We know us. We're aware of our limitations. And we're pretty transparent about our take on cooking in December:
1) We want to crush the holiday feasts.
2) We want to phone in all the other meals.
There are limits to the amount of fancy, the extent of memorable, and the level of next-level we can bring before we need a reset. It's like when you get all gussied up for a special occasion, then want to spend the next 72 hours in a terry track suit. Or you finally watch that award-winning subtitled foreign documentary, then binge all six seasons of Glee. It's a balance. Giving 110 percent means, at some point, you're giving more like 90. And that 90% might mean 10% over nine days.
Such is the case during a time of year when stakes at every holiday gathering are lofty. Traditions run deep, and expectations run high. Time-honored recipes must be executed flawlessly, and new ones better be worth the risk. Grocery lists are triple-checked, cookware does double-duty, and the place settings get a once-over more than once. Yes, it's festive and electric and delicious and rewarding. But that come-down, when the delightful din of guests is replaced by the hum of an (over)loaded dishwasher, that's where about a week's worth of kitchen apathy is born.
Once your giddy-up is gone, it can be tempting to resort to a steady stream of take-out - or a dumpster fire diet of processed foods - between holiday gatherings. But The New Primal can help get you fed faster (and generally less shamefully) than any dash to your door or rummage through the pantry.
TIP: Stock up with a few of our most essential bottles and shakers, and you're armed to turn the most basic stuff in your fridge into something genuinely worthy of your keen taste and belly space. And for the love of sanity, let's minimize the number of dishes used and dirtied, shall we? Shortcuts aren't helpful if they leave the kitchen in ruins.
- If you're thinking a tiny bit ahead, place some salmon portions in an overnight (or at least few hours) soak of Noble Made Citrus Herb Marinade and bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Or, pour a bottle of Noble Made Classic or Spicy Marinade over a pork shoulder in a crockpot and cook low and slow (6-9 hours) before shredding into drippy bites.
- More on-the-fly, blend Noble Made Buffalo Ranch Dressing into cubed or pulled chicken (or cooked chickpeas!) for a tasty chilled salad. Or brown beef (or Beyond Beef!) crumbles with generous shakes of Noble Made Classic Chili Seasoning, toss in some black beans, and wrap in a tortilla (or lettuce leaf!).
- Sides matter, too, of course. Shake whatever cut veggies are on hand - broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, brussels sprouts - in a large sealable bag with a long drizzle of olive oil and copious amounts of Noble Made Everything Bagel Seasoning, then spread onto a sheet pan lined with foil and bake at 400 degrees ‘til anywhere from fork-tender to delightfully charred.
In the event you feel completely sapped of inspiration - even the kind that requires picking out one protein or veggie and one sauce or seasoning - we've got you. Check out our recipes requiring as few as two, and no more than five, ingredients.
(Note that, for purposes of this exercise, we are not counting S&P, or anything listed as "optional" or "garnish." Salt and pepper are like air and water, and exhausted people needn't concern themselves with nonessential add-ons.)
Ration your energy, keep the faith, and be kind to yourself. You don't have to choose between Happy Highbrow and Merry Mediocrity. There is space in between, and we are here to help. Because, fellow tired reveler, we know how you feel.