Monday, February 21, 2011

Non-Recipe Dinners

This isn't so much a recipe as what I don't when I don't have a recipe. The Last-Minute Vegan Stir-Fry is one example of a time I've done this and had it turn out well. Sometimes it doesn't turn out as well, but it's always edible. More often than not, you get an interesting surprise meal. Surprise!

1. Pick a couple veggies in a couple different colors. More often than not, I also include garlic or onion.

2. Pick a whole grain that seems to go with it. Brown rice or wheat pasta is easy, but you could use anything. Or grab some bread or a tortilla to hold your food together. Or try quinoa or potatoes. Something starchy and carb-y. You could leave this out if you're watching carbs, but you'll want to make up for it in veggies and protein.

3. If you're so inclined, pick a meat or vegetarian protein. Beans, tofu and eggs are good vegetarian options, although eggs obviously aren't vegan.

4. Pick a "theme." When in doubt, I go Asian or Mexican. You probably have a spice mix, sauce or marinade on hand for these. If not, keep those on hand! Taco seasoning and/or soy sauce save my butt all the time.

5. Pick a method. I pan-fry a lot, but broiling or baking would be good. If you have something liquidy like tomatoes, you can get by with cooking on the stovetop without oil. That's about my favorite.

6. Do it!

Rarely do I make sides, so this is kind of a one-dish meal approach. Often I end up with a stir-fry or quesadilla of sorts, but I know I like those things so they're an easy base concept to work from.

Do you have a method for these times? I want to know!

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