Lazy Man’s Typical Dinners

I get quite a few people telling me that they are amazed that I manage to cook my dinners on a regular basis. Even if it is simple cooking, preparing the ingredients is usually a troublesome process for working adults. How do I manage?

Okay, let me share with you my modus operandi when it comes to my dinners.

You know I do my grocery shopping on weekends, right? Well, a lot of my food preparations for the week happen on weekends too. For me, the most troublesome ingredients to prepare are the chicken, the fish and the vegetables. So what happens on weekends are:

  • I wash and dry the meats (chicken and fish), and then slice them up into small pieces, and then lightly marinate with salt and pepper, and then pack them away in small containers, a portion per container.
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Marinated chicken slices
  • I wash and cut up my vegetables into small pieces and store them away in yet another container. I use a big airtight container for the vegetables, I find that the vegetables can last longer if stored in this type of container.
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Menu of the week: chinese cabbage and broccoli
  • The meat containers go to the freezer, and the vegetable container goes to the lower section of the fridge. On days that I plan to cook, I would take 1 meat container down to defrost in the morning before I go to work.
  • No special preparations for Saturdays and Sundays. Saturdays would be clearing up whatever that’s left in the fridge, Sundays would depend on what I spontaneously decide to buy and cook.

So, on weekdays, this is what typically happens:

  • I spread the defrosted meat on an aluminium foil, and then spread some vegetables on top. Then I squeeze the juice from half a lemon and drizzle some olive oil onto the mix. I have to say, after cooking like this for a while, I am sort of addicted to the lemon juice sauce, they’re awesome.
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Looks something like this
  • I wrap the foil up and slap it into the oven and set the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
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20 minutes for fish, 25 minutes for chicken
  • While waiting, I would peel an apple or an orange and eat it. And then I will go grab a shower.
  • Usually after I am done with the shower, my meal would be done and cooled down enough.
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Time to eat

Actually this is a trimmed down version of the elaborate baked chicken breast that I blogged about before. The vegetables might change, sometimes I would have carrots and/or tomatoes in the mix, sometimes I won’t. But a meat and some greens are default. I don’t take mushrooms on a regular basis anymore because mushrooms are high in purine, I would not touch them before I confirmed that my uric acid level is back to normal.

I used to alternate between baking and steaming. Now I more or less ditched steaming. Steaming is still simple, but not as simple as baking. With steaming, I still need to bring a pot of water to boil, and then wash the pot later. With baking, I only wash the plate and cutlery. Lazy Man will try to avoid whatever additional washing work that he possibly can.

You might wonder if it is too expensive to use aluminium foil regularly. Well, my roll cost RM 9 each and they last for about 30 wraps. That’s about 30 cents per meal. It is a cost that I can live with if it helps with my quest on cooking with minimum effort.

So, do you now understand how I manage to cook my dinners regularly? With preparations done in the weekends, my cooking process on weekdays take about 3 minutes to work on if you do not count the waiting time where you can actually do other stuff.

I hope this will inspire whoever who is reading to cook more and eat out less. It’s not necessarily cheaper, but it’s definitely better for your health. 😉

26 Comments

    • I don’t know, somehow I am not that comfortable with using microwave oven. It’s not because of those radiation myth, it’s more that they cook the food super fast, it doesn’t feel natural to me.. 😐

    • Betul, as long as can fill the tummy up. Even if cooking for others, if whoever complains about the food, he/she can starve for all I care.

  1. Before those MRT works started (thus before the roads got jammed like hell hole everyday), I cook everyday too after work. Like you, I divided everything into containers, and put them in the fridge to defrost before I go to work.. Then when I’m back, I cook one meat, chin yat kor tan, chau yat kor choi.. Kautim.. But now, I get home later and later, no time liao, kesian the kids if I kak ngang wana cook, they’d be eating at 9pm! I need some sanity too.. So yeah, tapau everyday, and I make it up by cooking home cooked food for them on weekends.. Life..

    • I guess if and when I become a parent, I will have the same concerns as you. You’re doing good too, making sure the kids get food earlier 🙂

  2. I like the way you write about cooking. Always funny and interesting yet humble. Some food bloggers should learn to write like you and not blow trumpets.
    I am sure ladies looking for a cute hubby chef should propose to you! Wakakakaka…

    • Well, I learned mostly from the type of food blogger that you mentioned. Mostly I learned that what they say is crap. For me, it’s not so much the taste of their recipe as how they exaggerate the simplicity of the process. Like how they would go: “This is so easy, let me tell you, you just put the chicken on the grill and… bla bla bla… it only takes 5 minutes to cook it!” and then place a piece of pre-washed and marinated slab of chicken onto the grill. Like, yeah, 5 minutes to grill, what about the time needed to cut out the fats and skin, to wash, and to marinate?
      I’m not so sure about the cute hubby chef part though, hahaha 😀

  3. Really thumbs up to you! Do keep it up and eat healthy! I am too lazy to even prepare on weekends, hate dealing with raw meat so I will still be eating out. Cooking for 4 years in UK can lasts me a lifetime so no more!

    • I might give you a tip: Apply lemon juice on your hand after dealing with raw meat or garlic. The smell will be gone within a couple of hours. Much more effective than soap. What I do is, after I squeeze the lemon juice onto my meal, I set the lemon aside, get rid of everything, then scrub the squeezed lemon all over my hands before washing.

    • Well, if you are really interested, invest in a good kitchen, with all the toys. Cooking is a better hobby than say, clubbing or shopping 😀

  4. I can’t help but smile because that’s what I do as well – prep during the weekend! That would be Sunday for me and though it takes up a lot of time, ultimately it is worthwhile because the weekday cooking is a breeze. I used to do steaming as well – chicken fillet and vegetables like what you have above. I season the meat with garlic, soya sauce and sesame oil. Plonk it on top of the vege and steam.

    Another thing I like to do is boil a big pot of soup, portion it out and have it from Monday to Thursday. May seem boring to some to eat the same thing for 4 days straight but it is fine by me.

    Keep it up, you are doing a good thing for your health!

    • I am terrible with estimating soy sauce portion, I always end up using too much, so I just stick to salt and pepper mostly. And I’m not good with soup, I don’t know how to store them over a few days, so I don’t make them frequently.
      I’m fine with eating the same food over and over again too 😀

  5. SEDAP!!! I like this recipe!! chicken breast and fish filet, with two types of cruciferous vegetables (cabbage and broccoli).. what I like most, the lemon juice and olive oil drizzle!! awww, that’s healthy, low fat and calories, and I think very delicious~~

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