Last year, I wrote a post about my relatively limited cooking repertoire, and my desire to expand the number of dishes that I know well enough to not work from a recipe. Now that the cold(er) weather has arrived, I'm more enthused about cooking again. Yesterday afternoon I made pumpkin-ginger pancakes...they were very tasty, and more substantial than regular pancakes, but I still somewhat regretted making them my lunch, which usually happens when I decide to make pancakes for a non-breakfast meal.
In addition to the lasagna and quiche that I noted in the previous post, I now feel comfortable improvising with vegetable soup, stir fry, and polenta. Granted, polenta is probably the only thing on that list that goes at all beyond kitchen basics, but I still consider this a reasonable rate of progress. I've also gotten better at preparing salmon a couple different ways and with different accompaniments. And I've made pad Thai a few times, but I'm still pretty tethered to the recipe. Any suggestions on dishes that are relatively easy/quick to make, and can be varied on the fly to stave off boredom?