- Friday, 12 October 2018

Ten Things to Make When You Can't Be Bothered to Cook [Vegan!]

sneak peak: if you feel ill, or tired, or in any way can't be bothered to cook, here are some easy and low-effort meals you can rely on

Ten Things to Make When You Can't Be Bothered to Cook [Vegan!], imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk
I am currently not feeling particularly inspired to cook, and it may have something to do with the fact that I am currently not feeling particularly inspired to do anything other than be a few degrees off horizontal, which may also have something to do with the fact that I am currently feeling very grateful for the hot water bottle on my tummy as I write this.

Nevertheless, girl gotta eat. And what will girl be eatin'? Well, girl be eatin' whatever she can muster up the motivation to make. Sadly, girl will not be eatin' the damn good vegan Good Belly Pizza from last night, when she managed to put away an astonishing 10 slices and still feel great afterwards. The sign of pizza perfection. And now she'll stop talking about herself in the third person because honestly it's a bit weird.

In descending speediness order, with a rogue outlier at the end...

1. veggie burger
approx time: 15-20 minutes
I don't know about you, but I always have a supply of emergency veggie burgers in the freezer. Alongside my emergency peas and emergency bread, they can actually make up a very tasty meal. Depending on the burger, it may take more or less time to cook, but all you have to do is shove it in the oven and wait, and you can sort out the rest of the meal while you do so. Any veg will do for the fresh component, and then you can supplement it with some kind of carb - quinoa will cook in about the same time as the burger, or you could have it in a bagel or a roll, or do some rice on the side (but brown rice will take longer to cook).

2. curry
approx time: 10-20 minutes
One can of coconut milk, one thing of curry paste (yes, 'thing'), and some veggies. The Blue Dragon Thai green curry paste is my all-time fave, and all you need to do is combine the ingredients and wait until the veg is as cooked as you want. Root veg (carrots, parsnips, sweet potato etc.) will take longer than things like courgette, aubergine, mangetout and baby sweetcorn, so just bear that in mind. Have it on its own or with some rice, whatever you feel like.

3. pasta
approx time: 5-15 minutes
If ever there was a food that seems to exist solely to be eaten in copious quantities and line the stomach with carby warmth, it's probably pasta. If you have fresh or fresh-ish pasta, it will cook super quickly; if you have dried pasta it should take around 12 minutes. Cook until al dente (more al dente than you think it should be), stir through some pesto, add some chopped up tomatoes for freshness and you're done. Eat it before it does that weird pasta thing of going cold in the blink of an eye.

4. rice noodles
approx time: 5-10 minutes
Rice noodles are cooked the same way as cous cous, and take about the same time. Pop a nest of vermicelli noodles (the thin ones) into a bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover them, then cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave them to do their thing for five minutes. Meanwhile, prep whatever you want to have with them - defrost some peas, chop up some veggies, whatever you want. If you're so inclined, you can make this a stir fry and chuck whatever you fancy into a frying pan or wok with a splosh of oil on a high heat. After five mins or so when the noodles are ready, drain them and add them to the pan too for just a minute, then serve up with some soy sauce or a dressing of your choice.

5. cous cous
approx time: 5-10 minutes
Like rice noodles, cous cous just needs hot water to cook. Put a large handful or two in a bowl with some herbs and spices (I like using veggie bouillon powder), add water up to the top of the cous cous, cover with a tea towel and wait. Meanwhile, gather whatever you want with it, whether that's just chopping up some tofu, dicing some veggies or chucking some frozen veg in the microwave to steam. When the cous cous has soaked up all the water, add your extras, maybe some sweet chilli sauce, and eat.

6. toast/bagel
approx time: 5 minutes
If anyone tries to tell you that you can't have toast as an evening meal, they are wrong. You can have it whenever you want. From fresh or frozen, lob it in the toaster and wait for that lovely toasty smell. Note: if you're freezing bagels, remember to slice them in half before you do so you can toast them straight from frozen. Top with whatever you have on hand - houmous, pb&j, avocado, vegan cream cheese, chocolate spread, anything goes.

7. soup
approx time: 5 minutes
Fresh soup is delicious, but tinned soup is a storecupboard saviour. If you have fresh in the fridge, ideal - or even in the freezer, just stick it in a pan and wait for it to defrost. If you don't, though (and I usually don't, at least until winter sets in), then keeping an array of tinned soups on hand in case of emergency is a very good idea. Whether you heat it in the microwave (NOT IN THE TIN) or in a pan, it will never take longer than five minutes, and you can bulk it out with some bread or toast if you want some extra stodge.

8. cereal/porridge
approx time: less than 5 minutes
This isn't cheating, it's listening to your body and not pushing yourself. If you're tired, good food will help and is worth a smidgeon of effort, but if you're ill things taste weird and sometimes all you want is something mushy and bland. Cereal, porridge or weetabix will fill this requirement. Add some fruit if you feel up to it.

9. smoothie
approx time: less than 5 minutes
Especially useful if you are feeling ill with a sore throat, a smoothie will slide down easily whilst packing a nutritional punch, too. Don't go buying one from a shop (if you can't be bothered to cook, I doubt you can be bothered to actually leave the house), but throw a combo of fruits and veggies and some sort of liquid together in a smoothie maker (Nutribullet represent) and blend. Try to avoid just loading up with endless sugary fruits - a massive handful of spinach will help, and will impart absolutely no flavour at all. I like a base of spinach, banana, oat milk and protein powder, then jazzed up with whatever I fancy - mango, raspberries, anything goes.

10. Deliveroo
approx time: 20-30? but no effort
This is not strictly 'make', but... absolutely zero energy or motivation but a sizeable appetite and a craving for something specific? Deliveroo (or Uber Eats or Just Eat or whatever other food delivery things there are) has got your back. Hey, if you're anywhere near Holland Park, you could check out Good Belly Pizza, who I wrote a review of yesterday...

Whatever your reason for not being bothered to cook, I hope it resolves itself soon and in the meantime I hope these suggestions are helpful!

Also, when I was looking for a photo for this post, I spent far too long looking at pictures of sleepy, yawny animals, so I thought I may as well just include them all here for your viewing pleasure.

Ten Things to Make When You Can't Be Bothered to Cook [Vegan!], imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk

Ten Things to Make When You Can't Be Bothered to Cook [Vegan!], imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk

Ten Things to Make When You Can't Be Bothered to Cook [Vegan!], imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk

Ten Things to Make When You Can't Be Bothered to Cook [Vegan!], imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk

Ten Things to Make When You Can't Be Bothered to Cook [Vegan!], imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk

- post #13 of 21 in the 21-day challenge -

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