When DALS posted their Anatomy of a Week, I loved the concept, because I’ve been in a meal planning rut lately. This is troubling, as someone who loves to cook, because I am spending way too much time mulling over the proper balance of carbs versus meat versus leafy green vegetables that need to grace our table, and not nearly enough time enjoying food. The equation is further complicated by the disappearance of spare minutes from most weeknights on the calendar. There are times when I’m in a true groove in the kitchen and even last night’s leftovers get worked into the evening fare. But now is not one of those times. So in the name of keeping in real, and nothing being better than peering into someone else’s kitchen, I present to you, the anatomy of my week. Spoiler alert: It contains a ton of these smoothies.
Monday: My husband is at grad school on Mondays, so I typically make myself a smoothie loaded with spinach, and work on dinner for him (which becomes my lunch the following day). After a post-work meeting and my weekly grocery trip, Monday was prepackaged gnocchi with oil and herbs.
Tuesday: We eat together tonight, but it’s another green monster on my side of the table, while Deb’s tomato and sausage risotto went on the table for my better half. This one makes regular appearances at Casa Glass of Milk. And this was my best batch to date. Yep, lunch for me again the following day.
Wednesday: Another solo night for me. What I love about having my husband arrive so late two nights a week is that it makes low and slow food a weeknight dinner option. He’s not home till 10 p.m. so something that requires two hours of simmering is still a possibility. I made Simple Chili using a recipe passed down by a friend (see below). I used turkey this time, which was not nearly as amazing as making it with beef. I also failed to take a picture of it, so please accept this beautiful picture of azaleas in bloom, plus my finger in the top right, in its stead.
Thursday: In which I run to the grocery store because we’re out of milk and bananas, but also pick up a carton of ice cream. I was going to make dinner. I really was. Thursdays are typically my only truly free nights, with nothing planned after work. But then I got home and realized that I had been running around so much for the past three evenings that my daily laundry loads were all I could handle. Trader Joe’s frozen orange chicken to the rescue! It’s a smoothie for me, though, so I can justify that ice cream!
Friday: On Friday I picked up my aunt, who was in town to stay with us overnight, and got her unpacked. Shortly thereafter, we walked to get my favorite takeout in the area. We got all our favorites, and tried a couple new dishes, too.
Aside from running the blender, I really only cooked for two nights, which is about as close to not cooking as I can get. We’ll have to revisit this week at a glance in the summer, to see what happens when my work schedule comes to a (long overdue) screeching halt.
To make enough simple chili for days, you will need:
- 2 pounds ground beef (yes, I used turkey this time, but no, it’s not nearly as good as the real thing)
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 2 cans diced tomates
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 6 T chili powder (yep, 6!)
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or more, to taste
- salt, to taste
Brown meat in a bottom of a large stockpot. Transfer cooked meat to bowl, and drain excess fat from pan. Add oil to pan, if necessary, and cook onions, 5 minutes, till translucent. Add garlic, and cook for one minute more. Add remaining ingredients, including meat and any juices at the bottom of the bowl. Cover, and simmer on low heat, 2 hours.