6 auto-pilot meals for when you don’t feel like cooking
It happens to everyone. You come home from work and your brain is fried. You struggle to pour a glass of water, let alone coordinate dinner. While takeaway can fill the void, here are 6 auto-pilot meals I can make for when I’m tired and need a simple dinner for my family.
I don’t know about you, but a takeaway meal has rarely left me feeling shiny, bright, inspired and in a better state than how I felt before I made the decision to get it.
Is there anything wrong with every now and then lazy takeaway?
When I know better, it’s a 50% yes and 50% no for me.
Dining out can be a beautiful experience, accessing other cultures or even experiencing the thought process behind a creative chefs brain.
This differs from the takeaway up the road. Especially when a throw away $50 weekly takeaway meal is justified, but an $80 once a month 60 minute massage is not.
Or buying that $49 ebook that you’ve had your eye on, for months.
Or those eco-tins that would replace your old saggy tupperware containers that have really had it.
So, I boobytrap. I make my favourite delicious ingredients available, so even when I’m tired, I can have dinner ready fairly quickly and it’s going to meet our needs (cravings) for the night.
I’ll add special ingredients that I know will win us over, it doesn’t take much – usually in the form of sheep’s haloumi or some roasted potatoes.
So the question is – what’s ‘better’
On one hand: a bowl of roasted potatoes, cooked in coconut oil or ghee with spices, salt and pepper. Usually once I’ve done that, I’ve found my groove and there’ll be a side of sauteed greens or a quick salad.
On the other: takeaway with an unbeknownst amount of additional sugar, salt, gnarly vegetable oils, cooked by someone who most likely doesn’t really want to be there.
I know what I’d choose.
Here are 6 of my auto-pilot meals
My tip: take these and make them. Then, make them again and again.
Soon enough, they’ll be engrained in your brain, you’ll be comfy with them and start freestyling too with what is in your pantry/fridge.
I also make a point of always having in my pantry: oil, salt, pepper, brown basmati rice, coconut milk, curry paste and potato. So I know, Lazy Lou is covered for these times.
Meal #1: The Gammo’s Yellow Rice
This yellow rice recipe was passed onto me from my friend Gloria’s mum.
Hers is a little different with saffron. I used turmeric and love to add things like onion, carrot, brown mustard seeds and fennel seeds.
It’s amazing what a simple rice dish can do to elevate a meal.
I talk about this recipe more and how to use it in my free guide – Get Your Shit Together. It’s a guide I made to begin organising your self in the kitchen with a small meal prep ritual. Check it out.
Meal #2: Pumpkin Haloumi Salad
If love to roast a tray of veggies and you have a chunk of haloumi… you’re pretty much done with this easy recipe.
Add a squeeze of lemon, olive oil, fresh herbs and pepper. Done done done.
In summer – I love to add fresh fruit like nectarine or peaches. Oh my, it’s the perfect balance of salty meets sweet.
It’d also work if you had sweet potato, beetroot, cauliflower. I love how versatile this recipe can be.
Meal #3: Go-to Curry
I love a curry as a quick meal option. Pair with The Gammo’s yellow rice for an extra special meal.
Onions, garlic, ginger, an epic curry paste, coconut cream, veggies, meat. You’re done.
Serve with rice or flatbreads (if you have the energy or a batch of dough in the freezer).
I love buying unique curry pastes that are instant flavour. I store them in my pantry for times like this when my energy is low and I want a good meal. An epic curry paste will do all the heavy lifting for you. So it’s a lazy meal x 1 million. Church farm is a favourite brand of mine, which I can buy through my Ooooby delivery box. I talk about Ooooby here.
Crunchy roasted potatoes and dip (like this roasted eggplant dip) is in my opinion and banger meal. If I want some more ‘health’, I’ll add a scoop or 2 of kimchi for good probiotics.
What I love about this meal is that the oven is heating while you’re chopping your potatoes.
These days, I like to use tallow as my fat source (instead of olive oil) which is heat stable. This means I can crank the temperature to 220 C and get those chips ready faster.
I love these chips with roast chicken and a big green salad with balsamic vinegar and chopped cucumber.
This recipe is off the charts good for the little effort you need to put in.
It’s easily cooked in a slow cooker too. Just throw everything in, turn on your slow cooker, live your life and come home to dinner.
If I have chicken thigh with a bone in and skin on, I love crisping up the skin first and then cooking this in the oven. You could still slow cook it, but oven style. Which for me is a possibility I’m seriously considering this winter because our oven throws off so much heat and we have a small. house = free heating. Or maybe it’s multi-tasked heating. I’m not sure, but either way it’s good.