After I posted my "one day of food" photoset, Eric asked me what sort of cooking I did day-to-day, with a specific eye towards things that are quick, easy to prepare, and healthy. I figured I'd post the information here.
1. Mainly, I use a slow cooker. In about half an hour, you can prepare a stew or chili. Then you leave it cooking for maybe seven hours, and after that, you have meals for the week. This .zip file includes the three crock-pot recipes I use regularly.
2. Salads are easy. You can buy a one-pound box of baby spinach at the grocery. You can fill a Gladware box with craisins and crumbled feta cheese. You can fill a small cruet with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, in whatever proportion you like. Then, to prepare a salad, drop a handful of spinach in the bowl, shake on some of the feta-and-craisins, shake up the cruet, and dribble on some vinaigrette. Easy and quick.
3. The half-assed quasi-frittata is pretty easy. Every week or so, I make up a Gladware box of chopped vegetables. Then, to make the egg dish, I basically make scrambled eggs but neglect to scramble them. I put two eggs in a cup and whisk that for one minute. Then I start 1 tbsp of butter heating on a non-stick skillet, add 2 tbsp of milk to the eggs, and whisk the eggs for another minute. Then I put the eggs in the skillet, add some salt, pepper, and rosemary, and sprinkle in some of the chopped vegetables. Then it's basically a matter of letting it cook for a few minutes, turning it over with a big spatula, and letting it finish.
4. The Yonanas machine is really nice. Every so often, I freeze a couple bunches of bananas (more than that, and you can overload the machine's motor), and run the bananas through the machine with additional ingredients thrown in. I've had good luck with: cherries and mascarpone; strawberries and feta cheese; honey, cinnamon, and mascarpone; cherries and coconut; and peanut butter. You get a big pile of something that looks and tastes like soft-serve ice cream. You can hard-freeze that in Gladware boxes, chop the hard-frozen dessert into cubes, bag the cubes, put them back in the freezer, and have single-serving, healthy desserts for the next couple of weeks. Take a cube out, pop it into the microwave for 15 seconds, and it's ready to serve.
5. That lentils-and-rice thing is my serious, "I am a bachelor and I have given up on cuisine" meal. It tastes nice, though.
That said, I'm keen to hear what other people do when they want to prepare meals in as little time as possible. Seth mentioned he'd had good luck with a countertop grill and chicken breasts, so I should try that. I still need eilanora's fried-rice recipe at some point. For the moment, though, I'm happy with my salads and stews.
Mood: contemplative · Music: none