Quick meals


A recent post by inspired me to write about one of my recent culinary strategies. Well, maybe culinary isn’t the right word; it’s not gourmet cooking, but it’s fast, easy, and pretty tasty.

What I’ll do on the weekend, often on Sunday afternoon or evening, is to get 3-4 pounds of ground beef (usually 85% lean), and three large (spanish) onions. The onions get chopped, and cooked until soft in a large skillet or wok using some Joyce Chen Savory Stir Fry Oil. (My mom would mince garlic and ginger by hand, and then add that to normal cooking oil, but I’m lazy™, and it’s a lot easier to use the Joyce Chen’s premade mix.) Once the onions are soft, I add the ground beef, mix it well with the onions, and then stiring frequently, cook until the ground beef is crumbly and well browned. While cooking, I’ll add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper and Worcestshire sauce to taste, and when the beef is almost completely cooked, I’ll take about 4 ounces of dry sherry, add 2-3 teaspoons of flour, mix well, add the mixture to the skillet, and let it come to a boil to thicken up joices that have been released by the cooking beef. Once it is cooled, the cooked ground beef will fit in three or four 32oz yogurt/cottage chese containers, and it will be good for a week or so of quick meals.

For lunch or breakfast, I’ll just put some of the ground beef in a bowl and microwave, adding some combination of (a) spaghetti sauce, (b) grated sharp cheddar cheese (pre-grated from the grocery store, again because I’m lazy as all hell), or © sour cream. When I add the sour cream, I’ll do it after the meat has been microwaved; it ends up tasting vaguely russian, and quite yummy, either with or without some cheddar chese melted into it.

The nice thing is that it’s all Atkins/South Beach/low-carb compatible, and because I can mix in flavors (the cheese, sour cream, etc), it’s different enough that I don’t get bored. And thanks to the miracle of the microwave, it takes less time than going out to eat. So if I’m not going to socialize, and am just going to be eating alone (especially for lunch), it works very well indeed.