I'm finding cooking a chore at the moment. My dizziness has been quite bad for the last few weeks, which means I'm tired most of the time and not enjoying the process of cooking.
One of the ways I'm dealing with this problem of preparing a meal when energy and motivation are low, is by changing my cooking style.
I'm still cooking some whole meals from scratch, but there are also nights when my energy is zero, or my head is so full of dizziness I can't think. With those nights in mind, I've been taking advantage of the moments when I do have some time and energy to do small amounts of get-ahead cooking. Then, on the bad nights, rather than pushing myself into a zombie state, I can pull out some of these pre-cooked bits and pieces and there's dinner.
At the moment, in my fridge and freezer there are:
- small pots of basil pesto
- big chunky herb baked croutons
- cooked chickpeas
- home made stock
- cooked brown rice
- hard boiled eggs
- a batch of marinated and baked tofu (based on this idea)
- some shaved red cabbage salad I made a couple of days ago
- a jar of tahini dressing
None of these took me a lot of time or effort to cook and none of these make a dinner in themselves. However, if I combine a few of them and add in some fresh vegetables, then I have multiple options for an easy, low fuss dinner.
For example, one recent meal was brown rice from the freezer, paired with broccoli, marinated tofu and some fresh rocket. I drizzled a bit of tahini dressing over the top and that was dinner.
Making dinner prep even easier
To make things even simpler and save washing up (and given we don't have a microwave) I've taken to cooking and reheating whole dinners in my steamer. If I'm reheating anything small I line the base of the steamer with a piece of muslin, pile the components of dinner on top and place the steamer over a pan of hot water. Then, a few minutes later, dinner is reheated and cooked, the leftover water in the saucepan can be thrown on the garden and I only have to wash up the steamer and my serving bowl.
I'll be the first to admit these bits and pieces meals often lack coherency, with multiple ethnic influences going on, but they are tasty and balanced and they take little brain space or time to make - exactly what I want when energy and motivation are a struggle.