something to make a creamy sauce. I have Greek Yogurt, great I will use that in place of the cream. Well, that was a bust, I only had about a tablespoon of that left and it wasn't enough to make a cream sauce. I grabbed the 2% milk I had in the fridge and poured in about 1/4 cup. This, of course, made my pan sauce creamy, but very thin and I needed the sauce to thicken.
Next, I grabbed a pinch of potato starch from the pantry, then added 1/4 cup of ricotta from the fridge. Voila, over low heat, the entire mixture blended and thickened beautifully as I whisked it all together.
I added the pork back to the pan and served up dinner!
We live in Texas, everyone should know how to pull together a crockpot recipe that celebrates Taco Tuesday! This recipe has all the great flavors of taco night and is highly customizable to what your family likes.
Besides the fresh garlic, everything else is either frozen or from a can for this super easy weeknight meal. Bonus, I've seen a lot of frozen shrimp at my grocery store when other meats are depleted.
BIRDS IN A NEST
I didn't grow up eating fancy food; in fact, my mom prepared dinner out of the freezer and cans, but we did eat as a family most nights. It wasn't until I was an adult that my mom confessed with great sadness the guilt she felt over serving my brother and me, "Birds In A Nest."
We just stared back at her blankly. Why would she feel guilt, we absolutely loved that meal? We would REQUEST that meal!
During years of financial hardship, she would press white rice along the inside of a bowl with the back of a spoon and then open a can of beans to scoop a few tablespoons inside. She says it was all they had in the pantry. Instead of apologizing when she served us, she gave it a cool name and I'm telling you I never once thought we were eating anything less than the most magical dinner.
Here is what I want you to know. We're all in this together, perspective is everything. Let's roll up our sleeves, wash our hands, and stay busy in the kitchen. Shoot me a message if I can help in any way.