Tag Archives: pasta and beans

Two Bucks, Chuck, and my Bro

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Trader Joe’s Organic Charles Shaw wines are no longer two bucks.  Try $4.  Still crazy cheap (at least compared to Sonoma wines).

Now that we’ve celebrated our two years of blogging, it seems appropriate to return to our roots – even if it’s just for a few blogs.  Our blog is/was rooted in the idea that small, simple dishes should make up the bulk of our cooking repertoire.  Who has time, no matter what one’s age, to spend hours in the kitchen – unless, of course, it’s a fun hobby?

Cooking when you really don’t like to cook – or don’t know how to cook – or are cooking for just one – isn’t fun.  We admit that.  Our two Buck friends – T Buck and Buck H – and our friend Chuck and my bro, AV, would clearly agree.  Also, our bestie Danielle – who is in the midst of a move from Boulder to L.A. and to new digs and a new job – just asked me how a non-cook feeds her family of four during this high stress time.

We’re on top of this.  Andy suggests you get all philosophical about cooking and recommends his simple and delicious breakfast in Andy’s Corner;  meanwhile, I’ve gone back to the dinner basics.

For your main course: think Basic Home-Cooked Beans, Basic Roast Chicken, Basic Pork Tenderloin.  The point in all of this is to have one delicious and simple Basic meal and then several easy-and-quick-to-fix meals using the leftovers from your Basic recipe.

Be sure you have these seasonings: Za’atar (Middle East), Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (Louisiana), Italian Seasoning (mmmm, let me think about where that’s from :), garam masala (India), five-spice powder (China).  And make a note whether your seasoning has salt added to it (Tony’s definitely does and Za’atar often does) because you’ll want to cut back on the additional salt when you use it.

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Basic spices for around-the-world seasoning

When you’re ready to eat, add some greens to your plate – if you don’t eat greens at home because you hate to wash them – just buy triple-washed greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc) in the market, but be sure they’re organic.  This easy Seasoned Rice Vinegar Dressing is good to have on hand.

As for veggies – it doesn’t get better than roasted asparagus, roasted carrots, roasted sweet potatoes, and/or roasted broccoli.  Cut everything (except the asparagus) into chunks so they roast quickly.   Put them in a 425 degree oven tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast around 25-30 minutes. If you don’t want to heat up the oven, steam them.  A miso dressing would be a delicious addition.

And make rice once a week.  Lots.  Enough to warm up and use again several times.  We were reminded just the other day how much we love this relatively-easy, vegetarian, leftover rice recipe – Breakfast Lunch and Dinner Fried Rice.

Finally, scramble some eggs for a quick and nutritious weeknight meal.  These 3 simple little recipes we call The Egg and I are my go-to’s.

New for today we’ve got the 3 basic Basic Recipes – for beans, chicken, and pork, as well as some quick and simple recipes to use up those home-cooked (or maybe canned) beans.   In the next few blogs we’ll have suggestions for using your leftover chicken and leftover pork. Continue reading

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