Real Food For Real (Busy) Lives
Welcome! I hope you’re here on purpose- with a name like Pot Roast on Paper Plates, I’m not sure how you could have ended up here accidentally, but if you were looking for some very strange porn, you’ve come to the wrong place.
Making dinner is difficult. It’s not hard, but it takes time, energy, and ingredients. The inspiration for this site came from my co-workers. Perhaps it’s a function of my profession (see About) but I seem to know an awful lot of people who can’t find the motivation or don’t think they can cook real food regularly- either for lack of skill or time.
I’ll be honest- some people really, truly do not have time to cook. But most of us do, if we get in the habit and know what we’re doing. To make real food daily requires either extensive resources and time or copious planning, which itself involves energy. But this effort can be mitigated by passion, experience, and shameless recycling/borrowing of ideas.
So here’s how this works- each week I’ll post my weekly menus on the ‘Weekly Meals’ page, with recipes written for people who are not chefs and don’t spend their time reading Bon Apetit. Please leave comments/ask questions if there are any confusing directions- the whole point is for the food to be accessible. As I cook the food during the week, I’ll add reviews, suggested recipe alterations, and pictures so the site looks pretty (though these are real meals cooked and eaten in real time by a real family, so shiny staged photography is definitely not the priority).
Most meals are quick or can be prepped the night before (i.e. stuff can get chopped while I’m catching up on Top Chef or whatever new cop drama is on hulu after my Perpetual Motion Machine is asleep). Some of my food always ends up taking longer than 15-20min, but since I’m actually cooking it after work with a 2yr old grabbing my legs, knives, and hot frying pans, it has to be mostly hands-off- like a soup that just has to simmer (on a back burner) for an hour.
I have a lot of opinions about the physical and emotional value of real cooked food and rather than put it all here (where it sounds like a diatribe) it’s on the Real Food page. If you want validation of your own ideas or – despite all the media attention of the issue- still need convincing that wholesome food is a good idea, you can go there and see what I think.
Here’s a quick exec. summary: What kind of food is ‘real food’? It’s generally healthy, well-balanced food cooked from mostly fresh ingredients that tastes good. It’s not always low-fat or low-calorie, and, frankly, I like salt and sugar a lot. I use bacon, butter, and even cream on occasion, but also ingredients like quinoa, broccoli, and shrimp. When possible, I use healthier options like whole wheat pasta. I try to use less healthy foods in moderation and to their greatest effect so a little goes a long way.
We don’t all have time to scour the internet for beautifully photographed gourmet food and then cook it, but that doesn’t mean we all have to eat fast food take-out or mac and cheese every night. Hopefully you’ll get something out of this- at the very least, I’ll always know what’s for dinner.