Did I mention that my (marketing) job is in education? Compared to other industries I’ve worked in, this one follows the exact same selling season year over year. We roll with the school year (which runs February-December in Australia) and May-September is always busy. Like…you can set your watch by it. I actually don’t hate it—I’m a sucker for routines and the days go by a little faster. Bonus: This year, I actually feel like I “get it” (it only took two years 🤷♀️).
So, we’re entering busy season over here which, predictably, means longer hours at work and less hours for life stuff (ie. FOOD). But, just cuz we busy doesn’t mean we can’t have dinner that’s easy, healthy and yum. So how do we deal? My two strategies:
- Take it down a notch. In general, I’d like to think that I keep things pretty simple ’round here but when things get busier? I drop it down to as. simple. as. possible. How simple is Simple? You know you’ve hit the right note when you ask yourself if what you’re serving actually qualifies as dinner. Then you’re onto a winner.
- Throw money at the problem. Importantly, I should clarify that this strategy doesn’t meant throwing A LOT of money at the problem…more like some. And, while this is by no means a finance blog, you prolly shouldn’t be throwing away money you don’t have (just sayin’ is all). The point is to think where you can spend (a bit of) cash to make your life (a bit) easier. Maybe it’s an ingredient that you buy (vs. making yourself), a meal delivery service or a frozen dinner or takeout.
Of course, these strategies aren’t necessarily your daily MO, but they’re useful to get you out of a jam when you need it. To help illustrate, the next two blog posts will serve as examples of each. This one is clearly about strategy numero uno: Simplify.
That’s right folks: this cauliflower steak (which is really just a vehicle for the avo smash) with fries IS dinner. At least, during busy season it is. True, there’s nothing green and leafy in sight, and 50% of the plate is covered in (sweet potato) fries. But…there is a vegetable or two, little prep, and 30 mins of cook time so I’m not complaining.
This cauliflower steak also works when you have vegetarians AND carnivores living under the same roof (which I’m very familiar with and perhaps a growing trend?). For the meat lovers, simply swap the cauliflower steak with a “real” steak and voila—one dinner, everyone’s happy.
Avo smash on cauliflower steak with sweet potato friesPrint Recipe
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into fries
- 1/2-1 tbsp cornmeal (optional but adds texture)
- Cauliflower cut into two steaks
- 1/2 avocado
- Squeeze of lemon
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Toppings such as nuts/seeds, feta, chili flakes, chili oil or kimchi (pictured)
Recipe for homemade kimchi.
I first made this on a whim cuz I had avo smash on the brain (easy when you live in ‘Straya) but it’s definitely going on my list of busy season “go to” recipes. Need help coming up with your own? Check this out: easy dinners for kids when you don’t feel like cooking. Sure, it says “for kids” but I can def get down with toast, cheese and crackers, chips and guac, and peanut butter anything. Who says good food needs to be complicated?