Every cook has them: the meals we turn to when we are busy, sad, stressed, or just too damn lazy to cook a real dinner. But what is a real dinner anyway? In the midst of a bustling week, sometimes there is nothing more dependable, more real, than sitting down and eating a simple, satisfying meal that you managed to pull together in under 15 minutes. Here are my five favorite ways to feed myself well with almost no work.
(Not mentioned — because I eat them with pretty much every meal below — eggs! They are a staple of my almost-no-work meal repertoire.)
Anything With an Avocado
Stuff it, mash it, slice it — whatever you do, an avocado transforms any mishmash of ingredients into a more filling and infinitely more delicious meal.
Anything With a Roasted Sweet Potato Roast a few sweet potatoes
over the weekend and keep them in the refrigerator for quick meals throughout the week. You can top them with salad, leftover meat, cooked greens, a poached egg, or a scoop of Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
A Ploughman's Lunch
Cheese, meat, pickles and a hunk of bread or crackers makes a fine lunch — but it works as a simple supper too! Olives, dried fruit, hard-boiled eggs and flavorful greens like arugula are a few more of the many options for this easy, adaptable meal.
Miso Soup with Rice & Poached Egg
Rice (or Other Grain) Porridge
If you have leftover cooked rice or other grains like quinoa, it takes just a few minutes to turn those leftovers into a warm, comforting porridge or soup. Add some protein in the form of tofu, leftover cooked meat or an egg, and some quick-cooking greens like baby spinach and you have a satisfying meal in minutes.
→ Miso Soup with Rice & Poached Egg (Use store-bought chicken or vegetable stock for a quicker meal.)
→ Brown Rice Congee with Shiitake Mushrooms and Greens (Use leftover cooked rice instead of cooking it from scratch.)
Anything on Toast
Is there anything that doesn't taste better on a piece of warm, chewy, freshly-toasted bread? You can call it an open-faced sandwich or a tartine, if you like. We just call it one of the easiest meals you can make.
What are your favorite almost-no-work meals?
This post was requested by mandarinmarie for Reader Request Week 2013.
(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)