“There’s no food. Only stuff to make food.”

My kids used to say this when they opened the fridge. Translation: I’m in a hurry (or, I’m lazy), and I want to grab and go. The eggs, bread and cheese in the fridge could not compete with the egg sandwich they could buy down the street. The chicken breasts, canned beans, lettuce, salsa, and avocados couldn’t compete with the Chipotle bowl. A toasted PBJ or tuna melt always lost to Five Guys.  <Sigh>

I get it. I’ll bet many of us have good intentions that compel us to stock our fridge with “stuff ” a.k.a ingredients, assuming that we will always be in the mood to assemble them into “food”.  That mood can be elusive in the early morning darkness or the end of the day tired. Strategies:

  1. Re-think your idea of a meal. It need not be a time-consuming, multi-ingredient, slow-simmering masterful creation. Your body just wants food. It’s going to break it all down anyway, so go ahead and keep it simple.
  2. Look how fast food places like Chipotle, Nalley Fresh and MOD assemble “stuff” to make “food”. Start with a bowl and build what you like. Similarly, think small plates – another popular restaurant approach.
  3. Choose quality over quantity. Think nourished, not “full”. Remember: not too much, mostly plants.

With a little planning and the right stuff in the fridge, you can cook when you decide to make time for it, grab and go when you don’t. And don’t underestimate the basics.  A little PBJ never hurt anybody.

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