by Kathy NidaI’m always on the lookout for a good piece of reasonably priced meat, not an easy commodity in today’s market. I keep my eyes on sales at my local stores, but I also wander the aisles at the big discount stores like Costco, where they sell large quantities, great for a big family gathering or lots of people coming over, but less useful when you are living alone or just as a couple.
The thing about meat, whether it’s beef, chicken, or pork, is that it can be frozen. Sometimes I even cut it up into smaller portions before I freeze it, so it’s easy to just pull it out and decide what to do next. If the kids are home, then I can use the whole piece. If it’s just me, then I’m planning dinners and lunches all week.
A marinade is an effective way to add flavor, tenderize inexpensive meats, and add flavor without having to use strange chemicals or undue amounts of salt. Any 1:3 combination of tart ingredients (such as wine vinegar, cider vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice) and oil to your taste (anything from a mild vegetable oil to a strongly flavored olive oil) will make a fine marinade. For convenience, you can marinate cuts of meat inside a plastic bag, and even store it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.With a little weekly planning, you can cook a nice piece of meat on Sunday evening, and then make all your lunches and dinners from that starter ingredient. Most meat can garnish a salad or make a sandwich. It can fill a wrap or a tortilla, or it can make a pile of steaming pasta taste even better with some fresh vegetables and a light sauce. I’ve made leftover grilled meat into tostadas, casseroles, quesadillas, and hearty omelets. In fact, sometimes the “leftover” meal is tastier than the first night. If you marinated the meat, the flavor gets more complex over the next few days, making the meals even tastier.
It just takes a little planning, some careful shopping, a few good recipes, and a flavorful piece of meat. I always marinate the meat the night before. It adds so much flavor with so little work. It’s easy to toss a bag or a covered dish in the fridge on Saturday, pull it out on Sunday and cook it up fresh and hot, and then bag up the leftovers for the rest of the week. You don’t get tired of eating the same thing, because it’s never the same.
For a fresh, tasty marinade that works for beef, chicken, or pork, or even for grilling vegetables with the Sunday meal and maybe fajitas later in the week, try the remarkably easy version in 30 Pounds/4 Months, the natural foods diet and cookbook par excellence. Order the Kindle version from Amazon, or if you prefer a print copy for your kitchen, come on over to our Contact page and leave a message.
Easy marinade image: Shutterstock, © 2016 stockcreations
Fresh marinated pork image: DepositPhotos, © 2016 Wiktory