— 25 October 2005 —

Surprise Dinner

There’s nothing better than coming home from a long day avoiding work to the question: What should we have for dinner?

Good question. I dunno. Let’s see what we have.

And that’s how some great dinners usually start out. Last night my wife asked me that question, and I responded with that answer: dunno. So I looked in the fridge. Nothing.

Well, not nothing of course. There’s plenty of food, but it is all inconvenient and non-already-prepared. How selfish of my fridge to not prepare it for me. So now I have to think. This is the hard part when I am hungry. But I overcome somehow.

I take the following things out of the fridge:

  • Fresh spinach
  • Pine nuts
  • Two small onions
  • Kielbasa, Tofurky style for us vegetarians
  • A jar in the spice cabinet that says “Moroccan Spice Mix”
  • Mustard, stone ground with stout beer
  • Some leftovers from last night; a mixture of Forbidden Rice, carrot, and potato
  • One small can of V8 juice

Start a pot of water boiling for pasta (whole wheat of course).

Sautee the onions in oil until they start to get translucent, then add the Kielbasa and let that brown a bit (add a bit more oil if you need). Add the mustard, the pine nuts, and the “Moroccan Spice” and allow the mixture to cook until it becomes a little dry. If you don’t happen to have a “Moroccan Spice” jar in your cabinet, just improvise. Add the leftovers (or whatever else you want really) and the V8 to keep it from sticking to the pan. Let it cook for a bit.

Test the pasta. Try to catch it just before it is al dente, strain and add to the mix in the pan. Stir until well combined and allow to cook until the liquid is almost gone.

Serve over fresh spinach. Add cheese if you like, I didn’t. I took a bunch of things from the fridge and made a great meal. It happens every day and it is the best kind of cooking. There’s too much crap on most food store shelves that has been prepared for you. Too many people live in a heat-and-serve world. I try not to.

Honestly, most prepared meals take only about half as long as what I made. Why not take a few more minutes for a better meal?

In total, including chopping onions, cutting Kielbasa, and cooking the pasta, it took me 20 minutes to make this. And the prepared food is usually not as healthy as this recipe. Just check out the protein content in one Kielbasa!

Normally I take pictures of the food I make (for the purposes of this site, not because I am odd. Well, I am odd, just not for this reason) but by the time I remembered to get the camera, all the food was gone. Everyone enjoyed it and it disappeared quickly.

Next dinner you make, take a look what is in the fridge… you may be surprised what fabulous dinner awaits.

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