In an effort to dramatically lower my frequency of restaurant eating I have some up with a solution: soup.
There are many ways to do soup: a quick & easy and a really quick & easy. So first, the quick & easy. You’ll need some form of beef in this case. I prefer to use a nice big roast that I toss in the oven at about 150 at some point in the afternoon and by bedtime or before, it’s up to an internal of 135; I take it out, wrap it in foil and toss it in the fridge. Now I’m ready to do soup at a moment’s notice.
Trader Joe’s has an organic beef stock with no unpronounceable ingredients, and since it takes quite a lot to make soup, I reserve my home made stock for my sauces. I’ll typically use one container, a quart, and set it to boil — reducing it by about 1/3 to concentrate the flavor. In the meantime, I slice and chop up the meat, 8-10 oz per serving, which in my household is usually two. Yea, it’s a real "Hungry Man" soup, not any of that Campbell’s canned crap that purports to be meaty, with its measly 2-4 oz of meat, if that. To that, I’ll add some form of veggies in reverse proportion to what you might see in the canned crap. In this particular case, a few oz of carrot, celery, potato. That all goes into the pot and at this point you can herb & spice as desired, or none at all. In the photo below it was about a half tsp of Thai Massaman curry paste which is just enough to give it a bit of a spicy kick.
Let it reduce a bit more while the veggies soften up. Serve with some chopped up green onion and in this case, I also had some fresh spinach to chop up and top with. Click for the hi-res.
To me, there’s just something about a warm (I prefer well warm to piping hot — more intense flavor) hearty soup that just leaves me feeling euphorically satisfied.
Now for the really quick & easy, such as when I head off to the office. I just pour my stock into a good sized plastic container, add my meat & veggies (Trader Joe’s has chopped veggies in various mixes you can use for super quick ease) and if I have green onion to garnish I’ll just chop it and put it in a baggie. When it’s time to eat, about 4-5 minutes in the nuking machine will do the trick. The flavor will not be as intense, because you haven’t reduced and concentrated the stock, and I don’t do herbs & spices beyond some salt & pepper, but it’ll pass, and it’s still preferable to going to a restaurant and loading up on omega-6 PUFA.
Of course, this can be done with chicken, pork, lamb, and even pre-cooked ground meats or pre-made meatballs. And don’t forget to drink down ever last drop of that stock at the end. I use it to swallow my modest number of supps: (vitamin D, vitamin K2 (MK-4), 2-3g fish oil and magnesium).