When the pandemic wiped out so many things that we all loved & enjoyed, I vowed I would never gripe about getting busy again. I guess it’s the old you don’t appreciate what you have until you don’t have it! So as things are busy again, I’ve had to up my game on hearty and quick meals.

Am I the only one who ends up with vegetable remnants that are perfectly good but not enough to make a complete side dish? I l especially love having some leftover carrots so I can make beef stew. Once you brown some stew beef, add carrots, potatoes, peas, and (a family must), white pearl onions to 8 ounces of beef gravy, a can of French onion soup, and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. If it’s too think, just add a bit of water. Just let everything simmer till the veggies are tender. Bonus: if you have some refrigerated French loaves, it’s an awesome treat to make bread bowls to serve the stew in. Just cut each loaf in half, shape into a ball, bake 18-20 minutes until they’re golden brown. To serve, slice the top off each round, use an ice cream scoop to form it, and fill it with stew. The tops can be (dare I say should be?) used for dipping.

My other on-the-run meal is any kind of stir fry. Beef was on sale when I went grocery shopping this week (plus I got snow peas in my Misfits order), so away we went. I sliced the beef thinly then tossed it in a quick marinade of 1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce, a couple tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and about an inch piece of freshly grated ginger (a trick I discovered quite by accident: cut your fresh ginger into one inch pieces and freeze. It grates so easily, it’s magical). While that’s marinating, cook as much basmati rice as you want. Then heat some oil in a large frying pan and give the snow peas a quick sauté. Set them aside. Cook the beef in shifts so the pan doesn’t get over crowded (otherwise the meat gets gunky – that’s probably not a proper cooking term). The hotter the pan, the quicker this takes! Once the meat is brown, add everything back into the pan and heat with the leftover marinade. If the sauce is too thin, just slowly add a bit of cornstarch/water mix to thicken it it. Plate over the rice, top with crushed red pepper and sliced scallions!

What’s your favorite, go-to quick meal?

Eat well!

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