Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Gourmet to Go

So I bought fresh food to go in my new fridge, and then my schedule got rearranged and I wasn't going to be having dinner at home for a while.  As tempting as take-out was, I really needed to cook what I had bought before it went bad.  The most expensive part of grocery shopping is what you let go to waste.

After breakfast one morning, I started to make dinner.  I made poached salmon with a lemon cream sauce over barley and steamed broccoli.  Then I packed it up in containers and took one of them with me to work.  Far more nutritious than the drive-thru, even using the heavy cream.  (I had most of a pint left over from the tea party that would soon go bad, and had some form of cream sauce on my entrée for over a week to use it up.)

One thing to remember when you do something like this is how you're going to reheat the meal.  Microwaves are the usual, but a toaster oven can work, depending on what you have.  Reheating by either method will also cook your food more.  With something delicate like fish or steak, you have to undercook it slightly in anticipation of this.  My salmon was almost raw in the middle when I packed it, but perfectly cooked and flaky once it was hot.

You can also see that I attempted something resembling an attractive plating.  I mashed it all together at some point during the meal, but there was barley on the bottom, the veggie arranged neatly, and a properly sliced piece of salmon on top, lightly coated with the sauce.  Leftovers don't have to look like leftovers.

Yes, it's a bit of work, but no more than I would have put into it in the afternoon.  I was just doing it at 9am.  Packing a meal just transfers the cooking time to a more convenient hour.  It saves money, is generally more nutritious, and has fewer calories than anything you pick up.

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