If you’re anything like me, you love a cozy Saturday afternoon. I’m talking—wrapped in a faux-fur blanket, mug of earl gray in my hand, Harry Potter movie marathon on in the background as you scroll through Pinterest—cozy. I relish these afternoons. Especially this time of year, I feel like a good meal and a relaxing Saturday afternoon can keep me zen enough to avoid a holiday meltdown.
The only thing that can break my zen is hanger. When I am both hungry and angry that I have to make myself food. That’s why it’s so important for me to have a few quick, filling, and warm meals in my weekend arsenal. Recipes like Frankie’s Butternut Squash Soup, Ginger Bok Choy, or Thai Tofu Curry save my tush when I’m cozy on the couch.
Just this past weekend I was working on my holiday cards, enjoying my afternoon tea when I started to wonder what I was going to tackle for dinner. Pinterest scrolling will do that to you.
I considered the options: I could order take out Thai from my favorite place down the street (hello GrubHub), or I could see what we had in the pantry. After at least two deep sighs, I rolled myself out of my fuzzy cocoon and lazily scanned the pantry and my fridge. I knew I should at least look before hitting the automatic reorder button.
But looking in your fridge can feel like looking at a full wardrobe and having nothing to wear – you know you could find something, but you really just don’t want to. So then of course I start mentally scanning through my “I have no food” go-to recipes.
My secret favorite food recipe Rolodex includes: KRAFT Mac n’ Cheese, grilled cheese, just cheese by itself folded into squares to look fancy, PB&J toast, pasta, and of course a bag of Doritos. Cool Ranch.
Don’t lie – you have the same list in your head. Yours might include hot dogs or maybe you like Velveeta mac n’ cheese instead of Kraft (you’re wrong, but it’s fine). You go to these recipes because they’re easy and you like them.
But then, even if you make your secret favorite foods, you’re still hungry. So you do the whole song and dance all over again. Walk to the fridge. Say out loud “I have NOTHING to eat”. Open pantry several times in a row. Eat one more grilled cheese. Still hungry.
This is the endless cycle I found myself in on that cozy Saturday afternoon . “I was so close to making my favorite mac n’ cheese with 6 pads of butter. But then I noticed the carrots, bell peppers, and mushrooms sitting hopelessly in my vegetable drawer. I always keep my pantry stocked with chili staples, so I was well prepared to put a meal together.
I knew from previous experience that I had all the fixings for this Vegan Vegetable Chili. I put the Kraft box down, knowing that I had what I needed to make a bonafide meal. I popped the ingredients in my cast iron pot and let them simmer.
The recipe made more than enough to serve the hubs and I. I felt like I had nourished my body and I really loved dinner. I was even able to coast on the leftovers until my grocery haul the following day, which was perfect for my cozy Saturday afternoon plans.
What I learned from this experience (and the easiest way to get yourself out of the secret favorite food twilight-zone cycle) is to do yourself a favor and make one of these easy one-pot recipes when you’re reaching for a “quick fix”. That way, later when you’re hungry, pressed for time, or you don’t want to leave the warmth of your home, you know exactly what to whip up for dinner!
I’m just like you. My life can be hectic and cooking, cleaning and getting that workout in are sometimes the last thing on my mind. But, I’m here to share my tips and tricks on how to make adulting a little more enjoyable.