Simmer Down

I’m a sauce girl, through and through. Take me to a fancy restaurant and I’m oft-tempted to order the kids’ chicken fingers as a means of tasting every condiment imaginable. Chipotle mayo? Extra, please. Your pumpkin ketchup? Yes a million. Aioli anything? 100%.

Thus, marinades.

I don’t use marinades as marinades in that I don’t offer my kitchen much in the way of brain cells. There’s no pre-planning, pre-simmering, pre-soaking. It is, simply: heat the pot, drop the meat, pour the sauce.

If you’re a fellow flavor fan (alliteration, Amen!), here are a few favorites in my own pantry, most of which can be found at Amazon or Thrive Market:

  1. Tessemae’s Mild Buffalo Sauce
    Truthfully, I have a friend who gifts me this when I’ve had a string of rough days because it’s the clearest way to my heart. Try chopping up a head of cauliflower and some green cabbage, then pour a bit into a skillet and fry away. Delicious.
  2. Tessemae’s Lemon Chesapeake Dressing (Update: Sold Out!)
    This is my go-to for a quick tuna salad lunch. Add arugula, tuna (this is my favorite), and chopped up pickles (these!) with a dash of lemon chesapeake and you’re instantly transported to a sunny seaside cottage in Maine. (Almost.)
  3. Thrive Market Coconut Aminos
    A valid soy sauce replacement, this is the key ingredient in my favorite kale salad ever. Go, go, go.
  4. Annie’s Organic Dijon Mustard
    I’m a believer in mixing dijon mustard with anything at all (hot sauce + dijon mustard on a sausage and egg quiche or white vinegar + dijon mustard on asparagus are two quick favorites), so this one’s a goodie to have on hand when you’re feeling the itch to get experimental in the kitchen.
  5. Primal Kitchen Honey Mustard
    On a busy day, I pour half a bottle of this over a few airline chicken breasts and leave it in the crock pot on low for the afternoon. Add roasted broccoli and a few olives and you’ve got dinner in five.
  6. Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo
    For a crowd-pleaser lunch, I slab a spoonful of this on a few leaves of butter lettuce and wrap up turkey, avocado and red peppers inside. Heirloom chips on the side makes for a delicious pairing.
  7. Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette
    This is the best, no-sugar greek vinaigrette I’ve found to date and it needs little dressing up. Just add lettuce, tomatoes, kalamata olives and banana peppers (and feta, please, if only for me).
  8. Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
    I like to drink my apple cider vinegar with hot water and raw honey, but I’ve heard this alone is the secret to a really mean pulled pork.
  9. Best Boy Co. Brunette Sauce
    This is my favorite marinade for ribs, and it’s ready-made to drizzle all over some baby backs piled in the crock pot on high. Easy peasy!
  10. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
    What can’t you simmer in a delightful balsamic? I’ve yet to find a thing.

And while we’re at it, a few marinade-inspired finds along the way:

Something to stir with / Something to simmer in / Something to read during / Something to splatter on



p.s. Care to add your favorite to the mix? Please share in the comments! (You guys nailed it in the tea department!)

  • Did I miss that you went Paleo? Do you like it? Also – “airline chicken breasts” ???

    • hi jamie! and yes – i LOVE paleo. i’d say i cook/eat 80% paleo (but i certainly don’t adhere to those choices when dining out!). i made the switch while nursing bee as part of an elimination plan to figure out what might be causing her intolerance to my milk. i found so much about the way certain foods made me feel — it was eye-opening! highly recommend if for no other reason than to experiment! :)

      • Sweet! I went vegetarian in October after a vegetarian-based cleanse because my body felt soooo good. Now I’m considering a (maybe) temporary vegan/gluten free lifestyle for elimination-diet reasons but that’s a BIG change even now so I may just start gluten free. Factoring in two other omnivores in my household, we’ll see how it goes.

      • oh goodness, good luck!!! it’s so fascinating (and yet not at all surprising, of course) how much food has the power to affect our lives. i’d love to hear more if/when you steer vegan! :)

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