Always be prepared.I started planning dinner in my head while I was still at work today. On my way home, I called Irish to see if he'd be home for dinner or not. He had a work dinner, so it was just me. Noooo problem! I can fix a meal for one, and honestly couldn't wait for it!
I used to dread cooking for one. I had many an evening of microwave popcorn as dinner once upon a time. It was the old mindset from my parents that you needed a complete meal with several items and each food group to actually consider it a dinner. It paralyzed me. I HATED the thought of handling raw meat, so I wasn't going to whip up anything that started as salmonella's and e. coli's playground. Steamed veggies neatly piled into their respective corners of the plate got so boring so fast. Blah blah, cut to the chase, I broke free of that finally. I realized that dinner is a filling and nutritious meal, not a five-item, four-color checklist to fulfill.
So tonight I had it all planned out. My pita stash was replenished, my hummus was begging to be finished, and I had an oh-so-lonely sweet potato. Beaut! I washed and stabbed the sweet little tater and tossed it in the microwave for eight minutes. I swaddled it with a moist paper towel to help the moist cooking mojo.
Whipped cinnamon butter sounded sooooo good, so I put some vegan butter in a little dish, heated it for a few seconds, and doused it heavily with cinnamon. Whip it.. whip it good by stirring the heck out of it with a butter knife. In the small little bowl, it has nowhere to go and blends quickly and easily. Plus you don't overestimate your butter intake. Possibly the best part-- who can't handle a two ingredient recipe?!
I then laid out my pita and lined the inside with hummus. I stuffed that sucker to the brim with spinach, chopped carrot slices, and broccoli slices. I thought it was going to be the less messy version of my salad pita, except I stuffed it so full that the pita split. It apparently missed the memo that it was supposed to be pocket-like. Oh well, I'm used to eating pita contents off my bare hands at this point anyway, so why stop now.
Last step, I slathered the insides of my baked sweet potato with the whipped cinnamon butter. I like to deconstruct the insides before I eat it so it's basically mashed sweet potatoes. It evens out the butter to tater ratio. I still swear I'm not OCD.
Dinner was a delectable masterpiece. Sooo good and so filling! I fully expected to have plenty of room for a few fudge babies, but surprisingly there was no room at the inn. They'll have to wait for breakfast instead.
Do you like cooking (or uncooking) best for small or large groups? Do you usually plan your meals ahead or do you shoot from the hip based on your tastes? Do you usually follow recipes/ plans or do you get flashes of inspiration? I often have a mix-- I knew a couple hours in advance what I'd fix, but the cinnamon butter hit me as I started the microwave. I'll sometimes check out our spice or condiment stashes to decide what I think would mix well. Thankfully it usually turns out pretty well! Till tomorrow!