Last weekend, I got to play at being a single lady, since Jeff was off on a boy’s trip to Vegas for a few days. And by playing at being a single lady, I mean making meals for one. Alas, I was a very busy single lady, so I didn’t want my cooking to involve much cooking. That didn’t mean I threw nutrition to the wind and ordered pizza, oh no. I ate very simply, nutritiously and deliciously. Here’s how it went down:
- Saturday morning: Make microwaved oatmeal with egg (takes about five minutes to prep and cook) before heading off to assist with Food For Fertility.
- Saturday, noonish: Arrive home hungry. Put a piece of Squirrelly bread in the toaster oven. Put some tomato-red pepper soup in a small pot to heat. Meanwhile, mix one can of tuna with enough mayo just to bind it, then stir in some capers, salt and pepper and granulated garlic. Serve about 1/3 of the tuna salad on the toast, enjoy with soup. Before eating, preheat oven to 350 degrees.After lunch, refrigerate rest of tuna (lefovers!), put two chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper, into the oven to bake. Put six eggs into my steamer/rice cooker to hardboil. Set timer on steamer for 35 minutes. When the eggs are done, the chicken will be done, too. Start working on my end-of-term to-do list.
- Saturday, late afternoon: Hunger hits. Quickly make a gignormous green salad with 1/2 of one of the chicken breasts, hummus, avocado, feta, grape tomatoes.
- Saturday evening: Go to Activyst launch party in Belltown. The mini tacos being served look yummy, but I’m not hungry. Enjoy some red wine.
- Sunday morning: Start with coffee and a smoothie. Later, make steel cut oatmeal (the kind that takes a while to make. Eat 1/4, refrigerate rest. Head upstairs to office to work like a maniac.
- Sunday noonish: Golden retriever starts staring at me beseechingly. Sun is shining. Take dog for long walk. Arrive home hungry, toast a piece of Squirrelly, toss some mixed greens with olive oil and vinaigrette and top with a bit of blue cheese. Mash one of Saturday’s hard-boiled eggs with a little Dijon mustard, mayo, capers, pepper and smoked paprika. Spread on toast. Enjoy. Make a cup of tea and head upstairs to office to work like a maniac.
- Sunday mid-afternoon: Feeling peckish. Eat an orange with a little cottage cheese for some protein. Reconsider earlier notion to have pasta for dinner, roast some sweet potatoes instead. Pour a glass of water and head upstairs to office to work like a maniac.
- Sunday evening: Brain is broken, stomach is hungry. Mix leftover roasted Brussels sprouts with half a cubed chicken breast, heat in microwave, stir in a bit of jarred pesto (not as good as homemade, but a useful refrigerator staple nonetheless) and top with freshly grated Parmesan and fresh ground pepper. Serve with a small tossed salad and half a small sweet potato (I actually served myself the whole potato but started to get full…mindful eating in action!) Pour a nice dark beer (it was St. Patrick’s Day, after all) and cue up a DVD from the library (“The Deep Blue Sea,” starring Rachel Weisz…it was pretty good, but having seen “The Avengers,” I had trouble not seeing her leading man as Loki).
- Monday morning: Drink coffee, heat up bowl of leftover steel cut oatmeal with a little milk. Enjoy before heading up to my office to work like a maniac.
- Monday, 11:20 a.m.: Learn about last minute conference call at noon, just as I was about to take a break to walk the dog. Eat a banana to stave off hunger.
- Monday, 12:15: Take dog for walk, arrive home hungry. Make another gignormous green salad, exactly like Saturday’s early dinner salad, and eat the half of the sweet potato I was too full for Sunday night. Go back upstairs to office to work like a maniac.
- Monday, 5ish: Sort of hungry, and need to eat something before leaving in an hour to give a wellness talk, but nerves are making me not want to eat a lot. Leftover tuna salad sounds really good. While Squirrelly toasts, I make a small green salad to go with the open-faced sandwich. Viva la leftovers!
- Monday, 8:30: Back home with Jeff in tow (I picked him up at the light rail station). He’s starving, and makes a sandwich with the rest of the leftover tuna salad. He has a green salad on the side, because the boy likes his leafy greens. I’m a little hungry, so I have a small salad with some hummus. We both have a glass of red wine.
- Tuesday morning: Two servings of leftover steel cut oatmeal left, two servings down the hatch!
- Tuesday lunchtime: I enjoy a gignormous brownbagged salad exactly like the Saturday and Monday salads, using up the last half of chicken breast.
Over those 3+ days, I ate very well with very little prep time. There was a lot of repetition, but chicken and tuna are not on the menu for the rest of the week, so it’s not like I have to worry about getting tired of them. And I still have hard boiled eggs on hand for snacks or impromptu egg salad sandwiches.
I love to cook, but I don’t love to cook when it’s crunch time. That’s why I appreciate that I can easily assemble tasty, healthful meals from a combination of whole food and minimally processed ingredients. It helps that I keep a fully stocked pantry (one could argue that it’s a bit overstocked…) and make sure that I always have fresh salad greens, other veggies and fruit on hand.
I don’t do “what I ate” posts as much as I once did, mostly because I don’t have time to cook as much as I once did. But I decided to do this post because it exemplifies something I truly believe: You don’t have to know how to cook to be able to feed yourself well at home!