How To Be Lazy About Cooking And Still Make Dinner

I remember when those long titles were popular They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? or How to Win Friends and Influence People or How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying… You get the point, don’t you? Today is my turn for a short post with one of those long titles.

Lazy Dinner  -- Chicken sauteed with vegetables and pickled lemons

No matter how hard I tried to get inspired today to cook something fun, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  It’s not that I am short on ideas.  In fact, I could present you with at least a dozen of things I really wanted to try some day but never got around to actually trying them.  What I was short on was motivation.  In other words, I got lazy.  When it comes to cooking, it really doesn’t happen to me very often. I can get lazy about cleaning up, washing dishes, making the bed, landscaping that’s long overdue, etc, virtually anything, I have copious amounts of laziness in me… but cooking… Nope. Never! I have to be either really really sick or really really tired. We are talking really really REALLY sick, because last year I cooked up a full-force New Year’s Eve menu just one day after a surgery. I was half dead by the time it was over, but I endured the entire day on my feet with a nice fresh scar in my stomach.

This time I am really really tired.  I just came out of two days of doing every chore imaginable because I fell behind due to crunch time at work. I made up for it by busting my hump in the garden — hauling wood chips in a wheelbarrow, pruning trees, doing mad weeding, and many other things that people usually don’t want to do on their well earned days off.  So today my back and virtually every muscle in my body are not thanking me for my wild gardening and landscaping spree.  I am tired, my arms are shredded by rose thorns, and I am feeling lazy.

But I have to feed the family somehow. So to the kitchen I waddle, trying to think up the easiest dinner possible.  I don’t even know what I am cooking yet, but my hands are already chopping bacon and onions.  Next thing I find is a pack of chicken thighs. Not bad, I think, and continue scavenging.  I find red peppers and a couple dozen of semi-dried grape tomatoes — still good for cooking, though not exactly the salad material, IYKWIM… In the skillet they all go along with garlic, a pinch of Garam Masala and a quartered pickled lemon.  A few minutes later, I toss in a sprig or two of tarragon and the dinner is done.

Kid received a microwaved baked potato with her portion, and I was just happy that cooking didn’t take longer than 15 minutes, so I ate the chicken by itself.  Yay me!

Quick Dinner For When You Are Lazy About Cooking

  • 2 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 1 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3-4 strips each
  • 1/2  bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 20 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 quarters of preserved lemon (optional), cut into thinner strips
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • fresh herbs

Heat the skillet on medium.

Toss in the bacon and cook for a few minutes until fat renders and bacon is golden

Add onions and garlic and saute in bacon fat until fragrant

Add chicken and brown on all sides until no pink is visible

Toss in pepper and tomatoes, add salt and pepper and Garam Masala

Add preserved lemon and all the juice released during cutting it.

Saute on medium, stirring occasionally, until chicken is fully cooked. In the last few minutes, add fresh herbs.

Serve immediately with a side of rice or couscous or potatoes, or nothing at all.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Challenge, Dinner, Main Courses, Quick & Simple, Traditional Nutrition

Author:Eat Already!

I am a cooking and writing addict born and raised in a cosmopolitan city on the Black Sea coast. Currently my interests include, but not limited to gardening, traditional nutrition, raw milk, fermentation techniques, books by Sitchin, Weston A. Price ideas, artisan bread making, anything handcraft, and many other, quite random, things. I believe in making things from scratch, in unpretentious dishes, visually un-altered food esthetics. I believe in reporting on daily cooking endeavors, not just on special occasion dishes. I believe everyone should learn how to cook at home because it's a great way to connect with your loved ones without saying too much, with your heritage without becoming an archivist, and with the world without learning languages...

4 Comments on “How To Be Lazy About Cooking And Still Make Dinner”

  1. February 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    wow. this looks delish!

  2. September 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    This looks delicious. I am out of turkey bacon. I do have some beef summer sausage.I wonder how it would be without the bacon or sausage? What is preserved lemon and garam masala?

    • September 9, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Hello there. Garam masala is a standard Indian spice mix. You can mix it yourself, there are tons of formulas online. Preserved lemon is also very easy, it’s basically lemon, quartered and sprinkled with salt, packed tightly into a jar and kept at room temp for 10-14 days, and then you can store it in a fridge for a long long time. It’s used in Iranian, Moroccan, etc… cuisines.

  3. September 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    I am looking forward to trying those shallots!

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