What to cook when you don't have time to cook

People. I owe you some awesome recipes! But I’m about to go work at a week-long event, and thus I am lucky to be eating anything that doesn’t come out of a bag.

We will be back to our regularly scheduled posting in June, but in the meantime, I bet I’m not the only one with this problem, so here’s what I eat when I can’t get it together to make anything blog-worthy.

1. Pasta plus green vegetable
I use broccoli most often, but have used asparagus and snow peas a lot too. You prepare the vegetable in little pieces (chop asparagus, halve peas, floret broccoli) and boil a pot of water. Add your pasta, and a minute or two before it’s done, throw in the vegetable and let it cook along with the pasta. Drain the whole thing and eat with pesto or stir in goat cheese thinned with a little olive oil. (I’ll post a real recipe for a fancier version of this last one as soon as I get a reasonable picture!)

2. Lentils
You can cook lentils in 20-30 minutes, and then keep them in the fridge. I eat them most often with goat cheese or feta crumbled on top; they’re also awesome with sliced or shredded carrots mixed in and vinaigrette. If you’re really pressed for time, you can buy cans or vacuum packs of pre-cooked lentils, a bottle of salad dressing, and a bag of pre-shredded carrots. I won’t tell anyone.

3. Black beans
Put a can of them in a skillet with half a jar of salsa and cook them over medium until the liquid that seeps off the salsa is gone. Eat it with tortilla chips or over couscous. Throw avocado on top if you have it. This is somehow three times as awesome as the sum of its parts.

When I get back, I’m going to be reunited with my chest freezer (which has been on a little sabbatical at my parents’ house while room was made for it at my current house), so there will be some posts on the best way to solve the too-busy-to-cook problem: stashing frozen pre-cooked meals!

While I’m gone, tell me about what would be helpful: what kinds of recipes are you looking for? What cooking task intimidates you? What keeps you from cooking as much as you’d like? I’ll see if I can think of helpful things!

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