3.15.2011

Unrutting in the Kitchen

I'd been getting dull in the kitchen, friends. For the past several months, I haven't feel very inspired to make dinner after getting home from work. Two nights a week, it's been turkey burgers stuffed with light garlic and herb Laughing Cow cheese and a side of roasted vegetables. Two more nights, pasta with kale and turkey sausage (out of the casing... always out of the casing) with a spinach salad on the side. Fill in the other three nights with something like turkey chili (there's a turkey theme going on here, apparently), homemade pizza or risotto, maybe a chicken dish and you've got our week. I've been rotating through my same old dishes for what feels like forever now. They're tasty and healthy, but I'm getting down right sick of them.


Enter polenta. Inspired by a dish a Junior's in southeast Portland, I made polenta with sauteed leeks and mushroom with poached eggs for lunch the other day and made a couple variations of the meal for dinner (surprise... one included turkey sausage). I'm sure I'll tire of this equation soon, too, but for now it's shaking things up just enough.

I've also been relying on Everyday Food (thanks, Mom) for inspiration recently. I've made a few stir-fries, mixed up a tuna and anchovy dip that would make the men in my family gag but that I just love (it includes lemon juice, pepper flakes, and capers), and added a new cauliflower recipe to my repertoire thanks to the magazine.

Do you have any go-to meals that you rely on? Recipes that are easy enough to throw together after work, that don't require fancy ingredients, and that can be edited and altered without consequence ('cause I love to mess with a recipe)? Do share.

8 comments:

lealou said...

my go-to meal is roasted veggies over quinoa. It's super easy and super tasty. Usually I roast mini tomatoes, onions, garlic and peppers but last night I added cauliflower and carrots and rosemary and it was delish! I too get sick of the same ol though that's for sure....

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

Stir-fry w/ tempeh, ginger, garlic, onions, mushrooms (beech or oyster are usually on hand) and bok choy over brown rice. That is my current go-to meal.

AND I did see that you have stir-fry in your repertoire

LeeAnn said...

Next time you make polenta, dice up one jal. pepper (w/o seeds) and add it to the corn meal while its cooking. Then stir in cheddar cheese while it still can be stirred. You can add milk or cream to the polenta if you want it to be softer setting. I make a black bean salsa (mainly add some black beans to already made salsa) and some sort of protein to go with. Mostly chicken or shrimp.

I know what you mean about dinners. I resorted to hot dogs this week! And then of course there is grilled cheese and tomato soup. My last 'fancy meal' was chicken tikka masala with homemade naan bread. It was lovely.

Connie said...

we seriously scarf up polenta in this house. I love the idea of polenta & poached eggs. good luck busting out of that rut!

Sweet Ronit said...

I love Junior's, and polenta too! I rely on some of your stand-bys, like homemade pizza and risotto. I also like to stock up on the best tortillas and salsas in East County, so after a night of roast chicken or hanger steak,we'll do carne asada or chicken tacos. Oh, and fish tacos, with a bit of cabbage slaw, those are easy and quick too.

traci said...

roasted veggies over brown/red rice with tahini and steamed greens. that or beet salad. though, i could use a little unrutting myself.

Bitterbetty said...

everyday food is a good resource. I like the look of your polenta dish. I may have to try something similar.

we also have been enjoying pasta with butternut squash sauce and a bit of blue cheese with a spinach salad

amandajean said...

i am in a cooking rut, as well. but one thing i recently remembered is to bake my home made pizza in a cast iron pan in the oven. it's delicious! and pizza, as you know, is so flexible as far as toppings and sauces go. i love cleaning out the fridge that way.