Yesterday was a dreary day in DC. Rainy, a little cold (especially for April!) and there wasn’t the slightest hint of blue sky or sunlight all day long. On top of all this, it was a Monday. And I was exhausted. This weekend, I went to visit my parents in my hometown of Chesapeake, VA (and had a wonderful time) which meant that I also had the pleasure of traveling up and down I-95. Why, oh why, is I-95 such a mess? First off, anyone traveling from anywhere north of DC to anywhere south of DC along the east coast (and vice versa) has to use 95. There’s just no other way to go. So it’s always packed full of people, and always slow. It took me 5 hours to get there on Friday afternoon (it should be a little over a 3 hour trip) and 4 and a half to get back on Sunday. And driving wears me out like nothing else. I find it to be a very stressful experience.
I was also exhausted because I had an action-packed weekend. My mom and I got up early on Saturday to go to yoga class together. And my mom bought me a beautiful yoga mat and carrying bag so now I look like a yoga professional 🙂 – she’s the best! Then we went to a local festival where they race rubber ducks in the river (oh small town amusements) and then to a friend’s kid’s birthday party and then out to dinner and drinks with my friends. Then up early again on Sunday for brunch at a wonderful local restaurant, Cotton Southern Bistro which serves farm-to-table locally sourced foods. I’m so proud of all the wonderful food options that are popping up in my hometown! When I got home on Sunday around 5 pm, I made a quick run to the grocery store and unpacked the groceries at home before sitting on the couch to hang out with my cats for a few minutes. The next thing I knew it was 7:30 at night and I was waking up on the couch. That’s when you truly know you’re an adult – when you fall asleep on the couch, and you wake up on the couch. Gone are the days when a parent magically whisked you off to bed. It’s needless to say, Sunday afternoon/evening was not a productive time for me.
So on this [meatless] Monday evening, I was in need of some good old fashioned comfort food. I had planned on just having some spaghetti with marinara but halfway through my work day I remembered I had some potatoes that needed to be used up. One of the side effects of living alone is that there is always something that needs to be “used up” before it goes bad – so that dictates a lot of my cooking decisions. So an epiphany struck me – I could make some homemade hash browns and a fried egg. Breakfast for dinner! Boy that sounded delicious the minute I thought of it! And what’s more comforting than that? So, with the knowledge that I had breakfast for dinner, and a new episode of Game of Thrones waiting for me when I got home, I made myself go to the gym for a run. And let me tell you I did not feel like it. I was exhausted, and I had so much to do around the house. In fact – I had a million canned excuses ready to go about why I couldn’t go for a run. But I made myself do it anyway. I knew that if I let myself get off the hook this time, it would lead to snowballing excuses not to exercise on other days. I just kept saying to myself: “someone busier than you is running right now.”
But once I finished a short 1.5 miles, and at a new record pace for myself, there was cooking to do! I decided to make a straightforward just-potatoes version of hashbrowns but you could easily sauté up other root vegetables with this same recipe: sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, even beets would all be delicious. However, on this dreary Monday – simplicity (and less chopping!) was the name of the game.
– 3-4 small potatoes (I use Yukon gold) or 2 large baking potatoes, cubed
– 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan)
– 2 teaspoons garlic powder
– 2 teaspoons granulated onion
– Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cut whatever potatoes you’re using into small cubes (I actually think cubed potatoes like this are technically called homefries but I’ve always referred to them as hashbrowns) and dry on a paper towel. It’s important to pat the potatoes dry so that they just nice and crispy on the outside! 🙂
When the oil is hot (it should look like it’s rippling slightly), place the potatoes in the oil and season with garlic powder, granulated onion, salt and pepper. Alternatively, you could use chopped onion and garlic. Sauté the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the potatoes are brown and crispy.
I fried the egg in the same pan I had cooked the potatoes in (once the potatoes were finished) to save on dishes.
Now this isn’t exactly the most veggie-rich dinner in the world but it was exactly what I needed – comfort food! To up the veggies, you could sauté in other root vegetables, or even mix in some fresh spinach or other greens. Enjoy! 🙂