I’ve had some recent success in keeping it together nutritionally while also writing a dissertation. Some success–not 100%, but some (I definitely packed cereal & almond milk for a lunch meeting today, and I’m not proud of it, but shit was getting kind of real today). It occurs to me that perhaps I owe this success to completely forgetting that recipes and recipe sites (I’m looking at you, Deb and Heidi) and cookbooks exist and just leaning into spring. Saying no to big weekend plans means you, my friend, can find time for a little farmer’s market jaunt. And then, when you’ve overbought at the farmers’ market, it’s usually not because you had a recipe in mind, but instead because it’s finally asparagus season or that fennel was huge or that sign said it’s the last week for those little tomatoes you like!
Anyway, here are some super easy things I throw together when my brain isn’t working and takeout, cereal for dinner, and cooking a dang recipe are all out of the question. All of the below ideas are uncomplicated ways of dealing with spring farmers’ market overzeal. They also have very few ingredients and therefore can be shopped for on the way home, in a stupor, lacking a plan (I realize that if you’ve read this, it’s become a plan, and to that I say shh).
Cherry asparagus tacos with queso fresco and cilantro. FRIENDS, ‘TIS THE SEASON! Toss asparagus in olive oil, salt & pepper, and roast at 400 for 10 minutes. Pit some cherries while you wait. This is extra fun if you have a cherry pitter. Add pitted cherries, toss, roast for 20 more minutes. Work while you wait. Serve in a tortilla with queso fresco & cilantro. Stolen from here, and don’t bother making the asparagus salsa. You won’t care, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
Fennel roasted in olive oil & balsamic with raisins, walnuts, goat cheese, and fennel fronds. Cut up the fennel. Toss with olive oil & balsamic. Roast at 400 for like 20. Go do some work. Toss in raisins and chopped walnuts. Roast for like 20 more. Go do some more work. Throw on goat cheese and chopped fronds. Looks fancy, right?
Mushrooms with rosemary, Italian parsley, shallots, lemon & parmesan, on pasta. Say, is your fungiphobe partner out of town? Well party! Buy pre-cut baby bellas or cut them up. While cooking pasta, sautee shallots in olive oil first, then add mushrooms. Work while you wait, stirring as needed. When they look pretty good, add a bunch of chopped fresh rosemary & parsley. Turn heat off. Squeeze lemon juice on it, sprinkle parmesan, and serve over pasta. Eat while working.
Kale sauteed with garlic, red chili flakes, olive oil, & salt. Egg on top. Probably rip up, de-stem, a bunch of kale. Chop up some garlic. Sautee the garlic in olive oil for a bit, then add kale, salt, and red chili flakes. When that looks good, put it in a face trough, make an over-easy egg, and throw it on there. Eat while working.
Avocado grapefruit salad. Ina, gurl. I don’t know who came up with this first, you or Alice, but your version is easier than that bitch Alice’s. So cut up your avocado, get as much of the grapefruit flesh out of the segment casings as you care to bother with, and douse the whole thing in a mix of olive oil, dijon, salt, & pepper, and lemon juice (or just the grapefruit juice if there is a lot and you’re lazy). Eat while writing blog post about dissertation meals.