[Dinner, August 2009.]
Another confession: some Monday nights I’d rather do anything but cook. The weekend’s glow has long since faded, I’ve been up usually since 6.30 a.m., and even if I don’t go for a run after work I’m pretty wiped. Sometimes the last thing I feel like doing is making myself a big dinner.
So I occasionally do what I like to call ‘taking a pass.’ If I’m lucky I’ll have some sort of leftovers (soup, please, or my mom’s good vegetarian chili), or I’ll force myself somehow to put together a salad and a veggie burger, but there are nights when the fridge is nearly bare and so I’ll do what I did last night: make mac and cheese. From a box.
I know! I’m ashamed, too. Granted, it’s some sort of organic nonsense but it’s from a box
Please don’t tell anyone. It can be our secret.
Still it’s me which means it’s never just
from a package. For example, if I have spinach I’ll throw a bit in at the last moment because my poor body cannot bear to go without vegetables even when I’m taking the aforementioned ‘pass.’ Or I’ll chop up a few heirloom tomatoes and saute them first before adding the pasta, butter (!), and dried cheese. Then I’ll stir it all together and sit down with a big bowl to peruse Gourmet — oh, sweet irony! And the whole thing takes about 5 minutes to put together.
(By the way, last night this tasted really, really good. I ate and afterward read on the couch for about three hours. It was a purely decadent evening all ’round.)
Tonight, though, I’ll make up for it. I have beets waiting to be roasted and thrown into a salad, a cauliflower that might take a spin in the oven as well, little green beans that are perfectly perfect and which I should not let linger too long. I have a few more tomatoes and a beautiful patty-pan squash. There is whole-wheat couscous or quinoa that should be put to good use, and I will indeed do so.
Maybe I need these wee breaks every so often to rejuvenate my cooking spirit? For today I feel ready and willing to tackle that pile of vegetables — can hardly wait for it, really.
So tell me: what’s your favorite ‘no-cook’ meal? Confess, please. I won’t tell anyone.
(Small note: I sort-of redeemed myself today with a lunch of leftover many-vegetabled soup with pearl couscous and whole wheat pita with hummus and avocado. And a peach for dessert.)