When I lived in Charleston, the one big question of visitors to the Holy City was “Where should we eat?” Such a great question in such an incredible foodie town! There is a restaurant on every corner and in each building in between. Rest assured that if one closes today, there will be one in line and ready to open tomorrow. It’s almost like the line at Home Goods, each customer waiting for the cashier to yell “Next”! How could you not find a place? Problem is, I am the wrong person to answer that kind of question… Eating out is not my thing, even in a town with so many fabulous choices.
Going out to eat is one of the most frustrating activities I seem to encounter. There are too many decisions involved, and I can’t ever seem to resolve them. Many a night on my way home from work, I would think grabbing a bite out would be a great idea. So, I’d call my daughter and start the process. And it was a process…where should we eat, what do you feel like eating, that’s really expensive, I’m too tired to go back out…the list was endless. And, after 30 minutes of deliberation, we would always realize that what we felt like eating, what was the least time consuming, what was most cost effective and where we should go, turned out to be a meal at home. Truth be told, I’d rather eat my own cooking anyway, since I know from whence it came!
Much to most people’s disbelief, cooking at home is the easiest solution to that satisfying dinner after a long day. You know what you are putting in your body, dinner can be made, eaten and cleaned up faster than going out, you certainly don’t have to change or freshen up to eat at home, definitely less expensive, and by far the healthiest choice. Don’t get me wrong, a nice meal out with good company, when I’m looking forward to it, is a lot of fun. And a spontaneous night out can wake up a boring week. That’s what the eating experience should be…fun, enjoyable and savored. But for the night after a long day, I hear many folks say that it’s too much trouble to cook for one or two. I do it every night and find it much easier than going out. My routine is usually to come home, a nice long walk with my little furry friend, maybe water the plants or take care of something
else that needs attention around the house and then prepare my meal. I do, sometimes, think I don’t feel like going through the motions of preparation, but once I have put the day behind me and start the process, I rather enjoy it. As I start getting a feel for the direction of the meal, putting it together is very satisfying. On most occasions I have enough for leftovers and I feel like I’ve treated myself to a wonderful night out if I dine on the patio. If my daughter is home, nothing is more fun than preparing a meal together. And the benefits of a meal prepared with love and fun are far greater than any restaurant can offer.
I have since moved to Asheville, another foodie town, and nothing has changed. Although the thought of stopping to get something on the way home, or going out to grab a bite still enters my head, I find myself continuing to enjoy my meals at home. Many weeks I’ll pick a day and cook some things for that night as well as the week ahead. My
favorite food to cook for the week is a whole roasted chicken. Cooking meat on the bone is so much more flavorful and excellent for the health of your bones. Wow is it good when it’s fresh out of the oven, but, oh the things you can do with it after that. And you never feel like you’re eating leftovers! I can almost eat an entire week on a chicken, at least 4 or 5 days. With nothing being too complicated or time consuming. I am all about simple! Roasted Chicken and Avocado Chicken Salad is an entire meal in one, and great for this time of year. Chicken vegetable soup is a very quick fix. Grab some chicken broth and whatever veggies you might like to add, if none at home. I love the bags of cauliflower rice that you can cook quickly and add anything you want for an entire meal. Add some cut up chicken to that, with some baby spinach and mushrooms, or grape tomatoes and you are all set for night 4. If there is any chicken left for night 5, make it a stir fry. Onions, snow peas, broccoli and your cut up chicken. You’ve had lots of good meals, with little fuss. Don’t forget the bones of the chicken left to cook up some broth for the next chicken soup or a special treat for the pup!! Mine loves chicken broth in his supper! Everyone is happy!
So, go on, live a little…create that great, healthy, inexpensive, time saving meal at home and enjoy all of the love and happiness you’ve put into it! Let me know your favorite meal to prepare for the week. How do you mix and match your leftovers?
Try my tasty Roasted Chicken and Avocado Salad and let me know what you added to make it your own!
Roasted Chicken and Avocado Salad
1 Whole Chicken, roasted or 4 Bone-In Chicken Breasts, roasted
1 Small Sweet Onion, diced
1 Pint Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
½ C Pumpkin Seeds
1 Avocado, cut into pieces
Juice from Half Lemon
Juice from Half Lime
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pull chicken off of the bone and rough chop. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Serve over mixed greens or spinach. One of my favorites is Arugula. Add Blueberries for a little fruit sweetness, if you like. Enjoy!
Until next time…
Embrace your age…it’s who you are!