December 9, 2011

Fridays of Intestinal Fortitude:
Working Girl

Note: Fridays of Intestinal Fortitude is a weekly(ish) feature about food, food and more FOOD. No, I do not necessarily want to be a food blogger, but I do LOVE to talk about food prep, cooking food, eating food and making sweet love to food.

Okay, maybe not the "sweet love" part. After all, this is not meant to be an homage to 9 1/2 Weeks.


So, I have a J-O-B. In an actual O-F-F-I-C-E.

The past few weeks have been a flurry of interviews, arranging for childcare, finishing up the Christmas To Do List and most importantly, examining the recent update to the SAS 70 --- its sparkly new sister, the SSAE 16 (non-sponsored!).  It's a short-term contract and I will talk more about that next week.  After all, today is Friday and I'd rather discuss FOOD.

Yesterday, as Manoj and I were talking about how next week was going to work for us, he mentioned the dreaded word......Take-Out.  We already have one day of take-out -- it's Friday -- where I cruise by Papa Murphy's and pick up our usual pepperoni and mushroom deLITE (Non-sponsored! Seriously!)  I LOVE this pizza.  However, I really still want to have a regular meal Monday through Thursday. (Sidenote: Yes, I realize the same day I purport to know anything about food is the very same day I regularly pick up a pizza.  Oh, the irony!)

Listen, I love take-out.  And I am certainly willing to fit in one extra day to pick up a piping hot styrofoam box filled with fattening goodies not prepared by Yours Truly.    However, I do not want to be eating out for four straight days. Folks, these hips don't lie.

So!  My new best friend is the Dinner Spinner app (Non-sponsored! For reals!), where I have been digging up some new ideas.  I will also probably depend on some of my favorite stir-fry recipes by doing the prep in the morning -- I do see some pad prik kai and kai kratium in our future (Non-sponsored!  Duh!)   Additionally, I recently purchased a Crockpot (Non-sponsored! Cross my heart, and all that jazz!).  This is my first ever Crockpot, so I am still pretty clueless as to what I am supposed to be cooking in this programmable bad boy.  I have already made a few of my favorite recipes from Rick Bayless (Non-sponsored! Back off FCC!) with tasty results , but I am ready to branch out.

Gentle Reader, this is me, coming to you with my Santoku knife in hand.

Wait, that sounded more threatening than intended.

Anyway!  I need help, folks! What are your favorite quickie, go-to recipes for those days when you are in a hurry?  It does not have to be slow cooker recipes.


D. Jain said...

This might be kind of boring, but if we're in a hurry we make simple tadka dal and rice with chapatis.

I keep pizza dough on hand to make pizza (I make the sauce and freeze it ahead of time). I've also made calzones and frozen them to bake later.

This is a crockpot recipe I made the other night. It needs more veggies but overall it was pretty good.

Amanda said...

My croc pot go-to's are so traditionally American. Pot Roast, chili, and brown beans ala New Mexico. Let me know if any of this interests you. Also, the croc pot girls on Facebook had some good stuff before I quit that soul-sucking program.

Dee said...

Most of my crockpot recipes are pretty boring, but we loved this one from Life As A Plate:

Her Whisky Pulled Pork is pretty delicious too:

Anjali said...

Congrats on the job, girl! Way to go.
My crock pot recipes are vegetarian and have a huge amount of prep work. But here are my favorite quick, non-take out recipes--

Grilled cheese with raw veggies & fresh fruit

Eggs (boiled, scrambled, whatever), whole wheat toast, fresh fruit

Toasted peanut butter & apple butter sandwiches, raw veggies

Baked potatoes in the microwave


When I was working, I'd make a huge meal Sunday night, then we'd eat from it Monday and Tuesday. This really helped start the week.

Will let you know if I think of more!

D. Jain said...

Oh yeah, eggs is another biggie. V loves anda bhuji and toast (Indian-style scrambled eggs) but any kind of breakfast for dinner is fun. And I bet your kids would enjoy the novelty if you've never done it before.

Jen said...

Agreeing on the egg dishes. Good when there are some leftovers, too, throw them in the pan, beaten eggs over the top and cook most of the way, grate cheese on top, run it under a broiler for a few minutes and call it frittata.

Two favorite crockpot (I honestly think some things pick up a bad taste in there, but these two definitely do not) pulled pork for sandwiches (pork shoulder or butt or whatever's cheap and then make your own "barbeque" sauce (

and this one:

mmmm, not the healthiest of meals, but not all that bad either when you add veggie/fruit.

Other main go to is just broiled (or sometimes microwaved) salmon with frozen veggies and salad or veggies and potato or veggies and fruit.

Unknown said...

I like to make beef stew in the crock pot and BBQ country ribs. For the stew, I add meat, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, etc. and a can of tomatoes along with broth. For the ribs, I just put the ribs in with some BBQ sauce and walk away.

I hear Pinterest has a ton of good crock pot recipes!

Kayla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kayla said...

I love Tortilla Pizzas! I make them a lot for my own dinner (since I have no kids) but I often am so tired from work, that anything's better than a lean cuisine! Anyway, take a large flour tortilla, top it with whatever toppings you like. I love to use salsa verde, cilantro, cheese, taco meat (or chicken), and black olives. Pop it in the oven on a cookie sheet on 400* for 6-8 minutes and bam! Dinner is ready :)

Soups can be easy too! Especially the ones you just throw all together and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Hope that helps :)

Anonymous said...

You must get "The Indian Slow Cooker" by Anupy Singla. Non Sponsored post, I swear. I like crock pot cooking but the recipes can be kind of bland. I liked all three dishes that I cooked from this so far, it really shakes up crockpot cooking. I'd also be interested to hear what your husband thinks of the dishes. The woman who wrote it translated the delicious Indian dishes she grew up eating to use with the crockpot. And the recipes are HUGE (it's just me and my husband, so I cut most recipes in half). Also really easy to assemble in the morning or the night before. Since you're new to the crockpot, she also has good tips for using it. Enjoy!

jodifur said...

I want to hear more about the job!

I can't remember if you eat fish or not, but marinating a piece of salmon and then broiling it is super quick. Or pasta with some stir fried veggies.

Olivia said...

Veggie omelets with sweet potato fries (frozen) or fried plantain with seasoned salt.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Dude. Duuuuude, CONGRATS. Will call you after finals are done.

I actually came pretty close to moving to your neighborhood, btw, got to the last rounds at Sprint. But I'm staying in healthcare in the Midwest.

Hope to speak soon!

MargieK said...

We live in Colorado, but grill year-round. Probably the quickest easy dinner we do is grilling burgers, steak, pork. Then fill out the meal with salad (I always keep ingredients cut and ready in little stackable rubbermaid containers), and maybe something else easy (microwaved "baked" potatoes, mac'n cheese, or canned baked beans -- we prefer "Bush's" vegetarian).

I'm also a fan of cooking enough for 2 meals, so that every other night we're having (or doing something with) leftovers. Warming up food that's already prepared is much easier/faster than starting from scratch every night.

I haven't clicked on the link yet, but I suspect the first poster may have linked to the Thai chicken crockpot recipe we love. It's essentially salsa, peanut butter, soy sauce, and lime juice mixed together and poured over the chicken in the crock pot (we usually use frozen-solid boneless skinless chicken breasts, but any kind of chicken works). I usually chop an onion or two, some garlic, fresh ginger, and a few peppers (jalapenos, anaheims, pasillas -- something with a little heat).

I also like meals where I can put everything in the oven, go do something else for 45 minutes, and it's done. Baked potatoes and a small roast (or fish, pork, etc.). Complete it with frozen veggies that are done in a few minutes (or a salad). Sometimes I take the extra time to roast veggies, as long as the oven is on anyway.

I've finally gotten my husband to the point where he'll actually eat a salad for dinner, as long as it has a generous topping of protein he likes (leftover pork or beef works well -- but so would chicken or fish). If you have most of the salad stuff already cut up like I do, it's simply a matter of adding the meat (or maybe heating it first, if that's your preference).

MargieK said...

Nope, not the same Thai chicken. Here's the one I work from (but double the liquid ingredients):