We all have days when we’re lazy with our food. At least that’s what I tell myself when it’s 7 p.m. on a Friday and I am tired and grouchy and desperate to make a meal that takes almost no work, skill, or imagination.
I really like eating. I really like food. I spend more time than is reasonable thinking about food. But it’d be ridiculous to pretend that I am always excited about and up for cooking. Heck yes, cooking is a hobby, but so is hiking, knitting, and reading, and I swear to all that is beautiful and zesty in this earth, if you were to demand that I go on a five mile hike at 5 a.m., I would punch you in the face. There’s a time and place for all things, and this motto does not just apply to mundane things like hiking or body fluids. Oh no, it totally applies to cooking, too.
I mean, sometimes when I just cannot be bothered to GAF (AKA give a fig or some such), I just go out and get this gigantic burrito the size of my forearm at the local taqueria. It’s delicious and so massive that you feel like you really get your money’s worth. Actually, that’s the rub, see. Going out to eat can be expensive and can easily overwhelm my food budget. Ergo, I must supplement burrito-feasts with something a bit more wallet-friendly.
That’s where this little guy comes in. I completely made this recipe up one day when I was hungry and had not gone grocery shopping, so it doesn’t have much of a name, just “Israeli Couscous and Garbanzo Beans.” By the way, I recognize how ironic it is for me to talk about Israeli couscous, a non-Kosher-for-Passover food, during Passover. I am not Jewish, so I welcome being schooled on the subject of kosher foods and Passover, but to prepare this post, I did do some research on the subject of Kosher-for-Passover foods. Some traditions allow the consumption of kitniyot (it’s a category of food, and what constitutes kitniyot varies between communities, but in general, it seems to include corn, legumes, rice, peas, lentils, the works), while others do not. If you can consume kitniyot, try substituting quinoa for the couscous, but be aware that the same mills may be used for both quinoa and wheat flour. Happy Pesach.
So here’s the recipe for those who are still following along:
1 cup Israeli couscous
2 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch cilantro (completely optional ““ there’s a genetic reason for hating cilantro, I know you were Born This Way, so just substitute your favorite herb or ignore all together)
16 oz Garbanzo beans (can or fresh, your call)
Splash of lemon juice (bottle or fresh, your call, I’m not your mother)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne or paprika if you’re feeling bold
Prepare the couscous using vegetable broth instead of water (couscous is a lot like rice in how it’s prepared, by the by). Chop up cilantro and rinse out your beans. When the couscous is done, throw the beans, cilantro, juice, spices, etc in and just stir it up nice. You can let it cool or just dig in then and there, who am I to stop you?
This isn’t gourmet, but it’s tasty and easy as all get out.
What about you? What are your lazy meals?
15 replies on “Lazy Meals: I Am Really Lazy and It Being Friday Just Makes Me Lazier”
Here is my easy meal. My husband and I eat this probably two or three times a week:
Two cans of black beans
Some canned chipotle peppers in sauce
Clove of garlic
Mash or blend until you have a paste. Put in some cheese and salsa. Eat with chips or tortillas.
Feeling a little healthier? Quickly saute or blanch some spinach, slap the spinach + dip in a tortilla, fry it up, and call it a quesadilla.
Fettucine or angel hair, cooked al dente. Mix with carmelized onions, lightly sauteed garlic and broccoli, a tsp of pesto and tons of parmesan. If I’m feeling really fancy I’ll add some sauteed quorn chicken pieces, too.
Years ago, my friend linked to this on her blog and it has been a staple in my kitchen ever since: Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less
It’s from the New York Times which is behind a paywall now, but I guess they’re not prohibiting their older content, because I can see it just fine. Too lazy to cook means too lazy to investigate current NYT online subscription policies for back issues.
YAY lazy food! If we have time but no energy, I chop up a bell pepper and some walnuts, slice a large sweet potato or two into 1″ medallions, roast the sweet potatoes on an olive oil-coated cookie sheet at 425 for 40 min. (flipping halfway through), and then cover them in the bell peppers, walnuts, and some crumbled goat cheese. DELICIOUS. If we have no time OR energy, I make homemade egg [mc]muffins – we get vegetarian sausage patties, fry up a couple of eggs, toast the english muffins, and toss on a slice of cheese if we’re feeling really naughty. Works every time.
My housemate taught me an Easy-Mac variation that is amazing and easy (and unhealthy).
Any type of pasta, cooked and then thrown back in the saucepan, mixed with a tablespoon of Nuttelex, a few chopped spring onions, a heap of garlic powder and grated parmesan cheese. So good.
If I’m out of groceries, I just google a list whatever ingredients I have in the cupboard until I find something that combines them. That’s how I discovered tuna and tomato cannelloni (not really a lazy meal, but really tasty and it only used things I already had!)
so I’ve looked it up… but is Nuttelex just margarine? Can I use butter or olive oil? I can handle this recipe :)
Chicken thigh meat sliced into bite sized pieces, very thinly sliced strips of onions, both sauteed with canola oil. Splash of soy sauce, maybe a pinch of sugar while sauteeing. Eat with rice. Add my cheating Chinese pickles listed below and you have a Chinese dinner.
My favorite lazy meal is cheesy rice. I cook brown rice in vegetable broth and melt some shredded cheese over it. It’s yummy and filling and easy!
That reminds me when I want to make ~fancy mac’n’cheese~ for the son, I use pretty pasta, diced ham, and sprinkle shaved cheese on top. Boxed fake cheese mix forever in our house.
Mmmm I want to try your recipe, cilantro and all. Looks good.
My go-to quick recipe is this soup. I warm some olive oil in a sauce pan (maybe with some chopped garlic), then I add equal amounts canned chickpeas and canned diced tomatoes (usually one 14 oz can of each if it’s just me). I bring this mixture to a boil, which doesn’t take long, then turn down the heat, add a bunch of spinach, and cook for a couple more minutes. During these final minutes, I toast a piece of bread to dip in the soup. Start to finish in 15 minutes.
Yum, that sounds good.
I have a cheating Chinese soup. Chicken broth, then add strips of chicken (pre cut if you can afford it budget wise), with some ramen noodles or long, thin pasta, and bok choy leaves (whole not cut). Add a splash of sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Sounds tasty :)
My favorite “I don’t GAF” snack is sliced cucumbers with garlic salt. You peel a cuke, slice it and sprinkle with garlic salt. Leave it for a minute so the salt dissolves and you have a light, refreshing snack that is kind of like a pickle, but not.
I slice cucumbers, squeeze lemon juice over them and salt them. CONSUME AND ENJOY.
Om nom cucumbers, I’m with you two on this. Here’s a Chinese twist: slice thin cucumber coins after you’ve removed the peels. English cukes don’t need peeling. Sprinkle salt and add a splash of sesame oil. Mix then eat. If you refrigerate for 20-30 minutes then the flavor sets in. Impress everyone with these cheating Chinese pickles.