Quick and Cheap Dinner Ideas for After Work

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Cooking during the week is a pain, especially when there are boxes in every corner of my abode. Twenty four days ago I moved into my own home.

Tonight was the third time I have cooked. If you’d like to start a log of what I’ve cooked it includes: a poor attempt at a fried egg, dried pasta with a jar of vodka sauce and chicken patties with sautéed veggies wrapped in a tortilla. Hardly gastronomic fare that would wow judges on any cooking show. I just remembered I also rode out bean tacos for one week.

Part of the dearth of hot meals is part of my vendetta against the electric stove that came with the home. I had one once when I was growing up and one in college. Neither time did I like it. Electric requires a different style of cooking. A style I don’t totally wish to learn. As a service to all those reading this who have an electric stove, I will do my best to make peace with the voltage beast. My latest experience helped me realize how frustrating cookbooks must be for those with an electric range. The times are all based on gas ranges. Electric simply can’t fluctuate as quickly as gas. I tip my toque to you.

In the past three weeks I have been cooking like a true bachelor. The more lazy the dish, the more likely I am to make it. Tonight’s meal included one of my staples: frozen, breaded chicken patties. Aldi has 4 for $2. That’s a hard frugal mark to beat. In the past, I’ve made wraps with romaine and ranch, but tonight I had broccoli that was on the verge of going bad and a red bell pepper.

While the patties heated in my toaster oven, I cranked the heat on the biggest “burner” under my cast iron skillet and added some vegetable oil. It took about 8-10 minutes to get warmish. I sautéed the veggies and some onion with salt and a spice blend. The patties take about 10 minutes. The veggies took a little longer before they softened enough to not destroy my digestive system. Then again, when you live alone, flatulence is your best weapon against midnight noises. 

As soon as I find more time, I’ll share some thoughts on the moving process, how I stocked my pantry and other discoveries after moving.

My evening quest is for a tiny black bike lock key. I know I chucked it in a box, but right now the boxes outnumber how much I would care if my bike were stolen.