Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cooking for the Cooking-Impaired

So, guess what I had for lunch today? That's right -- steak and spinach.

I'm terrified of cooking. Not so much of baking, which involves following a recipe and typically ends in dessert, and is therefore awesome, but of anything involving savory foods and any kind of creativity. I can make a decent omelette these days, that's about it. And I've been very much in a place of What the heck am I supposed to eat? for the last couple of days.

But then I found this. This is from Robb Wolf's Food Matrix:

[Many Paleo] meals can be prepared in the following manner:

1: Put some oil in a pan.
2: Brown some meat in that oil for a minute 
3: If you are using a hearty herb/spice like ginger, add it before the meat, if it’s delicate like basil, 
add it when the dish is almost done. 
4: Add veggies. 
5: Stir it a time or two, cover and set a timer for 5-10 min. 
6: If it’s done, eat! If not, set a timer again. 

This process is how I cook better than 90% of my meals, and they turn out GREAT.

When I read this a couple of days ago, I found it very encouraging. Hey, I thought, I think I could do that! I decided I needed to just start with this, and then branch out from there. It would at least get me fed.

So I hit Trader Joe's. I started with steak because it's familiar. (My plan is to explore some more adventurous meats, but I need to do so slowly.) I selected the most-organic-but-still-least-expensive package I could find, which turned out to be an $8 package of steak tips that should make 3 or 4 meals over the next few days. And I knew we had some baby spinach at home, plus oil and spices.

At home, I heated up some extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan; I browned 6 small pieces of steak; I tossed in some Penzey's Northwoods Seasoning that we had (the jar said it was for chicken and fish -- but, heck, it smelled great), and added some garlic salt; I dumped in a whole bunch of spinach; I stirred it for several minutes, until the spinach wilted completely; and then I transferred the whole thing to a plate, and devoured it. It was extraordinarily delicious. I am very pleased.

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