My homie Karen asks:
What do you normally eat for dinner when you cook for yourself?
I really like to bake, but I don’t bake myself food for dinner because most of what I bake is desserts and I’m not so far abased as to eat strawberry rhubarb pie for a meal and I am in my thirties and can’t eat a whole trayful of oatmeal cookies any more.1 I would like to avoid diabetes for as long as possible, thanks, and given my sweet tooth baking is something I can only do infrequently. That having been said, I do make a damn good cornbread and socca when it comes to non-sweet baking.
When I cook for myself, usually it ends up being one of two things:
1.) A sandwich. I almost never use deli cuts (notable exception: ham).2 I like loose meat, preferably some that I’ve just grilled or sauteed or broiled. I tend to prefer pork because you can do a lot to pork but still retain its essential flavours; chicken is good too but it’s easy to overpower with spices, and I love to spice meat when I cook it. The other benefit of cooking the meat is that I can cook vegetables at the same time and put them in the sandwich: sweet peppers are my favorite but hot peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumber and snap peas are all quite nice cooked up and tossed in a sandwich. Toss on some lettuce or cold cucumber, some cheese and mustard and maybe a little horseradish or Miracle Whip?3 Perfect. That’s a meal. And the bread has to be good bread. I’ll often grill the completed sandwich on a Foreman grill or similar when it is done.
Also: peanut butter, or egg salad, or tunafish. All will work, all are healthy and delicious, and all are quick.
2.) If I don’t do a sandwich, I usually don’t bother with meat at all: I do a potato-chickpea curry, or rice cooked with various things (often chickpeas – I love chickpeas), or pasta – usually with pesto, but a tomato sauce is nice and a bean medley and olive oil is very good too. If I’m too bored too cook, vegetables and hummus/baba ghanoush of some kind with some pita bread is doable. I’m not that big on salads; I like salad, don’t get me wrong, but other than buying the crappy bags of salad you need to store a lot of produce to make a good salad regularly, and I don’t want it that regularly, and until I have a full-time job of some kind I have to share fridge space with roommates.
Wasn’t that thrilling?