Let’s face it, people. In the cold days of winter, when it’s hard to get warmed up, there are days when you just don’t feel like cooking. Maybe you only have a thirty-minute window between getting home from work and getting to your son’s basketball game. Perhaps you worked overtime on a special project and walked in the door late and everyone is hungry right now (including you). Or could it be that you’re having a lovely, lazy Sunday, and you just don’t feel like putting the effort in?
Have no fear! Days like these don’t have to send you to the drive-thru. If your kitchen is stocked with some healthy no-cook options, you can still provide your body with nourishing foods at minimal effort.
Tell me more, you say. Don’t mind if I do…
If you peek in our fridge, you’ll almost always find two cartons of eggs. But if your goal is to whip up the scrambled variety, be sure to look at which carton you’re grabbing first—the one labeled “hard-boiled” isn’t going to get you there. We’re always sure to keep hard-boiled eggs on hand because they provide us with the perfect protein whenever we need something quick.
Hard-boiled eggs can become part of a delicious meal in the blink of an eye. Once peeled, the only thing you need to decide is if you want to sprinkle it with a little salt (and pepper, for me) or if you have the wherewithal to mash it in a bowl with some mayo and seasonings for egg salad. Scoop it up with some cucumber slices or celery sticks, and you’ve got a pretty balanced meal right there.
Other no-cook proteins to keep in your pantry include canned wild-caught salmon, tuna, or sardines. In a pinch, your can opener will give you a fantastic start to an uncomplicated meal. You can also slice up some raw milk cheeses for a creamy addition to a platter of high-quality salami and olives…not to mention some painless nourishment.
It’s also worth your time to get in the habit of keeping some peeled and/or sliced veggies at the ready. Then just open the refrigerator and pick which color(s) of the rainbow you want to use for your no-cook meal. Add a package of grape tomatoes to your shopping list, and the only thing you’ll need to do is give them a rinse and pop them in your mouth.
A handsome loaf of sprouted grain bread or whole wheat tortillas can quickly become a sandwich or wrap. Leftover roasted chicken or roast beef, whole grain mustard, crunchy romaine leaves, and slices of prepped-ahead red pepper are a delightful combination that gives you everything you need in a meal. If you have avocados or sprouts, you’ll be adding some nutritious bonuses that will make you want to skip the cooking more often.
I hope I’ve proven to you that you don’t have to eat garbage when you don’t feel like cooking. You have lots of healthy no-cook options to add to your shopping list that will help you be ready for the days when you need them.
What are some of your favorite kitchen staples to fall back on when you don’t feel like cooking?
Image from iStock/AnaBGD.