What to Eat When It’s 9 p.m. and You Just Got Home From the Barn

Before you eat something you’ll regret, check out these delicious make-it-ahead-of-time dinner ideas from Carla Lake.

From Carla:

We’ve all been there—hightailing it from the 9-to-5 to get to the barn, and by the time everything is done, arriving home sweaty, gross and STARVING. You have to decide: food or shower?

Just kidding. Your family and loved ones can learn to appreciate your barn stank. But seriously, what is there to eat?

  • PB&J
  • Cereal
  • Salad
  • Easy Mac
  • Pasta and sauce from a can (if you’re feeling adventurous)

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet figured out how to make a delicious home-cooked meal appear out of nowhere.

However, I have discovered that soup—and any other recipe that involves little more than putting a bunch of stuff in a pot—is MAGIC. The downside is, you have to plan somewhat—but we horse people are good at that.

So here are a few of my favorite hearty dishes to make on the weekend that really hit the spot when you reheat them after a long day–click on the name of the dish (in blue) to be redirected to the recipe.

Spicy Red Fish Stew: NOM. If the “spicy” description turns you off, don’t worry—this is actually very mild, and if you omit the crushed red pepper, there’s no spiciness at all. Why you would want that is beyond me though, as a little bit of heat adds a really nice aspect to the smoky, rich flavor of the broiled peppers and the lightness of the stew itself. I repeat: NOM. Recipe from Epicurious.

Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup: This is probably the easiest to make of the bunch. Can’t be bothered to blend the soup to make it look all pretty? Me either. Tastes great either way. *Vegetarian*


Image and recipe from BBC Good Food.

Copycat Zuppa Toscana: This one is actually delicious but the recipe is written terribly. Take it from me, ignore steps 1-4 and instead do this: brown the sausage. Remove the sausage. Sauté your onions and garlic. Add chicken broth and potatoes. Follow the rest of the steps as written, then enjoy all week.


Image and recipe from Food.com.

Mushroom Ragù: This dish converted me from being totally grossed out by mushrooms to actually really liking them. Unfortunately it takes the most hands-on time since there’s so much chopping and cheese-grating involved, so I would highly recommend enlisting help. Bad news is you’ll have to share, but on the bright side it makes a TON. *Vegetarian*


Image and recipe from The Atlantic.

Turkey Sausage, Mushroom and Potato Gratin: Just tried this with chorizo this weekend and despite a small incident involving the smoke alarm, I’d give it five stars. I’m sure it tastes great warmed up, but it was devoured so quickly I haven’t had a chance to test.


Image and recipe from MyRecipes.

What’s your favorite post-barn food?

Go Eating.


About the Author

Carla Lake is a financial media editor and a recent convert to dressage from hunterland. She leases an OTTB named Midnight who is an excellent teacher. You can follow their adventures at the Collegial Equestrian blog.





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