Instant Gratification-role

Sometimes, you want to just give your family twenty bucks and send them to Pizza Hut. At the same time, you aren’t angry with your family…this time…and you still want them to eat well and avoid whatever monstrosity their poor judgement would lead them to. You just really don’t want to cook again. Today was one of those days.

Now, don’t get me wrong readers, I love cooking for my family. It’s not uncommon here to eat three hot meals a day, if I have the time. Food is a priority in my house, and I try my best to create the time necessary to make sure we get to eat a few special meals, even if it’s just me for the night. But damn it all to hell if I don’t live in that kitchen most days, and the idea of cooking AND washing dishes sounded awful.

This morning, I solved the problem with peanut butter toast and fruit.

Time spent in the kitchen: 5 minutes (including coffee)

For lunch Ollie and I had fruit, veggies, and peanut butter sandwiches.

Time spent in kitchen: 7 minutes. Peanut butter ingested: Probably too much.

Dinner was trickier. I knew my family wouldn’t go for any more peanut butter and I really wasn’t up for the drive to Loving Hut or Northstar. (Northstar is a local place, but you might have a Loving Hut nearby. It’s yummy, but I’m not going to lie, the owner might be a cult leader, we’re not sure.) At the same time, the idea of hanging out in my kitchen for an hour meticulously cooking god knows what just to give them a nutritious meal just sucked. I could not get behind getting behind my oven today. Call it late onset feminism.

Back in the old days, I’d have solved this problem by dumping some cream of mushroom soup on some rice and veggies, throwing in a cup of cheese, and calling it a day. We don’t do that any more, and you shouldn’t either. I needed an equally quick casserole that wasn’t going to cause us horrible pain upon leaving our bodies (cheese makes you constipated, it’s a poop joke), I needed some healthy Instant Gratification-role.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Time in the kitchen: 20 minutes.

Before I tell you the recipe, let me just say this–I wrote this purposefully with the intention of you being able to change it. Want to use dairy cheese and milk? Go ahead, if you need to. Don’t have nutritional yeast? Swap if for Parmesan cheese or just skip it. Use whatever kind of beans you want OR use crumbled tempeh or tofu. Skip the zucchini and chop up some broccoli or peas. Seriously–add whatever you want. This is like a really, really awesome dress. You can pair it with whatever sweaters or jewelry you feel like wearing and it will always be great.

Anyway, enough stupid similes.

Instant Gratification-role
2 cups rice, cooked (use broth instead of water)
1 15 oz cans of black eyed peas
1 zucchini, diced
1/4 cup non dairy milk
1/2 cup non dairy cheddar style cheese (I used Daiya, but Vegan Gourmet is pretty good too. Buy whatever is cheap.)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Ok, pay close attention to all the instructions because this is going to get tricky. Put all of those ingredients in a bowl. Mix them. Put it in a casserole dish or individual ramekins (if you’re fancy). Bake for about 15 minutes.

Give it to the ingrates.
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

And savor. You’ve earned it. After all, it took you a whole twenty minutes to make. 🙂
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

It’s cheesy, it’s warm, it’s comforting and it’s simple. It’s everything a casserole should be and what’s more–it’s healthy! Hopefully this will get dinner on your plate sooner and your ass out of the kitchen.

Because damn, I spend too much time in there.


3 responses »

    • Thanks! The best thing about this one is you can make it out of pretty well anything you have in your cabinets. In this house, we’re lucky if we have fake cheese, so usually I just mash the beans a bit to make it creamy. In general, you can’t go wrong with beans and rice, right? Remind me to make bean soup this week, ok? 🙂

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