I recently eliminated a large stressor from my life. Faced with an urgent and unexpected move, I used the opportunity to evaluate some other things in life that caused me stress, and ended up eliminating those also. Although moving can be stressful, it’s more of a healthy stress which involves short term, high adrenaline stress ( like a workout ). Moving also gave me the chance to take only what I needed for a simple life and a clean kitchen. Now that I’m feeling much less stressed out, I can see more clearly how unhealthy stress makes me want to eat “convenient” foods, and how easy it was to fall into the trap of the gluten-free products that are appearing in stores. Cooking can be theraputic, but it can also be stressful if you are feeding your family, or some carb-addicts. Here are 2 low cost, stress-free dinners I’ve been enjoying lately, that can also feed the masses.
Chicken Masala in a crockpot
Take whatever chicken parts you have (I used legs) and place in a crock pot with a large can of crushed tomatoes, a tablespoon or 2 of butter or olive oil, 1T minced garlic and 1/2 cup minced onion. Use the tomato can to fill the crock pot to covering the chicken if needed, or another small can of crushed tomatoes. If you have Garam Masala (an Indian spice that’s widely available ), add a tablespoon. Otherwise, add a shake each of cinnamon, cumin, tumeric, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves and/or ginger (the more you have, the more it tastes like “Masala”), salt and pepper. Put on low and go to work!If you’re so inclined (I was), add some vegetables (I had broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms) to the pot when you get home from work and let steam for 20-30 minutes. Dinner is ready.
Breakfast for Dinner!
I used to enjoy breakfast every morning, but now that I’m living alone and more simply, I’ve been delaying my meals well beyond breakfast and sometimes lunch too. Why not enjoy the eggs that I love for dinner?
Fry a few slices of uncured bacon in a pan. Chop up whatever leftover vegetables are in the fridge ( I had mushrooms, onion and bell peppers ). When the bacon is ready, remove it and add the veggies to the grease, sautéing for a few minutes. Whip up some eggs with a fork (plus a little cream if you’re on the dairy bandwagon) and add to the hot veggies in the pan. If it doesn’t flip: Voila, it’s delicious scrambled eggs! No pressure. I chopped the bacon and added it into the omelet, or you could add cheese or leave it be.