Well every blogger has their first post, right? I’ve had clients say “I wish I could bring you home in my pocket to help me figure out what to cook, what to buy, how to make those in the moment decisions about what to eat.” Hmm. Not sure if I’m small enough for that job. I can honestly say it isn’t that hard to make a good meal, but it does require some forethought. Apparently my brain is good at thinking on this topic.
So here we are, a mid-week dinner. I had come home to a virtually empty fridge and no meats or proteins of any kind defrosted out of the freezer. And another dilemma was at hand: I wanted to go to yoga class, which means I wouldn’t be home until after 7pm. Now that’s pushing it to get the meal timing right. So now what?
First, I need to see what I actually have to cook. Fridge inventory: carrots, onions, limes, some not-so-fresh baby bok choy, but still edible, and score! some just-in-case smoked salmon fillets. My other protein choices were canned salmon or canned sardines. Er, no thanks. Also a stir-fry goes much better with the smoked variety of fish!
Next, pull out needed ingredients and prep for 5-10 minutes before going to yoga. I had to trim some of the bok choy since it was a little old, but I had a lot of usable greens to chop up. Chopped 3 carrots and half and onion and put into a bowl. I also mixed up my glaze. Homemade glazes, sauces, dressings and condiments are the KEY to making tasty, home cooked meals creative and satisfying.
Here’s a quick down and dirty Asian glaze/sauce:
- Juice of one lime
- juice a 1 inch knob of ginger or grate 2 tablespoons
- crush up 2 cloves of garlic (or use 1 tsp. of garlic powder if you don’t have fresh)
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce (can use soy sauce in place)
- 2 tablespoons white wine (if you got it) or can omit and still be tasty
- add a cup of cold water
- add 1 tablespoon of corn or arrowroot starch
Now this was all set aside on the counter before I hopped off to yoga. When I came home I was hungry! And so was hubby. Good news though- a stir fry takes no time at all! Heat up the pan, add a little coconut oil and add all the chopped veggies. Let it stir for a few minutes and you can the lid to the pan if you want to help steam and soften them. At the 5-7 minute mark, add in the sauce mixture. Put the cover back on and let it cook down for 3 more minutes. By the time the glaze start sticking to the pan, your meal is done!
But wait- what about the salmon you say? Aha… see it was already smoked and ready to go. While the veggies were cooking, I heated up the fillets in the microwave and set the table. (You could also broil them if you wanted to avoid nuking your food.) But it pays to have ready to go proteins that don’t need defrosting or much preparation. Yeah, this version is a little pricey at the local wholesalers club, but for times like these, it’s WORTH every penny to keep on hand.
And then as you can see, dinner was ready with a flourish of black sesame seeds from the pantry to add that touch of “oh yeah, my food is just as good as a meal out on the town.” How does it look? Think you could do this as a mid-week dinner?