Do It Yourself: Fake It ’til You Make It

This took five minutes.

I’ve been feeling a bit lazy since I returned from the East Coast. Too lazy to blog about my trip. Too lazy to cook things that take more work than simple heating.

But I really like to eat a meal that SEEMS like I spent time cooking it (I’m trying to use Lean Cuisines as a last resort). And I especially like to be able to bring leftovers for work. Thus… I have been relying on short cuts. (These are also good cooking-for-one solutions.)

Before my trip, I had been planning on using my new food processor to MAKE hummus and falafel from scratch. But since the lazy struck, I leaned heavily on my friend Trader Joe. I happen to love their Indian food line, so my lazy Sunday lunch was an international affair.

Falafel with an Indian twist.

That’s Trader Joe’s pre-cooked, frozen falafel and pre-packaged hummus,  paired with Trader Joe’s tandoori naan (subbing in for pita) and raita (a cucumber-yogurt sauce that I’ve been using on everything this week). The most work I did was the pretty layout (and slicing the tomatoes). But my stomach doesn’t know the difference!

For dinner last night, I wanted to “make” something that would give me a few days of leftovers. I turned to Albertson’s for my main ingredient: a pre-made rotisserie chicken– or as Sam calls it, roto-chicken. (Buying pre-cooked chicken is really a Sam trick… I’m stealing his signature moves). (Like a true New Englander, he makes broth out of the carcass… I don’t have a pot that big.)


You’ll note that I paired it with Near East’s 5-minute couscous. In the time that the couscous cooked, I made a quick salad and sliced the chicken. Multi-tasking! (Picture at the top…  after I took the photo, I covered the chicken in raita.)

And most important of all… leftovers accomplished!

I'm eating this as I type.

So… I made the leap from frozen meals to legit(ish) cooking, and now I’m somewhere in between. I think I’ll be inspired to cook again soon… I just need to get back into a rhythm.

But in the meantime… I’m eating all right. As long as I have salad and raita in the fridge, I can work something out.

What are your easy-cooking tricks?


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