Being a twentysomething leaves little time for cooking and/or being healthy about it. I have one friend that is constantly posting pictures of all her new recipes that she has time to cook. Each photo screams five-star restaurant with ingredients that I’ve never even heard of, all covered with a drizzle of zesty balsamic glaze. For the rest of us, I don’t see how that is possible. We work jobs, go to school full-time or part-time after our jobs, and on top of that, try to have a social life.
I realized the other day that I have been an accidental vegetarian ever since I moved into this new apartment. It’s not that I don’t want to eat meat, it’s that I literally do not have the time it takes to defrost the chicken from my freezer and then cook it. I’m lucky if I find myself eating any meal that is comprised of a protein, a starch, AND a vegetable. Most nights, it’s just whatever is in the fridge already prepared. And if that means leftover canned corn and lettuce, I’ll call it a salad and move on.
I’ve noticed that being in this state of mind, I haven’t been making the healthiest of eating choices (as evidenced by the time I bought an entire box of junior mints last night and ate the whole thing in one sitting on my couch, and then proceeded to wash it down with half a bottle of wine). Needless to say, I’ve been looking for some alternatives for my Saturday night.
Some other twentysomething friends swear by their Crock-Pot. But for me, I hate using a Crock-Pot. In fact, I say Crock-NOT. Okay, I have to be honest, I’ve been planning that joke for three whole days now. Maybe it’s by grandmother’s voice in the back of my head telling me never to leave anything plugged in, or maybe it’s the irrational fear that my apartment will burn down, but I just don’t like them. I’m also an instant gratification kind of person. I don’t want to wait 6-8 HOURS for my dinner. And surprisingly, there is usually too much prep work involved. I’m a lazy chef.
Right now in Upstate New York, it is a balmy 17 degrees Fahrenheit. What better food to make on a chilly winter night than soup?! I’ve learned that soup is surprisingly easy to make, too, which I love. So for this entry of Twentysomething Months, I’m going to provide some easy easy easy recipes for soup that I hope will warm you up on a cold winter night or warm you up from the coldness of your ex-hookup’s heart.
First things first, this is a magical appliance and you should all invest in one:
For those of you that don’t know, it’s an avocado slicer/masher. I got it two years ago as a gift from a family friend thinking I would never use it ever in my entire life. Surprisingly, it has come in handy on multiple occasions, especially for these two soup recipes. If you don’t have one though, no worries. It’s not required.
Soup #1: Tomato-Basil
For this one, it’s soup-er easy. Okay, sorry. I’m done. First, take the tomatoes and mash them up in a medium pot with the avocado masher. If you don’t have one of these fantastic appliances, you can just cut up the tomatoes instead. Heat that up. Add the can of condensed tomato soup and one can of water. Stir that around a bit. Then, add a few spoonfuls of salsa and hot sauce if you like things spicy. Salt, pepper, and basil to taste, and voila! The best part about this soup is that technically it comes from a can, but it tastes so much healthier because you’re using real tomatoes!
Soup #2: Spicy Black Bean
For this one, also super easy. Take one can of black beans, juice and all, and dump that into a medium pot. If you have a masher, go ahead and start mashing. If not, no big deal, leave the beans whole. Next, add the second can of black beans, 16oz. of whatever kind of broth you have, salsa, hot sauce, chili powder, salt, and pepper. All to taste. It’s a really scientific process here, can’t you tell? Heat it all up, and top with sour cream if desired.
The one similarity between these soups? SALSA. It is a gift from the culinary gods. It has tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices…all chopped up and put in one jar! No more cutting and dicing teary onions or working with spices…it’s all taken care of for you.
So there you go! I hope you enjoy these simple and quick recipes. Each one serves 2-4 people. Let me know what you think, and feel free to add your own easy twentysomething recipes below!