Dinners · Food Tips · Gluten-Free · Vegan · Vegetarian

Desperate Dinners

Damn. It has been a week.

Monday morning, I got a call from the apartment complex that we were all set to move into next month, telling me that “the couple currently residing in that unit changed their minds” on moving out of the unit, after we received the official letter from the complex with all the official information, saying “Welcome home! Your new address is …, we’ll see you on … for move in!”, and we needed to come up with a new place to live A.S.AP.

*Cue to me freaking out*

I could literally feel the gears in my head whizzing at record speed as I frequently fought the urge to rage cry. Bronson and I spent so much of this past week scrolling through rental houses – after losing the apartment, we decided to go for it and rent a house. Adulting Level 4, here we come!

Planning dinner seemed hard enough when we had to plan where we were going to live next month. But thanks to my time as a broke, lazy college kid, I’ve come up with a series of dinners that I can whip up in 30 minutes or less that are easy, cheap, and delicious – similar to my Single Gal Meals. I’ve listed my top 5 Desperate Dinners here, in order of least to most effort.

Desperate Dinners - Love is Kneaded

  1. Black beans and Spanish rice
    1. With this Desperate Dinner, all I need to do is bring vegetable broth to a boil, add the box of Spanish rice, wait 10 minutes and then toss in a can of drained black beans and stir. It’s tasty, it’s easy, it’s a cheap dinner so that you don’t spend another $30 on Chinese food.
  2. Embellishing on Daiya products
    1. I’m obsessed with Daiya’s delicious, vegan and gluten-free “mac and cheeze” and pizzas, but I don’t like just eating a pile of vegan cheese for dinner. I’ll usually add veggies and/or an extra protein for good measure – stirring spinach leaves or bite-sized chunks of tempeh into the “cheeze” sauce, or dropping broccoli crowns on top of a pizza.
  3. Curry rice
    1. After preparing a pot of Minute Rice, I’ll pan-fry some frozen broccoli and a can of drained chickpeas with garlic and mix into it all together. I’ll pour a little more oil to the pan and then add a lot of this awesome Oriental curry powder and red pepper flakes to make my own almost-curry-fried rice.
  4. Tofu tacos
    1. I mentioned this Desperate Dinner in my Tofu Tips post from July. I crumble a block of firm tofu into a pan and fry it up with onions, a can of drained black beans and Mexican spices. I warm some corn tortillas and eat the mix up as tacos!
  5. Quick noodle stir-fry
    1. I put this desperate dinner last because it requires cutting veggies and tempeh and cooking rice noodles. But, that’s all the effort that it takes. Once the veggies and tempeh are cut and the noodles are soaking in hot water, all that’s left is to quickly pan-fry the veggies and tempeh, drain and add the noodles to the pan, and pour in some stir-fry sauce.

This horrible week finally felt over yesterday morning when I got the call saying that we were approved for the house that we fell in love with. We get to sign the papers and pick up the keys this Friday!

Everyone told me throughout the week that things would work out, and that losing the apartment would open the door to an even better opportunity. It felt impossible to believe at the time, but they were totally right. The new house is going to be awesome, and the kitchen is gorgeous, homey and huge! After a week of eating my stress, I’m ready to get back to cooking, and I can’t wait to break in my new kitchen.

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