When Life Is Crazy!

Occasionally time gets away, and you just don’t know what to eat in such a limited amount of time. Consider creating a repertoire of recipes that you can whip up on a moment’s notice on those hectic days. I have a recipe box called “SOS Recipes” that contains recipes written on index cards (I guess I’m old fashioned). I can make a meal on the fly in less than thirty minutes, including the cleanup time. These are not gourmet meals but have a nourishing and comfort food feel. It’s okay to dial back expectations about what dinner is.

I keep a list of all the ingredients necessary to make the SOS Recipes on hand, referred to as a “Master Ingredients List”. My pantry is always filled with these items. Most of these recipes don’t have specific measurements; they are just combinations of ingredients. I call these “un-recipes”, a recipe used as a guide rather than a formula. Relying on your senses versus measuring cups and spoons saves a lot of time and is amazingly accurate.

These recipes come to your rescue whether you are home or on your way home and trying to figure out what’s for dinner.  They come in handy when unexpected events arise and you don’t have the time or energy to assemble what you already had planned for dinner. Knowing you can make a quick, warm meal will deter you from wolfing down freezer food or standing in front of the fridge eating ice cream or cheese whiz on a cracker! You can master these recipes so that preparing them becomes second nature, almost automatic because you have memorized most of them.

A favorite recipe in my “SOS Recipe Box” is Ramen Egg Drop Soup:

Ramen noodles
Sesame oil
Braggs amino acids or soy sauce
Broth powder or concentrate
Green onions

Cook the noodles, drain but save some of the water, enough to make a soup. Put it back on the stove, add the broth concentrate or powder, then a beaten egg and stir. Add in a splash of the oil, and the amino acids or soy sauce. Top with green onion (you can use them frozen as mentioned in a recent column).

These SOS home cooked meals that are simple and easy to make create a deep sense of physical well-being. It’s pure pleasure to eat well, especially when feeling hurried, jangled, or out of sorts. You can stir up something comforting to eat and immediately feel settled.

Everyone has chaotic days or weeks. Knowing you can make dinner when under stressful circumstances provides comfort. Do you have a favorite SOS recipe? If so, I’d love to share it with our readers.