Between 2007 and 2009 I subsisted on a near-constant stream of pizza, Lean Cuisine, chicken nuggets, and Annie Chun’s noodle bowls for dinner– and those were on the nights that I “cooked at home.” However, I luckily ended up with two great cooks for roommates while I was getting my master’s degree, both of whom were far healthier than me. It was while living with them that I explored the wonders of winter squash, went vegan for a month, and cooked vegetarian chili for the first time. My next roommate was also far more skilled than me in the kitchen. Now that I don’t have roommates to mooch food from anymore, I’m slowly becoming more brave in the kitchen.
While attempting to cook our way to Sweden, Boyfriend and I have been trying our hands at several dishes, most of them new to us. They all rank super-low on the difficulty scale, but pretty high on the “nom” scale. They include:
- Roast pork tenderloin with baby red potatoes (Twice. Once we accidentally fell asleep and left it out on the counter overnight. Cue shame spiral.)
- Southwest chicken bake
- Ginger chicken stir-fry
- Pizza with asparagus, taleggio, and prosciutto
- Imitation Deer Valley turkey chili
- Lemon baked panko-crusted salmon
There are others, but those were the best of the best. Boyfriend and I are often paranoid that we’re going to accidentally undercook our food or ruin it in some other way, and attempts at these dishes have resulted in high fives all around.
The best thing to come from making an honest effort to cook more is that I’m becoming less reliant on takeout. And Lean Cuisine-type meals are officially a thing of the past for me.