Just because I’m a personal chef does not mean I don’t have the panic attacks where you look at the clock at 7pm and realize not only have you forgotten to make dinner, but you also haven’t been to the store in a week. This happened just the other night, right as Tyler was walking in the door. I quickly surveyed the fridge and found:
one 4-day old cooked chicken apple sausage
1/4 log of low-fat cream cheese
a small lump of goat cheese in plastic wrap
a whole wheat pizza dough
half an onion
Which prompted me to preheat the oven to 475, since it was clear we were going to have pizza. But I needed some toppings…so I checked the freezer, where I keep backup food, and found:
1/2 bag frozen chopped spinach
1/4 bag frozen corn kernels
the end of a Pecorino cheese wedge (which I save to put in soups)
bag of frozen peas
Not much to work with, but I proceeded to heat a skillet with some olive oil, saute the onion, rinse & drain the spinach then add it to the skillet with the few handfuls of frozen corn. I rolled out the pizza dough on a baking sheet, microwaved the cream cheese for 15 seconds, spread it on the dough in a thin layer, then laid basil leaves all over (this is key: I have a few big pots on my balcony with basil, mint, thyme, parsley, and rosemary — if I didn’t have these, all my meals would be boring and tasteless. Herbs are essential). Topped that with the spinach-onion-corn mixture, then thinly sliced up the sausage and dispersed the slices, and finally crumbled the goat cheese over the top. While the pizza baked (10 min) I heated some more olive oil in the skillet, added the peas with salt & pepper and cooked for 3-4 minutes, then at the last minute added a big handful of chopped fresh mint. When the pizza came out of the oven, I sprinkled on more chopped fresh basil, some fresh thyme, and shaved the last bit of Pecorino over the top. Served it alongside a pile of peas.
And there you have it. True ‘eating made easy.’ I know what you’re thinking — you can’t do that, or you don’t have the right things on hand. But you can make a meal out of anything, especially if you have 1-2 fresh herbs and some pantry staples. For tips on what to keep around, check out How to Be Your Own Personal Chef.