Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday Night Dinner

So if you are anything like me, there are always those nights when you don't really feel like taking more than 20 minutes to make dinner. On Mondays my mom has yoga which means I either have to plan something to make for everyone, or I raid the fridge. Usually the latter wins out. This past Monday I went straight from work to the gym and got home around 7:45 hungry for something delicious! This inspired the blog for today: How do I know what to cook?

There are 3 questions to ask before cooking dinner:
1. What do I have on hand in the fridge?
2. What will be ready in the shortest time?
3. What am I craving?

Monday's are probably the easiest days to raid the fridge because many American households have Sunday dinners, and it is the end of the weekend.  In my fridge there was leftover plain penne, ratatouille, I had made ground beef with sautéed onions and garlic for tacos on Saturday night, roasted chicken, squash, roasted potatoes, and I had plenty of herbs, spices, and vegetables to add.

I love spicy food more than any other food, so my first thought was to morph my ground beef into "Buffalo Beef." I added some Franks Red Hot and some diced pickled jalapenos to add the zing I craved. Since I didn't want to just eat a bowl of beef I mixed some of the beef in with some of the leftover penne. I picked out some zucchini (from the garden) that was mixed in with the ratatouille and threw that in as well. I then added some marinara sauce that was in the fridge, some pecorino romano, and threw it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Voilà! Dinner in less than 5 minutes, as well as a new meal to add to the recipe book: Buffalo Beef Penne.