Some people might argue that peanut butter sandwiches are the ultimate end-of-month/post-tax reckoning/year-of-wedding-budget-saving meal option. In fact, several fellow budget-conscious women and peanut butter fans spent yesterday on twitter sharing peanut butter delicacy options (all of which made me hungry) including:
- the old standby, PB&J
- PB & Banana
- PB & Banana & Honey
- PB & Mashed Banana with Cinnamon & Sugar, grilled like a grilled cheese sandwich
- PB & Bacon
- PB & Bacon & Maple Syrup, also grilled like a grilled cheese sandwich
As I try to move away from processed foods and towards filling, healthier, whole food options, oatmeal has been become a rockstar go-to staple. And no, I don't mean the instant packet crap swimming in sugar. I mean stick-to-your ribs, real whole grains, actually-cook-it, oatmeal. Because my lazy bum discovered that, if you have a really large bowl you can cook delicious oatmeal in the microwave in four minutes (stir once! and make sure the bowl is HUGE if you don't want it to bubble over and create a mess). And oatmeal is loads more filling than bread (unless you do homemade bread, in which case it's made of real ingredients and is actually filling. We don't have time to bake real bread, so I chose oatmeal.) And oatmeal is surprisingly low-calorie for such a filling option (seriously, you won't need to eat anything for hours and hours.) All this makes it a perfect running-late-for-work/didn't-pack-a-lunch/don't-want-to-spend-$7-at-the-local-food-joint healthy, filling, lazy-bum alternative. With half a cup of oatmeal, one cup of water, and a dash of salt, my cheapo-healthy-oatmeal options include:
- oatmeal & pb & banana
- oatmeal & banana & strawberry
- oatmeal & strawberry & peach & crushed almonds
- oatmeal & whatever fruit I have available & half a cup of plain fat free yogurt
- any combination of oatmeal & fruit & dried fruit & PB & yogurt & nuts & cinnamon you feel like
Yeah, I could cook homemade meals every night and save money and keep myself healthy. Or, more likely, Jason could cook homemade meals and I could appreciate his amazing cooking and leftovers. But some weeks are rough. And some meals don't have leftovers. And sometimes we just fail at keeping all juggle-balls in the air and finding time or energy to make dinner or go shopping. And on those days, instead of paying $7 for lunch (or dinner) near the office, I've been turning to the massive container of oatmeal I keep in the office kitchen.
But for the days when oatmeal or PB&whatever sandwiches are no longer appealing, I was thinking some of you might have cheap, healthy, tasty, real-food, lazy-bum lunch alternatives too. Because frankly, I've been lazy a LOT lately, and my oatmeal concoctions are getting a bit old. So what are some of your fave I'm-broke-from-planning-a-wedding-but-still-want-to-be-healthy-even-if-I'm-lazy meals? If it requires real-real cooking, that's not precisely what I'm looking for. I have a fabulous lentil soup recipe and can make a whole chicken in the crock-pot, but I'm talking laaaaaaazy. Couscous level lazy. PB&J lazy. Because that's how I'm feeling this week.