It was only Tuesday, so in theory, there should’ve been options when I opened the refrigerator to figure out dinner. Didn’t we just go shopping, like, yesterday? At this point in my life, I’m no longer surprised to see Phoebe eat her way through a gigantic container of pineapple chunks before we’ve even finished unpacking groceries. But dinner staples? That’s another issue. There’s usually more to work with than what I was looking at, which came down to a container of shredded kale slaw (impulse buy), a few straggler tomatoes, and three large chicken breasts, each of which was each hiding in three separate corners of the freezer. There was half an onion in a sad plastic bag and there was quinoa. Good old loyal, always-there-for-me quinoa. I submerged the wrapped chicken breasts in cold water and hoped inspiration would come while they thawed.
Sometimes, on days when I’ve done nothing but unload the dishwasher and shuttle the kids back and forth to their various pursuits and worry that I’m letting my feminist forebearers down with every pair of sock I match…I look at a chicken breast and I think to myself: I’m not strong enough.
Inspiration never came. Luckily, Abby had to be at soccer practice. So I did what my agent has been trying to get me to do with the rest of my life: I delegated. To Andy.
It was like our own private game of Top Chef — here are the ingredients, and now it’s Go Time. Best part: I was the landslide winner because two hours later I walked in the house and dinner was ready.
I’ll update later in the week to let you know what that dinner was, but first I’d like to know: Assuming you had all your basic pantry staples, what would you have made with what you see in the pic? Best idea wins a free copy of Dinner: A Love Story and Dinner: The Playbook. Let’s say this contest ends on Friday, March 25. Have fun!
Update: Wow, thanks for the suggestions. (We feel so boring compared to all you guys.) Andy made a basic chicken and quinoa bowl with onions, lemon, and homemade stock. (Think chicken and rice but with quinoa instead.) Then tossed the kale in an Asian dressing: rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, Sriracha, grapeseed oil. Served on the side. Nice and bright.
Our winner is Tatiana who chimed in with this entry: “If “basic pantry” includes Asian food staples (red curry, coconut milk, fish sauce), then I would make a red curry sauce, poach chicken in it and then let kale cook for just a bit to wilt and add lovely bitterness to the spice and sweetness of the curry. Serve over quinoa to soak up the sauce.” Yum. That’s what we’ll do next time. Thanks Tatiana and thanks to everyone who played!