I basically never cooked anything for real until after college. I grew up in a take-out household, and when my mom did decide to cook it was usually “healthy”, aka dry and sans salt, seasoning, fat or anything else that gives flavor. So yeah, it was a few years of Fresh Tortillas, diner chicken fingers and slices from Bleecker Street pizza before I learned to make anything resembling a meal for myself. Hard on the arteries and the wallet.
Unless you’re eating caviar-topped quail eggs in a diamond-champagne-truffle sauce with a side of lobster, it is always cheaper to cook your own food. It’s always healthier, too, which I didn’t realize at first. Even if you go to a restaurant and do your best Lara Flynn Boyle impression, ordering the salmon with steamed broccoli, you have no idea how much salt, butter or oil you are consuming. It’s usually a lot, unless you ask the chef for some accommodations, which risks retributive action.
Even knowing this, it took moving in with a guy who was a good cook with no patience for my underdeveloped domesticity (in a good way, folks) to turn things around. I’m still no Bobby Rachael Flay Ray but I can cook some stuff now that didn’t begin its life in a box, and, most importantly, have saved money and managed to evade the looming fate of elastic-waistband pants (so far) as a result.
But cooking does take time, and sometimes it is a little bit depressing if you’re by yourself, which is why you need to know some simple and delicious 10 minute recipes that only use a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your fridge. The prep time is so quick that you’ll be able to go from cooking to eating to tossing that plate in the sink so fast you won’t even feel the weight of the soul-slitting, spirit-crushing loneliness that “dinner for one” calls to mind.
This one is crazy easy.
- bag of salad greens
- few glugs of olive oil
- one glug less of balsamic vinegar
- half a spoonful of Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, preferably in a grinder so shit is fresh
- Cherry tomatoes (about 12. 18 if you really like them)
- 1 can of white beans (cannellini, navy, whatever-drained and rinsed)
- 1 red onion chopped in thin, half moon slices
- some fresh goat cheese, crumbled (this is optional)
Put the salad greens in a bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar and mustard-add some salt and pepper
drizzle it over the greens and toss, then add tomatoes, beans, onions and cheese.
You are done.
Wipe your mouth you sloppy bastard.