Everyone has days when they just can't face the kitchen: after a long day at work, a long day with the kids, or when you are feeling too lazy to put any effort into cooking. But you can make many meals that require little effort beyond putting a pot on the stove or eggs in a skillet. Your appetite will be satisfied and you can relax or get back to your favorite TV show in no time.
Pasta is versatile, and you can make a lot of different but nearly effortless meals. Spaghetti is yummy, and if you use angel hair pasta, it is extra quick. Heat the spaghetti sauce in a bowl in the microwave. Or, cook some elbow macaroni, put it back in the pot after you drain it and mix in an egg. Turn the heat on low until you can see the egg is cooked. Macaroni and cheese is also a good option. Melt the cheese in the microwave. You can even cut up a couple of hot dogs and heat them up with the cheese to add protein. After you drain the macaroni and it is back in the pot, pour the melted cheese over it and mix. Add a packet of dip mix or seasoning mix for a flavor treat without the effort of combining individual herbs and spices. To be a little healthier without taking up any additional time, use whole-wheat or multigrain pasta.
Scrambled, fried or omelet style, eggs cook faster than almost anything else, so they are perfect for those lazy days. An average of one egg a day provides a wealth of nutrients. To easily enhance eggs of any style, add shredded cheese or presliced mushrooms. Pop an English muffin or a couple of pieces of bread into the toaster and a couple of pieces of bacon or turkey bacon into the microwave and you have an easy meal that will keep you full until the next one.
Soup and Sandwich
Not just for dreary days, but also for lazy days, soup and a sandwich can hit the spot. Powdered soups take longer and require stirring, but you can heat canned soups in the microwave, or boil some ramen in the same amount of time. Pair it with grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly and you have some no-effort comfort food. If you are feeling a little more energetic, open a can of chicken, shred it with a fork and stir in some mayo to make a chicken salad sandwich to go along with your soup. You can make a tuna sandwich instead, but use canned light tuna, which contains less mercury.
Hamburgers and Hot Dogs
Hamburgers do not take long to cook in a skillet and hot dogs are easy to put in the microwave. For the sake of ease and time, use frozen hamburger patties. Eat your hamburger or hot dog with baby carrots and ranch dressing. And, if you do not mind doing two things at once, mix up some macaroni and cheese on the side.
Nothing is more perfect than leftovers when you are feeling too lazy to cook. Think ahead and make extra on the nights you are not lazy. You will be glad for it later, when all you have to do is heat leftover roast beef and mashed potatoes in the microwave. Add bagged salad and creamy dressing, and you have a quick, easy, well-balanced meal.
Based in Arizona, Kira Jaines writes health/fitness and travel articles, volunteers with Learning Ally and travels throughout the Southwest. She has more than 16 years of experience in transcribing and editing medical reports. Jaines holds a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications and journalism from Northern Arizona University.
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