This one isn’t a splashy meal, but it epitomizes what’s important to me in a dinner: 1 meat, 1 starch, and one veg. My husband prefers to sauce everything on his plate, so he’d include the sauce as a prerequisite. But if I add sauce to the pre-req’s, I may as well add bacon because it’s always on hand and almost always makes it into a meal in one form or flavor. It’s funny that I didn’t realize how tied I was to this “nutritional trinity” until I had to flake out on a side dish or two due to lack of time or ingredients. It’s so disappointing to have a lonely starch with no veg.
This meal does not require any prep earlier in the day (i.e.,no naptime chores) and allows us to eat dinner at a reasonable hour after the kids are in bed.
Sauteed Spinach with Bacon
Giant box of baby spinach (think it’s 1-2 lbs)
2 slices bacon
2 cloves garlic
Rinse spinach. Fry 2 slices bacon in a large dutch oven with lid. Remove bacon when crisp and drain on paper towels. Add garlic and cook 1 minutes. Add damp spinach to pot with bacon drippings and toss to coat. Cover and let steam for 5 minutes until wilted. Remove lid and allow water to evaporate. Salt and pepper and squeeze lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Rice in a box
Why on earth would I chop and prepare ingredients to jazz up rice when it is one of the easiest and tastiest modern conveniences? I love Far East Pilafs and rice mixes. They are never mushy and if you start them at the beginning of your prep time, you have a hot easy side in 30 minutes. I learned that the rice/starch is always the time intensive factor in any meal so it always gets first priority on the stove.
Which reminds me, this whole meal was very stove intensive. I long for the day when I can have all 4-5 burners raging without wonting for space. The fact is, my pots and pans often encroach onto other burners and I have some flames that are more reliable than others. So, I made the rice and then re-used that burner for the spinach when it was done.