Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Simple "meals" that are better than starving.

"Baked Beans are not a meal.  
Toast is not a meal.  
Baked beans AND toast?  
That's a meal."
This advice from a friend has really helped lessen the guilt I feel about not having cooking skills.  I just imagine I'm like a twenty-something bachelor living alone instead of a hm..hang on, I kind of fit in that category but I'm female instead of male. 

Some "meals" I can make without falling asleep or losing strength in my limbs and/or neck...

 Baked Beans and Toast
The good thing is that it doesn't really matter in which order I do things.
  • Put beans in bowl
  • Put bread in toaster
  • Microwave beans for 1-2 minutes
  • Toast bread until it pops up
  • Combine beans and toast (and cheese if available)
Baked beans and toast?  
That's a meal.

EasyMac Macaroni Cheese
Reading the directions overwhelms me but luckily I can count to 4.  I just have to remember what the numbers relate to.  The whole time I'm making it I keep counting through from 1 to 4 and I normally check the packet to make sure I have the numbers assigned to the right steps.  I'm writing this not to highlight how demented I am at cooking but because maybe it will help me figure out why I find it so difficult.
  • 1 put macaroni in bowl
  • 2/3 of a cup of cold water in bowl
  • 4 minutes in the microwave
  • put cheese in bowl (I can do that bit without a number because without it I would have Macaroni Water instead of Macaroni Cheese)
Macaroni and Cheese?  
That's a meal.

2 Minute Noodles
Again, the directions seem backwards and they confuse me so I find it easier to think about what I need to do - cover noodles in water and heat.
  • Unlike the EasyMac, this one requires boiling water so I put the kettle on first. Most of the time. Sometimes I forget and have to do it after I've opened the noodle packet.
  • Put noodles in bowl.
  • Cover noodles in water (this avoids the hassle of having to measure a particular amount)
  • Put noodles in microwave (sometimes I forget how long to put them in for until I remember they're called 2 minute noodles and I praise myself for being such a genius)
  • Tip noodles into a strainer then back into the bowl.
  • Add Hoisin Sauce.
Noodles and Hoisin Sauce?  
That's a meal.

I found out recently that spreading butter on frozen bread works better than spreading butter on fresh bread so I don't even need to have fresh bread or defrost frozen bread.  UPDATE: My friend read this and excitedly said "Yeah, I discovered that too." I had to tell her that she was the one who told me.
  • Switch sandwich press on to heat up
  • Butter pieces of bread
  • Slice pieces of tomato
  • Put bread in sandwich press - butter side down
  • Add tomato and cheese
  • Top with bread - butter side up
  • Toast in sandwich press
Toastie with Cheese and Tomato?
That's a meal.

The next one is a bit of a stretch but at least it's green.

Mixed Lettuce
I had used the last of a tomato to make a toastie and at some point I chomped through the remainder of a cucumber so the only fresh food I had was a bag of lettuce.  Fancy lettuce though.  I also had half a lemon.  I'm still convinced that the other half was used to make a salad dressing.  I should really ask my friend how she did that but I had a go because I was feeling adventurous.
  • Cut the crusty edge off the lemon.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice into the bag of lettuce leaves.
  • Add some pepper.  For the record, I added too much pepper.
Mixed Lettuce and Salad Dressing?
That's a meal.

I may have taken the "a AND b equals a meal" theory a little too far with the lettuce but it's certainly a better choice than not eating.

That's a summary of where I'm at.  When I say "I can't cook" or "I don't know how to cook" or "I'm too tired to cook" I actually mean "If I'm not too fatigued I can combine a couple of simple things and follow a couple of simple steps".


  1. My friend said that these are not meals. I am well aware that they are not nutritious, balanced meals - that's kind of the joke - but in order to make myself feel better about not being able to provide for myself, I like to THINK of them as meals so I can feel some sense of pride when I go to so much effort to achieve something a 7 year old can do.

  2. I think your friend is AMAZING.

    And i think she thinks you are too, she was not trying to make you feel bad but her advice was simple and you need to try it at her house soon.

    If you could add chicken and broccoli in the mix to the noodles or mac'n'cheese you'd be all set!!

    p.s AMAZING friend is AMAZING.

  3. I KNOW my friend is amazing but I don't think she understands the extent of this problem.

    Chicken?! Chicken?! I was overwhelmed by broccoli.

    I think I need to figure out why I freak out at having to do numerous steps in sequence. It's a matter of getting my head around it. Oh my gosh, my head is stuck around a chicken!

    I might be able to give it a go at your place with help.