You’ve got a presentation due at work. Kids have tennis practice. Spouse has a meeting. Laundry has turned into a mountain of unwashed and unfolded clothes.
And you realize the leftover pulled pork you were planning on having for dinner has started to add its own flavor.
Sometimes, life can be just hectic.
Whether it’s just a season you find yourself in or the natural rhythm of your lifestyle, There can be a lot on our plate (and we’re not talking about the dinner spread).
While many people find comfort and relaxation in the art of cooking, sometimes you just need something quick. Sure, you’d love to slow stir a risotto after work or roll our own pasta dough in between kids’ transportation needs, it’s sometimes just not feasible. Yet remember that there are certainly times where you can spend time in the kitchen and create a slower dish that may just come with a little bit more appreciation.
But there are other days where you just want to relax and not spend as much time in the kitchen. Whether you just need something quick, don’t feel like exploring new ideas in the kitchen or are prioritizing a “lazy,” restful and relaxing day, there are some great dishes for you.
And keep in mind that these so-called “lazy” days can be so needed and important in your overall lifestyle and health. To persevere in all that you have going on in life, these slower days can be a boost to your energy and mindset. So go ahead, slow down.
When it comes to discovering your go-to dishes for those slow days where you just don’t feel like cooking much, there’s enough versatility to cater to your unique tastes and preferences. As you find recipes and ideas to add to your repertoire for quick and easy dishes, you’ll want to keep some things in mind:
While you may not have to spend as much time in the kitchen preparing a dish, that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice on flavor. In fact, there are so many options for easy dishes that pack in a punch of flavor. Using ingredients like Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oils or Balsamic Vinegars can easily add in flavor without a lot of effort.
If you know you’ve got a busy week ahead, one of the most effective ways to feel prepared with healthy and flavorful options is to meal plan and cook up some ingredients before the week even starts. Have some leftover grilled chicken that you can quickly throw into a salad. Make up a pot of rice to have on hand for a weeknight stir-fry. Having these versatile, foundational components ready to go can cut down on your prep time and make things much easier when you’re in a rush or just don’t feel like cooking.
As with a lot of dishes, you can align the flavors and ingredients to what you have in your fridge or pantry. When trips to the grocery store or grocery delivery orders become more like a mad rush to get the essentials, only to realize you forgot the carton of eggs - again - you can make recipes work for you. Also if you aren’t particularly a fan of a certain ingredient, you can often easily substitute it or leave it out, depending on what you’re making.
Even if you’re in a rush, it’s important to take time to appreciate the food you eat. While food does give us energy and helps us keep going in the day, it can also be something to enjoy and appreciate. Food, after all, is experiential and interactive. Whether you’ve got an hour to eat or just 20 minutes, be mindful of those bites and thankful for the energy it provides.
Whether you’re exhausted from the week and don’t feel like cooking or just simply can’t find the time, you can still eat well. Here we share some of our favorite “lazy day” recipes to help you take a breather in the kitchen and get to relaxing or to your next activity.
Bacon Cheeseburger Salad - A balance of healthy and decadence, this salad is easy to prep ahead of time and quick to throw together. It also involves easy ingredients that you probably already have, so there’s no need to make another trip to the grocery store.
Cheese Quesadilla - There’s a lot of versatility with two tortillas and cheese. Add in some peppers or some sliced leftover chicken and top it off with some jarred salsa for a quick lunch or dinner.
Iron Fish Honey Chicken Salad - Sauté chicken ahead of time to make this an easy and versatile lunchtime favorite. Throw in whatever Mediterranean-inspired veggies you’ve got on hand and top it off with a zesty honey vinaigrette.
Pork Tacos - Toss your leftover pork - or any pulled meat for that matter - in the middle of a tortilla and top it with a slaw or salsa. You’re good to go for a delightful and delicious dinner. This recipe includes an easy mango slaw that works with pre-shredded carrots and cabbage.
Turkey Chili - Soups like chilis and noodle soups are versatile and easy to throw together. And most often, you’ll have leftovers to eat, too. Start with a basic recipe and customize it with what you like and have on hand. Browning up the turkey - or whatever ground meat you have - can also speed up the process.
Roasted Vegetable Frittata - Toss in whatever roasted veggies you’ve got ready in with some eggs. Frittatas like this are easy to customize and make your own. You can also amp up the flavor with an Extra Virgin Olive Oil you’ve got on hand, such as Garlic, Rosemary or Chipotle.
Gruyere, Ham and Pear Panini - Paninis are a versatile grilled sandwich that’s easy and quick to throw together with what you’ve got in your fridge. Combine a cheese, meat and some other veggie or fruit component for a well-balanced bite.
Grilled Panzanella Salad - As a bread-based salad, this savory lunch or dinner option is easy to customize with the veggies and herbs you’ve already got.
Spinach Strawberry Salad - This summer-inspired favorite has some basic ingredients as the salad base but is amped up in flavor with the bright lemon vinaigrette.
Some days, we just need to take a break. Whether it’s after a busy week or you’re just not in the mood to cook, these “lazy day” recipes can be delicious quick fixes to keep you and your family well-fed and healthy. And whether you’re taking a moment to relax or rushing off to the next thing, be sure to take a moment and enjoy what you’re eating, no matter the pace.
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