Skip to content

Cooking Less?

It seems thinking back over the summer months, that I spent a lot less time cooking than I have in previous years.  After my wife prepared our evening meals for so many years while our kids were young and I was working full time, I have now taken over the primary role of cooking for just the two of us.  Typically, I would cook four or five times a week and then the other nights we would eat out.  Once the pandemic hit and restaurants closed, obviously I cooked even more but even since things have returned somewhat to a normalcy, we still don’t eat out at the rate we used to.  So, what changed this summer?

Well, the nationwide heat wave we had in July certainly contributed to that but there were a couple of other factors as well.

I traveled over half the month of June, so my absence certainly meant I was cooking less.   But the factor that probably contributed the most was we began to use one of those restaurant food delivery services.  My wife and I would sit down at the end of the day to discuss our day like we have for so many years, but a new item for discussion was where we were going to order from for dinner?

So, it was interesting that with a reduced cook schedule, there was one new recipe that became a staple for us over the summer.  It was based on an entrée my wife and I had had at restaurants but one of our own creations.  While ours was different, we did usurp their name—power bowl.

We always start with a large salad bowl of spring mixed greens although you could obviously choose your favorite variety instead.

We then add a good portion of cooked farro.  If you are not familiar with farro, it is a very nutritious grain loaded with fiber, protein, and several essential vitamins and minerals.  This is how our bowls always start out but then we add a variety of other ingredients.

We always like to include two healthy vegetables.  Sometimes we add broccoli…

…sometimes we add Brussels Sprouts…

…sometimes we added roasted butternut squash.

You can see with the addition of our air fryer, we always air fry them rather than roasting them in the oven like we used to.

On occasion, we have also substituted roasted squash or zucchini.  Often it depends on what looks the best or freshest at our local grocery store.  But one item we always include for additional protein, fiber, and carbohydrates are roasted chickpeas (or Garbanzo beans if you are more familiar with that name).

We then add some nice toppings, sesame sticks, pepitas seeds, and dried cranberries.

To this finished bowl…

…you can add your favorite salad dressing.  My wife just squeezes a bit of lemon juice, adds some olive oil and a little salt to hers while I go the prepared dressing route and add balsamic vinaigrette.

We have found this to be most tasty and quite filling and it has become one of our weekly staples.  Of course, if you have a predilection for being a carnivore, you can also add some cut up grilled chicken or beef to supplement the proteins already there.  I consider myself also in that latter camp but have been perfectly satisfied without its addition.

Another regular summer entrée I cooked is actually one of my own creations from a few years ago which I call: Mexican bowl.  I often cook this and then freeze leftovers for individual lunches.

For a healthier base, I cook one pound of ground chicken rather than ground beef.  Once cooked thoroughly, I season it with homemade taco seasoning.  While that is cooking, I also cook one half cup of farro.  I have also substituted quinoa which works just as well.

I next sauté a package of frozen three-peppers and onions in olive oil.

The last two remaining ingredients which I just microwave is a can of tri-bean blend and a Birds Eye Protein Blend – Southwest Style.

I then mix all of this together in a large bowl to get it well blended.

Before serving, I top it off with some sour cream, some Salsa Verde, and an individual serving package of guacamole.

It makes for a quite filling lunch.

Now that Fall has arrived, it will be interesting to see if I go back to cooking more or if we continue with our current practice of ordering in more than cooking.

If you are sometimes faced with the same conundrum of what to cook, hopefully I have given you a couple of easy recipes to try.

Bon Appetit!

2 thoughts on “Cooking Less? Leave a comment

  1. Yum! There’s nothing better than crispy roasted veggies, and I’m glad I got to try the power bowls! I think I’ve been cooking less, too, and I hope I can get back to it more this winter. It will be nice to have the oven on during these cold days!

    • Yea using the oven in the winter is a nice way to warm up your kitchen. I know how you love roasted veggies so I suspect you will be doing more cooking.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: