Cooking at home is much easier when you have basic ingredients at hand. And the more you cook and expand your repertoire, the more diverse your basic ingredients will be.
For example, last week I made curried chicken salad sandwiches using leftover chicken breasts. Normally, I’m not a fan of chicken breasts (I prefer dark meat), but I had cooked them to make chicken/avocado/romaine lettuce/whole grain bread sandwiches, a perfect meal for a three-hour drive that coincided with dinnertime. I had extra chicken and didn’t want it to go to waste.
To make the curried chicken salad, I cut the chicken breasts into bite-size cubes and then added ingredients that I always have in the house: yogurt, mayo, parsley and fresh lemon juice (fridge); cashews and raisins (freezer); and curry powder, unrefined sea salt, fresh ground pepper and honey (cupboard).
The only extraordinary item I added was some diced Japanese turnip, which I had just bought at the farmers’ market. Why? I wanted some extra crunch in the salad and the turnip (more like a radish) was the only thing in my refrigerator that would work. The more traditional choices are celery and fennel.
The curried chicken salad sandwiches (using leftover romaine lettuce and whole grain bread) were delicious, took little time to make and cost less than sandwiches from fast food places.