Food, Recipes

The Art of On-the-Fly Cooking

Usually, I am a very prepared person unless… we’re talking about dinner.  😐

Half the time I don’t plan. The other half of the time I don’t want what I plan by the time that I get home. This makes things very difficult to bullet journal. So I have a tactic that is my eternal go to.

  1. Protein
  2. Vegetable
  3. Starch
  4. Dessert (optional.. but why?)

In order to fulfill this, I keep a few things on hand or pick up a couple extra while I am at the grocery store.

Photo by Achim Bongard on

Protein Stock-Pile:

  • Pre-marinated chicken drumsticks.
  • Chicken Sausage
  • Pork Loin

These all freeze incredibly well and can be really inexpensive. Now, if you’re one of those people who are all on top of their meal planning, you can do the pre-marinated proteins on your own. If you buy the “value packs” of protein like pork chops, chicken breasts/thighs/drumsticks, you can toss them in a plastic bag with salt, pepper, olive oil and that 3 year old parsley you have lying around. Have a lemon dying in the fridge? Squeeze that in there, too. Then freeze it and you have a pre-done marinade as the meat defrosts. Magic.
If you want to be fancy, like my cousin, Lowry’s makes marinades in the salad dressing section. This, however, means I have to elbow my way through the bread aisle which happens to accompany the salad dressing aisle. It depends on my patience level if I can tolerate the madness for a bottle of marinade. Often, I do not have said patience.

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Vegetable Stock-Pile:

  • Frozen Bagged 2 for $1 veggies.
  • Buy one get one free type bags of vegetables
  • Bags of baby carrots (they take forever to grow mold, seriously, something is wrong with them).

I live for the frozen veggies. Pop them in a bowl, microwave them and TA-DA, healthy! I’m about to load up on carbs so at least I’ll put one vegetable in the way of my need for the starch. Also, baby carrots in the oven at 450F for like 20 minutes (salt, pepper, olive oil pre-oven) are basically a thing of beauty.

Photo by Oleg Magni on

Starch Stock-Pile:

  • Knorr Sides: Rice, Pasta, whatever is on sale.
  • Far East Rice in a Box
  • Risotto in a Box

Getting my box theme on this one? I left off the Mac and Cheese because, who doesn’t have that in the house for emergency stress purposes. In wanting to save the mac and cheese for myself, I use the rice boxes as a starch that seems a little fancy with my on-the-fly dinner. I get my Risotto in a box from whole foods (Rice aisle, where you take your life into your hands) and it’s amazing.

So that’s it! One from each category and you’re good to go. Honestly the worst part is trying to remember to defrost stuff. You can take out two different items to defrost but again, this does require some kind of pre-planning. Usually I am throwing the stuff that is about to go bad in the fridge in the pan, so whatever works for you– go for it! Oh.. and don’t forget dessert.. very important! 🙂

Thanks for contacting support! ❤