Putting Together a Simple Meal

How to Cook Like a Mom
Lesson Two

How to Put Together a Simple Meal

Dinner generally consists of three things:  A protein, a vegetable, and a starch.  So all you need to do is pick one of each, and you have a very basic meal.  Simple, right?!

Step one:
What do I feel like eating for dinner tonight?
You’re the one cooking, so you get to pick what you eat.  That has always been the rule in my family.  (This is why liver is NEVER on the menu at my house.)  So reach into the fridge or freezer and pick a protein.
If your meat is frozen, you need to remember to take it out in time to thaw.  There are different thawing methods.  I should tell you to thaw it overnight in the fridge, or to run it under cool water for 30 minutes.  Yeah, I don’t do that.  I just stick it on the counter until it’s thawed, then toss it in the fridge for the rest of the day.

Step Two:
What do you want to eat with it?
Potatoes?  Rice?  Pasta?  Pick your pleasure, and we’ll season it any way you like it.  Just because you want Italian doesn’t mean you have to have pasta.  That’s what herbs and spices are for.  Heck, you can make potatoes taste Asian if you add the right sauce.

Step Three:
Add some veggies!
Having Asian?  Use the snap peas.  Italian?  Go with broccoli or asparagus.   Just plain old Amerian?  Use whatever you want.  It’s up to you!!!

Step Four:
Season season season.
This is the part that scares most people.  It’s time to actually use those little jars for herbs and spices that came with the spice rack you got at your housewarming party.  (Though if it’s been more than a couple years, you’ll want to buy some new ones once you figure out which ones you like best.)

Step Five:
Get cooking!
That’s right, you actually have to cook the food now.  Don’t be scared.  I’ll walk you through my go-to “recipes” that I use every night.  No more pork chops that turn into hockey pucks.  No more shoe-leather steaks.  No more sad, dry chicken breasts.

Stay tuned for our first meal….pork chops!

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