Four years ago I would’ve been hard pressed to cook a decent meal from scratch by myself. But when I moved into a home of my own I decided that I didn’t want to go the route of so many bachelors and subsist to a diet of TV dinners, delivery pizza, and fast food. It’s not good for you, it gets old really fast, and it’s really way more expensive than making food on your own. With some occasional emergency assistance from my Mom and Google I soon learned to be a decent cook. Reading recipes is easy, and when I decide to get more adventurous I’ve found that I have a pretty good knack for guessing which ingredient will taste good together. I’m married now, and while the wife is a pretty good cook herself, I enjoy cooking more than she does, so I still make make dinner most nights. Fine with me.
In the spirit of helping those who may be reluctant to cook on their
own, I’m going to occasionally post what we’re having for dinner. If it’s a recipe, I’ll also post where it came from.
Tonight’s dinner menu was pretty simple:
- Pad Thai
- Mediterranean chicken breasts
- Lima beans (mostly for the wife – she doesn’t care for Thai food)
- Hot rolls
As I said, like to make most of my meals from scratch. Tonight I cheated a little bit and used a couple pre-packaged items.
The Pad Thai is a boxed mix from A Taste of Thai which includes the dried noodles and the sauce. It takes about 20 minutes to soak the noodles and 10 to stir fry everything together. I substitute peanut oil for vegetable oil when stirfrying, and I forgot to buy shallots, so I used some chopped mild onion instead. I only recently discovered Thai food so I’m not quite confident enough to stray too far from the box directions. Very simple to make and, to my untrained tongue at least, very good. Pretty healthy too.
I was going to cook the boneless skinless chicken breasts (the wife keeps me eating healthy) in a thai coconut or peanut sauce, but I decided to do a marinade instead. was marinated in McCormick’s Zesty Herb mix. Their mixes are a little salty, but good. (It’s easy to make a marinade of your own, of course, but I personally tend to be too shy with my spices.) I used red wine vinegar instead of white vinegar to add a little more depth to the flavor and tossed it all in a ziplock bag for a half an hour while I made the pad thai. After the pad thai was finished I moved it to another container and cooked the chicken in the same pan. I kept the heat high to carmelize the outside of the chicken and then put a lid on and let it cook til done. The lid keeps it nice and moist.
The limas were steamed in a covered tupperware container in the microwave, and the rolls were leftovers from Christmas.
That’s about it. Yummy dinner, cheap, and good for you. With some leftovers for tomorrow. See? Nothing to be afraid of.
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