“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.”  Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

I could have also called this post, “Leftovers”, or “Unplanned Meals”, or “Fred”.  These are meals put together with a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  The secret is to have the this and that on hand.  That’s not as difficult as you make it out to be.

Right now there are jars of cooked rice in my fridge.  There was some cooked quinoa, but that went into this dish last night.  Rice or other grains can be made in the slow cooker in the evening when you’re home from work and watching unreality TV because …  Think up your own excuse.  Make a big batch of grain and you’re set.

Keep frozen veggies on hand.  No, I don’t want to wrestle with a head of cauliflower or broccoli and use half and forget about the other half and end up throwing it out.  Frozen veggies allow me to use only what I need.  My exception to the rule is the yam or sweet potato or other squash.  I can zap yams or sweet potatoes in a minute or two and they don’t mind sitting around my kitchen for a week or so while I decide when to use them.

A lot of my meat is also done in the slow cooker.  Yesterday I put two thick sliced onions in the bottom of a slow cooker and topped them with some boneless, skinless chicken thighs.  The magic touch was a sprinkle of chili lime seasoning from Trader Joes.  You really need to try this.  It’s wonderful.

chili lm

Then I went to my friend’s house for a cup of tea before I took a walk to the library to check out some eggs.  We have an interesting library.  I kind of forgot about the chicken but the chicken didn’t mind.  It’s difficult to overcook anything in a slow cooker, but I’m working on that.

When it was time for my dinner I put about a dozen baby Brussel sprouts in the bottom of a microwave dish with a splash of water and gave them a minute or two in the microwave.  When they were finished I drained them and topped them with some quinoa, already cooked and waiting for me, along with a bit of the onion and chicken.  This mixture just needed another dash of Chili Lime along with another minute and a half in the microwave.

lt th

Oh, yes.  You can probably see a piece of sweet potato peeking out.  I had a small piece of cooked sweet potato and thought, “What the heck!’  That got diced and added.

You can always top such creations with cheese or throw in a sauce if you have something  available.  A tablespoon or two of cream cheese adds a bit of tasty richness.

Another of my favorite ingredients, refried beans, is also in the fridge along with a jar of salsa.  Beans and rice (already cooked) and salsa with a veggie on the side is another of my favorite meals.  I can hardly wait for lunch!

Loveya – The Grandma

Entree Grandma Pat Cooks

Grandma Pat View All →

Artist, African hand drum student, yoga neophyte, and Grandmother of 22 or so grandchildren. I enjoy cooking and writing. I value good friends and quiet times for reading.

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. My wife bought us (me) an instant pot a month ago. I stopped smirking at it silent there on a countertop anticipating its inevitable move to the basement before its migration to one of our childrens’ kitchens as bread machines, certain food processors and others have before. I haven’t used it as a slow cooker which is an oxymoron given the name, but we’ve (I’ve) made the best so far in our house, shredded pork, pot roast, black beans, and rice (we have a high texture index for rice).


  2. Wow! Never heard of an Instant Pot but did some research and wonder if it might be time to trade in my slow cooker/crock pot. Curious to know what model you have and if there are any features that might have you choose a different model.
    Thanks for the comment.


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