I’m fascinated by what people eat at home: not just what they make for special occasions, but what they eat again and again. What are their staple meals–the meals they turn to when they need to get something on the table that’s fast, fresh, tasty, and (hopefully, reasonably) nourishing?
I’m intrigued by learning what my friend’s families eat for dinner–say, on a regular Tuesday–probably for the same reasons I adore foodie memoirs. (Does someone want to psychoanalyze that for me?)
We definitely have staple meals we rely on: food we can get on the table without much hands-on time, without much thought, and without a recipe.
Our Mondays are packed, so Mondays are usually crock pot nights. We often make sesame chicken (from Against All Grain) with steam-sautéed cauliflower, fresh baby carrots or red bell peppers, and sometimes rice for the kids. Sometimes the cauliflower becomes broccoli, or green beans, or a fresh vegetable from the produce bin that’s rapidly wilting. We also love salsa verde beef (from this cookbook) for Mondays, with fresh guacamole and salsa verde, beans for the kids, and chopped salads, usually with this dressing. If I’m up for it, we’ll have sweet potato oven fries to go with it.
Tuesdays are roast chicken (or rotisserie chicken, if I’ve been to the store). Two kids prefer white meat, two kids want the chicken on the bone, and the leftovers go to soups (winter) or salads (summer). We serve it with roasted vegetables, and maybe a side salad with fruit and nuts and balsamic vinaigrette. In the summer, we’ll do the chicken and veggies on the grill.
In the winter, we do meat loaf, pot roast, and curries. Soon we’ll switch to burgers, flank steak, and dinner salads. Earlier this week, when it was 70 and sunny, we made Michigan mix salads (similar to this), tossed rotisserie chicken strips on top, and called it a meal. We’ll do that more and more as summer approaches.
Year round, we do lots of tacos (when we’re feeling indulgent) and deconstructed tacos when we’re not. We actually call them “explosions”–we pile whatever you might stuff a taco with on a plate, instead of folding it neatly in a tortilla.
When the fridge is bare we make frittatas for dinner, and serve them with a side salad–maybe even a fruit salad–or if the fridge is really bare, whatever frozen vegetable we can find.
I recently resolved to embrace the “-ish” part of our family’s paleo-ish ways, and we re-instated our old Friday pizza night tradition because it delights my kids so very much. We use this gluten-free pizza crust mix (from Amazon subscribe-and-save) and homemade tomato sauce. We’ll serve it with salad (I’ll add chicken for extra protein, because, pizza) and cut up veggies for the kids, usually bell peppers and baby carrots.
These are my staples meals. What are yours? We’d love to hear the details (not just “chicken,” but how you prep it, and what you serve it with) in comments.