I’m pretty sure I have bi-polar cooking tendencies, and after hosting Easter brunch on Sunday, I am just all cooked out. This week has been a struggle to find that creative groove and cook from scratch for my family. While I haven’t relied on any take-out dinners yet, I did dig through my freezer and find a decent freezer crock-pot meal I assembled several months ago for just this type of cooking slump. These are always good to have on hand, so I’m in need of restocking my freezer soon. Be on the lookout for crockpot freezer meal recipes very soon.
Sometimes when I am feeling a lack of kitchen creativity, I find that I just need a re-set. Going back to basics and cooking a simple meal with a protein, a hearty whole grain, and a green vegetable is enough to give me that nudge in the right direction again.
Our grocery store sells excellent marinated chicken breasts in different flavors, so Dan picked up some lemon pepper chicken and I seared those off and finished them in the oven. While the chicken was in the oven, I made some quick cooking farro with homemade stock from the freezer to give it extra flavor and nutrients. I threw in a side of French green beans and made a simple pan sauce using the drippings from the chicken, about 1/2 Cup of white wine, 1 tsp of dijon mustard and a squeeze of lemon. Making a pan sauce is so easy to do and pushes the flavor meter over the top. You literally just take out whatever meat you just cooked and make the sauce right in the same pan while it is hot. Try it sometime!
A simple meal like this isn’t hard to prepare and tastes just as good, if not better, than some of the elaborate or more time-consuming dishes you can get into.
So, if you are like me and feel like you need to out-do yourself all the time — cut yourself some slack and go back to basics every now and then!