These days, I am all for quick, easy and no-fuss meals because I have so many other things to do. I have to cook two meals now and can easily end up in the kitchen all day long if I get carried away. Even though I still love to cook, I do not want to spend the whole day in the kitchen. Hence, the brain is constantly thinking of simple dishes, easy meals that do not involve heating up plastic packets in the microwave over or opening up cans (I am still conscious of nutritional value, you see).
What happened to my meal plan, you may ask. Well, it is now defunct. It was designed for when we had a maid. The maid could spend a long time in the kitchen cooking up complicated stuff and then cleaning up after that. But now that we don’t have a maid, the mantra is ‘Simplify, Simplify, Simplify’.
Usually, lunch is really simple. As I mentioned in Coping with Two, I cook more for dinner so that I can have leftovers for lunch the next day. I am still doing this most of the time but with more people in the family now, sometimes, it is necessary to cook lunch from scratch. When I was about the one person eating lunch in the past, I basically settled for very simple stuff (often times not very healthy), or buy back. Now that all the kids are big enough to eat normal food, I have to make sure they eat proper meals. So I do quick stuff like stir-fry leafy greens (e.g. spinach) – only need to trim and wash – and pan-fry a slice of fish. Or I steam something.
So here are some of my ideas for very easy, quick and fuss-free meals.
Quick, Easy, Minimal Fuss Meals/Dishes
1. Yong Tau Foo Soup
– Eaten with Rice or noodles.
– Plain, eaten with simple dishes
– Flavoured, e.g. pork or chicken porridge, eaten on its own.
3. Noodle Soup
4. Fried Noodles/Rice
– These can range from very simple to very elaborate. Of course, go for simplicity if you are short on time.
5. Simple stir-fry greens
– Without many other ingredients. Just plain stir-fry.
6. Steamed dishes
– Egg, fish, minced meat. Minimal preparation required.
-Although it may take a bit of preparation, it is usual a meal in itself.
8. Oven-baked stuff
– Usually preparation only involves throwing ingredients together in an oven-proof dish.
-E.g Baked Rice
As I think of more idea, I will add on to this list. I will also be adding recipes to the Quick Meals section. Many of my quick meals are highly dependent on the availability of stock. I mentioned before that I always have stock in the fridge. If you do not have homemade stock at home, and you are not fussy about using packet/can stock, by all means, use them, although I highly recommend that you take some time, perhaps on a weekend, to cook up a big pot to freeze. When using packet stock, do read the labels and buy the ones with the least artificial additives. And please, do not use bullion cubes or stock powder. The taste is just too artificial and they have more artificial stuff in them.