If you’re like me, productivity comes in waves. There are times when I’m eager to get everything done and check off all the items on my to-do list and other times when I’d rather just lay around and watch Netflix. I’m torn between being productive or at least maintaining good habits and reverting to college/cat-like behavior.
- I either fold my clothes neatly or throw them on the floor.
- Either I work out every day or go weeks without exercising.
- I’ll binge-read late into the night to finish a book and then go weeks without reading until I find the next story to get hooked on (Note this doesn’t mean I don’t read AT ALL during these weeks…I do, but typically only news articles, blog posts or shorter form prose – something that’s easy to pick up and put down.
- I’ll go to sleep on time or stay up way past my bed time for nights in a row
- I will my blog continuously or go radio silent (Sorry guys! I’ve been busy in the real world!)
Anyway, I’m working on getting on a more moderate schedule because binging is not entirely healthy…but that probably won’t happen for a while…
In anticipation of my moods (extremely productive or profoundly lazy), whenever I have a productive streak I try to maximize it so that some of my work carries over into my lazy cycle. This works especially well with cooking.
First, let me let you in on a little secret…I really love food. Seriously the way to my heart is through tasty treats. Feed me and I will love you. Forever.
Despite my food obsession, I absolutely abhor paying to go out to eat unless it’s with friends. Going out to buy lunch alone on a work day is a way for restaurants to ROB ME OF MY MONEY. The food isn’t even that delicious and it’s so expensive compared to what I could make at home.
But, at the same time, if I’m really hungry I can’t wait to eat! I’m like the hungry, hungry hippos and might cause bodily harm to myself or others if left unfed for too long. This is especially bad if I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to cook!
I’ve found making meals in bulk and then freezing them for later works particularly well. I do really enjoy cooking, but not daily. It’s a lot of time and effort and while I also enjoy literally eating the fruits of my labor, it’s nice to know that a big meal will last for a couple of nights. In addition, cooking in bulk saves both time and money. I’ve never regretted eating a frozen meal (especially not one that I made). In fact, I sometimes think leftovers taste better – because you didn’t have to cook that day!
Here are some of my favorite meals I’ve made that taste great both fresh and defrosted.
Slow Cooker Meals
The slow cooker is your friend, seriously. Just dump everything into a pot, walk away come back later and MAGICALLY FOOD IS READY! Yum!
- Moroccan Chicken
- Red Lentil Curry – Also super cost effective. Lentils are rather inexpensive…but tasty!
- Barbecue pork/beef
- Beef stew
- Old-fashioned beans – A great side dish! (Also very cost effective because you can use dry beans)
- Lentil & Veggie Soup
- Chili – All kinds are delicious. I like ground beef and black bean.
- Lasagna – Cheese + noodles = delicious. I like both veggie and meat lasagna for variety.
- Chicken pot pie – This recipe is very, very tasty when made from scratch, but the crust is time consuming and it has about 4 sticks of butter in it. If you’re in a pinch you can buy a pre-made crust. I have to say though, the time spent making the crust and gravy from scratch is TOTALLY WORTH IT. I made this for our pi day party.)
- Baked Chicken – I know, not really a casserole, but you can bake it in a casserole dish! Bake lots of chicken at once and put leftovers in the freezer. Later, you can defrost it and eat it and you only have to prepare the food once. Plus baked chicken is so versatile – it can be used for sandwiches, salads, wraps or hot meals.
After getting back from a fun, but exhausting wedding weekend, I plan to mainly eat my frozen meals this week. I happily ate one yesterday.
What do you do to save time? What are you favorite recipes? Are other people lazy like me? How much do you love Netflix?
Photo Credits: Feature photo – Marissa Strniste via Flickr cc, Cat – maury.mccown via Flickr cc, Hungry, Hungry Hippos – David Goehring via Flickr cc, Chicken Pot Pie – Taken by roomie Amber, All other photos and images by A Lively Fancy