My Cooking Hiatus

Set it and forget it

…lasted exactly one day. By the time December 27th rolled around, my cooking, baking, and eating marathon had started to take a toll. I was exhausted. It’s not that I don’t love cooking, or that I did more cooking than usual. I think it was that the meals and projects I had taken on were particularly time and energy consuming. I just was not up for making another meal. But both my parents were working that day, I obviously had nothing of importance to do (for evidence see the last post where I watch 13 hours of TV) so when asked to cook dinner for my fam and my sisters friend that night, I obliged. And that brings me to the point of this post. What to cook when you don’t feel like cooking. (But still have to feed a family…or want lots of leftovers.) You’ll want something healthy and hearty, somthing economical, and something that requires little prep work. So readers here it is, the ultimate thing to cook when you can’t stand the thought of cooking….

ROAST CHICKEN!

Yup, grab a few celery stalks or carrot sticks. Cut an onion into wedges, round up any left over herbs in the fridge. Shove all these into the bird. Rub it with olive oil and salt and pepper. Stick in the oven and forget about it. It’s delicious, everyone eats it, and when you pair it with some leftover sides, it’s the perfect post holiday meal. I think everyone in my family needed to de-tox a bit from all the decadent meal we’d been having, and this fit the bill perfectly.

A few days later, back in New York, armed with my New Year’s Resolution to eat much lighter, I came up with a very filling, very satisfying meal. It will have you licking your plate, without packing on weight. (That sentence could totally be in Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals intro…). The meal is gyros, I got a craving for them while reading an article about the nomenclature of the meaty pita wrapped deliciousness. In some countries they are called souvlaki, some they are called kebaps, we call them gyros…but whatever the name they are soo freaking yummy. If you use a lean meat, and go easy on the oil, they can be very low fat. I’m sure the ones that come from street vendors are pretty calorie laden, but you can make the at home versions more “figure friendly” (right Rach?) I start with lamb steaks, trim them of fat and bones and then cut them into smaller pieces. I pound them out so they’re nice and thin, season them up, and dry fry them, so they get a good crust. I fill the pitas with the meat, top with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and of course tzatziki sauce…and boom…it’s perfect weeknight meal.

Liz’s Roast Chicken

Ingredients

1 Oven Stuffer Roast Chicken

Carrots, celery, onion (cut and quartered)

Fresh Herbs

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Herbs de Provence (optional)

Directions

Wash chicken, remove giblets, pat dry. Stuff the chicken cavity with vegetables and herbs. Rub the outside with olive oil and season liberally with the salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence. Bake in a 350 degree oven, until the pop-up timer pops.

Gyros

Ingredients

4 lbs. lamb steaks

Paprika, oregan, salt and pepper

Tomatoes, cucumbers (finely diced)

Feta (crubled)

Tzatziki sauce

8 Pitas

Directions

Trim the lamb of fat and bones, slice into 1 inch strips. Using a meat mallet pound into 1/8 inch thickness. Combine the meat with olive oil and seasonings. Let sit for a half hour. Fry in a dry skillet over high heat, for a minute on each side. Build the gyro on a pita, top with meat, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and tzatziki sauce.

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