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Dinner inspiration: Number 1

There are dinners made 'on the fly' that are just simply good. Satisfying. Tasty. Comforting. And, best of all plant-based healthy. But, they don't quite have enough going on to make a blog post. To this end, I'm going to start offering an on-going of Lunch or Dinner inspirations. Meals that have something to offer - if only as a launching pad at your home.

I'll give you a quick run-down of what it is, how I did it, and why I think it worked. If you have questions, ping me! I'm happy to answer.

I was kind of rushed today, with a zoom session in the morning that ran long, and a dental appointment this afternoon. But, fortunately, I have an Instant Pot. It's essential to busy WFPBNO (whole food, plant-based, no oil) cooks. Minutes after coming in the door this afternoon, I got it fired up with a batch of Farro. I love Farro - it has a neat texture and substance that rice doesn't seem to have. It cooks quickly in the Instant Pot: 9 minutes on High Pressure, with 5 minutes Natural Release. I immediately pour it out in a colander to drain, then let it sit out on the counter (with a dish under the colander) to dry off.

I always have the FieldRoast frankfurters and similar in the fridge, so thought I'd slice up a couple and sauté the slices in a drizzle of apple cider and maple syrup. Yup. That worked.

Finally, I was craving steamed broccoli. Yes, I know. "She craves broccoli?" So, sue me.

And, I had some cooked golden beets in the fridge from batch cooking just the other night. I tossed some of the beets in with the almost tender broccoli (in a steamer basket on the stovetop) for the last couple of minutes, just to warm through.

Now, let's talk about that red sauce over the broccoli. Yesterday, I oven-caramelized a pot of onions and a pot of mixed, sliced sweet mini peppers. The kind that comes mixed in those bags. I use a LOT of those.

Cut up onions and put them in an oven-proof baker/pot, and same with the peppers. A splash of water in each, salt and pepper. 300 degrees. Check and stir in about an hour. Cook for another 45 minutes to one hour. Prepare to be amazed and delighted. This is 'batch cooking' as it was meant to be.

Then I took some of each - onions and peppers - put 'em in the old VitaMix with some vegetable broth (just a little) and some Nutritional Yeast. Some more herbs and spices. Whiz it up into that gorgeous sauce that I used on the No-Beef Salisbury Steak last night. Well, I had leftover sauce - and it rocks over steamed broccoli (or Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, or almost any vegetable.)! It would also make a killer pasta sauce.

The take-away lesson from this Dinner Inspiration is the importance of 'batch cooking'. Make extra. Then use it in different ways throughout the week. The beets were batch cooked, as was the Farro grains, as were the onions/peppers and sauce. All that I had to do that was new were the frankfurters and the broccoli.

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