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“Fast” Food

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Today was the first day back to school around here. Lots of cars on the road. When we commuted, this week (and the week after New Year’s) were the busiest on our local roads. Commuting took longer. Everyone seemed to be back on the highways and coming home meant delays. You got home tired, hungry and in no mood to cook.

My friend, Julia, who writes a local blog, posed the question about how to deal with cooking when your work days are long.

I thought I would take a crack at answering her question. How do you keep from dialing that delivery place, or picking up really bad for you food, because you are just too tired to cook?

csa and cooking 042

This is my secret weapon. My cast iron pan. It sits on the stove all the time. I use it at least twice a week. Sometimes more. Here I am making bison burgers. I had a pound of bison from the CSA. We made burgers for dinner one night. Two for dinner. Two became bison chili later that week. All ground up with black beans, crushed tomatoes with chilis, peppers, onions and spice.

I use the pan to make frittatas. Like this one.

csa and cooking 026

Another easy dinner. I nuked one potato. Sliced it. I had made a baking sheet full of bacon over the weekend. This was some of it. The rest you saw on those burgers above. Mixed up eggs, milk and herbs. Eggs in the pan. Covered with potato, sliced tomato, bacon and grated cheese. A few minutes on the stove and a few minutes to finish in the oven. Quick, easy. Really a good meal.

Besides my cast iron pan, I also rely on make ahead and freeze meals. Like these.

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Stuffed peppers. Some leftover pork sausage. Rice from the rice cooker. A can of tomatoes. I made four of them. Two one night and two in the freezer for later.

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Turkey meat loaf. This time I made two, but I have made four of them. I always have some sort of meat loaf in the freezer. Oh, and lasagna. My other favorite freezer meal. I don’t have to buy them from the store. I just make a large pan, and freeze at least four more meals for the two of us.

I can put together a good dinner in 20-30 minutes. A simple salad. Some bread. Maybe some pan cooked fish or sausage. A few microwaved potatoes.

There is no need to get fast food pick up. You can easily put a meal on the table with simple ingredients. Yep, it takes practice, but it’s worth it to avoid all that sodium and sugar in those prepackaged meals.

Now, if we could only get the traffic under control around here.

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

3 responses »

  1. Thank you for these tips! I bought a cast iron pan ages ago but have procrastinated using it, concerned about seasoning it properly and cleaning it without removing seasoning and/or causing rust spots. I didn’t know how useful it could be for preparing healthy meals quickly. .

  2. I too have cast iron that I don’t use. Have never figured out how to properly season so that food isn’t stuck all over it. How about you lead a class on cast iron? I even bought a preseasoned one years ago that I have since given away.

  3. Kathleen Ann Huffman

    As always great tips. As for traffic getting under control, they should apply your recommendations above – planning a head, buying the right materials and not looking for fast and easy solutions…..


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