Article submission from Crissi O’Kane,
A Produce Source produce box customer:
How a lazy girl can cook 5 meals per week, each less than 10 minutes to make, using Produce Source Partners’ Produce boxes:
First of all- here is some background information. I DO NOT enjoy cooking and I have always been that way. Many friends have tried to teach me various dishes, show me different meal planning strategies etc. and nothing is effective. I realized this is not because I cannot learn to cook, I absolutely could, it is because in addition to not enjoying cooking I also don’t really enjoy eating which is the natural reward for cooking. I have always enjoyed going to restaurants or having friends over for a cookout but it’s not the food I enjoy, it’s the setting and the people. I’m very fortunate in that I’m married to someone very similar, my husband said he could eat the same thing every day and be totally content. So that’s exactly what we did. For about 6 months we ate the same meal nearly every night for dinner with the occasional cheat night at Chipotle or ordering pizza. Rice from our rice cooker and grilled chicken for me/grilled steak for my husband that we grill in advance each week and our favorite Asian barbecue sauce. And as odd as it sounds, we were very happy with this plan. We liked what we were eating, we love each other’s company, and I spent minimal time cooking dinner- literally just pushing a button on the rice maker and putting our protein in the microwave. Without Produce Source Partners this probably would have continued, and we would probably be happy but we would not know what we were missing. Now that we do- there is no going back!
W-Veggie Baked Potatoes
Th- Breakfast for dinner (usually in burrito form)
F- Fancy Date-Night at home
Weekends are a mix of leftovers and ordering takeout
What we order from Produce Source Partners for meals:
- Fajita Blend VeggieMix
- Cubed Mangos and Cubed Pineapple OR Pineapple Mango Salsa
What we order from Produce Source Partners for Snacks:
Order your products here.
Other Items we buy elsewhere to complete our meals-
- Frozen Steak strips- you could get fresh steak but remember- I don’t enjoy cooking so this is how I operate
- House of Tsang Szechuan Spicy Sauce – it’s just so good and spicy
- Frozen chicken fillets
- Eggs and Cheese for breakfast burritos
- Fillets for Friday- I usually get an 8oz steak for my husband that he grills himself and use frozen chicken fillets for myself because that’s about all I can handle, but you could get whatever protein option you want for your fancy date-night in!
That’s it- Of Course, we have a few things on hand like salt, butter, vegetable oil but that’s truly it. All of our meals are delicious, with so much more flavor than just rice and protein like we were used to and they still take only 10 minutes.
If you use frozen steak strip this meal takes about 5 minutes to make.
In a saucepan on like medium highish add a tiny bit (too lazy to measure- just like enough to make the pan look shiny) of vegetable oil and toss in your frozen steak strips (or your steak you grilled and sliced yourself if you aren’t lazy like me), stir that around for a few minutes since it’s already cooked you’re just warming it up, add in the fajita mix vegetables. Stir for a few minutes until the veggies are crispy and remove from heat. Put a few tortillas in the microwave with a moist paper towel for like 1 minute so they come out warm and soft. Serve warm. We like it with the House of Tsang Szechuan Spicy sauce which I add right into the pan but you could skip this step if you want to cut some somewhat unnecessary calories. You could also add cheese to turn this into quesadillas!
Tuesday Pineapple/Mango Chicken-
Super easy method takes about 3 minutes.
Start your rice cooker or make some rice ahead of time or use that amazing minute rice magic stuff.
Place frozen chicken fillets in microwave according to package instructions. Put on a plate and put mango pineapple salsa on top, microwave for 30 seconds. DONE. We usually put this on top of rice but sometimes eat it just as is for a lighter meal.
Slightly less easy method, but spicier and saucier for when we have a little hankering for something sweet-
Microwave frozen chicken fillet per package instructions, take like 4 pieces of pineapple and 2 pieces of mango per person and cut them all in halves or quarters(personal preference really) and put them on saucepan on medium heat. We also add the Szechuan sauce here, just a TINY bit, to coat the pineapples/mangos. Stir for a few minutes until the fruits are softened and put them in a bowl with rice. Cut up your chicken fillet and mix it all up!
Wednesday Veggie Baked Potatoes
Takes approx. 10 minutes
Okay so I honestly don’t know if I could make this if there wasn’t a potato button on my microwave, but let’s assume your microwave has that awesome button also OR you actually know how to make a baked potato.
Take your potatoes from Produce Source Partners and stab them with a fork a few times. Put them in the microwave and press the magic potato button. On my microwave it will just say potato for a while, then beep after a bit when it has decided this potato needs 2 more minutes to be perfect. At that point, I open the microwave to push apart the holes I made earlier with the fork add some of the Fajita Mix veggies and a little chunk of butter, then resume the 2-minute countdown. That’s it. Done.
Thursday- Breakfast for Dinner
This one is pretty simple. I cook the bacon from Produce Source Partners on the stove. It’s really thick and I also like that it lasts a long time because there are only two of us and we only eat it once a week but we have never had it expire before we run out. I put the bacon to the side to cool and scramble some eggs, add cheese and then wrap it all up in tortillas made in the microwave like on Monday. This has quickly become one of our favorite dinners. My husband usually adds tabasco sauce to his burrito, but I eat mine plain.
Fancy Date Night
Prior to Coronavirus we ate the same thing every day but we usually ate out on Fridays and I really cherished our date nights even if they were super casual (we probably went to Chipotle or Chick Fil A 90% of Fridays) Now that we are trying to stay home more we have brought our date nights home. I get a little dressed up and our meal looks like what we would order if we went to Cheddars/Longhorn/etc.
My husband grills his steaks in advance usually so I just reheat it and microwave my frozen chicken fillet and then we have two sides from Produce Source Partners.
My favorite combination is the broccoli, I can cut the florets off and steam them in the rice cooker, and cremini mushroom; toss on the stove for just a couple minutes.
But we also like the asparagus and the corn and sometimes use potatoes if we have some we want to use before the following Wednesday.
SOOOO That’s how Produce Source Partners has changed our lives, it’s been great, and I really appreciate all they have done providing a service to our family and others throughout the community.