I know that in the past, I have talked high and mighty about the need for prepared meals in the life of any given family. Meals shouldn’t come out of a box or a bag (specifically tv dinners or anything with the word ‘helper’ after it).
The day will come, Dear Reader, when you can give no fucks about preparing food. You could be short on time. You could have had a bad day (or week). The people you are preparing said food for could be a real bunch of assholes about what you have made in the past. You could just simply be out of steam.
The point is, is that it’s ok, to reach for that which you have been avoiding with respect to the menu your personal kitchen produces (as long as you make it your own).
On occasion, I will do this quite simply because I can. Preparing meals is really difficult when you are doing so with the intent of people actually eating the food you put in front of them instead of just moving it around on their plate or whining about any given facet of the meal. In short, it’s a nice little break you can give yourself. Me? I try to do it at least once a week.
My answer to the dilemma of ‘making it my own’ is to throw in so many goddamn vegetables that not only am I changing the very nature of whatever package I’m working with, but also I’m ensuring that leftovers will result.
Leftovers are good. They are your friend. They will be there when you don’t know what to make those ingrates for lunch.
The trick with veg-ifying Ramen, is to leave everything in the pot for as long as possible. In doing so, the noodles, veg, and whatever else you may want to throw (Chicken or shrimp works in this instance. Personally I throw the chicken in the bowl prior to serving. Throw it in the pot and it’s liable to disintergrate on you) in their sucks up the boullioned water thereby ensuring maximum flavor output.
A word to the wise: Ramen leftovers are shit after a day. If you’re not having it for breakfast or lunch, don’t bother.
Don’t want to fuck with Ramen? I can’t blame you. You can achieve the same goal with that ‘american classic’, macaroni and cheese.
Mac & Cheese is a versatile staple. You can throw anything in it and it will come out ok. Hot dogs, tuna and peas, bacon & broccoli: whatever you want. You’re the one eating it.
On a personal note, through a lot of trial and error (because I live with some picky sons of bitches) I have landed on a solid combination.
This combo produces empty plates, consistently, in record time.
In closing, preparing food is great because you are keeping the best interests of your family in mind, but sometimes you just need to take a goddamn break.
Have a cheater meal that is your go to? Don’t be shy: share it in the comments, mang!