True confession time: I eat a lot of takeout. And it’s not because I don’t know how to cook, or because I’m a bad cook, it’s because I’m lazy. Really, truly, bone-deep lazy. It’s OK. I’ve made my peace with it.
The trouble is, not only am I lazy, but I’m kind of poor, too. And eating out all the time is freaking expensive. So, I’ve embarked on a journey of discovering things that I can make that are both satisfying enough that I don’t want to run out and order sushi afterwards, but also easy enough that I’ll actually make them. I’ve noticed that convenience is a big thing for me; I like to open the fridge, grab something, and just eat it right then and there. I’m not big on the process of preparation. I’ve discovered that things I can make a lot of and eat for a bunch of meals work pretty well for me. I tend not to get sick of stuff, so I can survive off of the same thing for two dinners and a lunch.
One of the dishes I’ve found that meets all of my criteria is pasta salad. It’s especially good in the summer, when the last thing I want is a hot meal. I’ve made about a zillion variations of pasta salad, but this one is one of my favorites. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare, and I usually get a good couple of meals out of it.
PoM’s Vaguely Greek Lazy Pasta Salad
(All measurements are imprecise, because I’m lazy.)
- Boil water. Dump in a box of tri-color rotini. Set timer for whatever the box tells you to.
- While pasta is cooking, grill or pan-fry some chicken. I like Trader Joe’s frozen chicken breast tenderloins, because they’re small and cook quickly, and also because you can toss them into the pan straight from the freezer without defrosting. I usually use about 5 or 6 of these, which is probably equal to one chicken breast, maybe a little more.
- When pasta is done, drain it and rinse with cold water. Pour into a big bowl; you need a little extra room for mixing.
- Mix together: about a quarter cup of olive oil and a bunch of spices (Trader Joe comes through for me again– I use their 21 Seasoning Salute, which is just a bunch of different kinds of spices). Pour mixture over pasta and mix well.
- Chop up some kalamata olives into small-ish bits (quarters, maybe?). I usually do about half a jar. I love olives.
- Slice grape tomatoes (a pint? Is that how much those plastic containers are?) in half. Add olives and tomatoes to pasta, mix well.
- Add about a cup (or more, if you’re me) of crumbled feta cheese. Mix well.
- Once your chicken is cooked and cooled a little, cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to pasta, mix well.
- Cover your bowl with Saran Wrap and stick it in the fridge.
- CONSUME AND ENJOY.