Alchemy (n) - a power or process of transforming something common into something special: an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting.
Working most nights, I often stumble through the door and find myself too tired to think; let alone think about making dinner. In these moments, hunger and fatigue combine in insidious ways. Rationality crumbles, I find myself tempted by fast food options that normally seem about as appealing as dog turds, nay, deep-fried dog turds.
The Best Defense
As far as strategies go, I have found that neither fighting temptation nor succumbing to it are effective approaches. Will-power is a limited commodity and, after suffering the 1,000 tiny cuts of modern life (traffic, bosses/co-workers, "news", etc.) most of us have precious little of this resource. And, while castigating oneself may result in guilt-ridden proclamations of "never again!", in the long term, this only serves to undermine self-esteem, predisposing one to future indiscretions.
Further contemplation reveals a third option, namely that of cultivating a "good offense." Which, in this particular situation, means means having plenty of healthy, tasty, and, most-importantly, convenient food options on the ready.
While "healty, tasty, and convenient" options sometimes revolve around hard-boiled eggs, avocados, pre-prepped salads, and cold leftover meats, there are times when you want the house-filling aroma and gustatory pleasure of a hot meal. An indispensable ally in this effort is the humble crock pot.
Filled with raw meat, veggies, spices, seasoning, and broth, stock, or just plain water, you turn your crock pot on, fast forward through a long day's work, and voila! A hot, delicious dinner is magically ready without much in the way of effort.
Almost Effortless Ginger Chili Chicken
~2lbs of bone-in chicken thighs with skin on (about 8 portions)
8 cloves of garlic (peeled and lightly smashed)
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp whole coriander seeds (Interesting fact, "coriander seeds" become "cillantro" when you plant them!)
Pinch sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
~16oz coconut water
2 bunches of fresh basil
Put the chicken thighs and garlic into the crock pot. Add ginger, chili powder, coriander seeds, salt, and pepper. Pour coconut water over the top and then add the fresh basil.
Cover the crock pot and set on "low".
After 8-10 hours, the chicken thighs will be ridiculously tender and the cooking liquid intensely flavorful.
Serve over a bed of shredded lettuce and drizzle with Sriracha.
Bonus Meal Ideas!
Pulled-Pig and Mashed Plantains
Grok Pot Bones & Beef