Barring those who despise carrying lunch to work, the rest of us are faced with the daily drudgery of answering the question ‘what to make for lunch today?’ and the even worse universal question ‘what to cook?’, thrice a day. There is only so much one can rely on restaurants and their ever so delicious food. If you are one who can afford and survive on restaurant food day in and day out, kudos to you, and know that your life is coveted.
This will be a list of meal options for us who race against time to get everything done in the day because let’s face it, irrespective of whether you’re a culinary genius or a spatula model (one who just stands there staring at the kitchen with spatula in hand, not knowing what to do with it) work week is life-draining making you crave affirmation through food, food that you have no energy left to make let alone thinking of meat. The following are some ways you can cheat your way to fabulous meat-based meals that will have you singing “…because I’m happy…”
When buying meat, opt for pre-marinated meat. It saves you a lot of prep time. It is a versatile option which will do for any of the three meals you’re looking to cook for. You can make it a delicious side to your plate of rice or roti or you can have it as a meal in itself. You can grill, fry, or bake it for sumptuous meals that will look like you’ve spent hours slaving over the stove for.
Quick tip, fried food is the universal vice of all who walk the planet, so when frying, instead of deep frying and hating yourself for having done so, try air frying if you have the apparatus or shallow frying. Also, if you have leftovers, shred them and add them to your morning omelette with some cheese for an omelet du fromage with a spicy desi twist.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the most ignored. It determines your mood for the rest of the day—the term ‘hangry’ ring a bell? Time eludes us all in the mornings, and there is no way of overcoming it, so if you can’t beat ‘em, lick ‘em! Get meat-based spreads for your toast or chapattis instead of the usual flavoured mayonnaise or butter or low-fat spread for better nutrition and a more wholesome meal that wouldn’t require a side. It will keep you full for longer and provide you with the boost of energy one needs to start the day.
Carry some with you to work so you could snack on it with some crackers.
Don’t let the name fool you, they can be so much more than just hot dog filling. This is one of the most underrated meat treats. It can go way beyond just a breakfast option. Spice it up, cut some up and add it to your masala base, use salamis or slice sausages and add to your salads, boil or fry them and cut them up and sprinkle on upmas and the list goes on. They have the potential of being the soy chunks of the meat eating world.
If sambar or dal and rice or rotis with sabji greet you pretty much most lunches, just reach out for some meat pickle and enjoy. No prep, no cooking, no hassle, just good old plain meat overpowering the dal and sambar.
We looked at meal options that could save the day. Now let’s look at some steps to take in order to ensure a good meal experience
Keep a close eye on your spice cabinet. Repeat after me: 1. Ensure there is pepper, turmeric, and chilli powder in the kitchen. 2. Always use fresh ginger and garlic. Ensure of these and you will be prepared to cook most meat dishes.
Don’t plan for the next meal alone, plan for the meal after that as well. Ideal time will be lunch time, plan for breakfast for the next day when planning for dinner that night so that you can pick up your ingredients on your way back home.
Yes, you heard me. How does that matter when it is just me eating you might ask, but how your meal looks plays a significant role on how you feel when eating it. Have some versatile vegetables handy like potatoes, carrots, beans and peas and just blanch them to have on the side of your meat. Have some pickled vegetables in stock or better yet, pickled meat. Bread also makes a great combo with meat.
Decorate your plate with food you can add to suit your entrée, pour yourself a drink (alcoholic or not) and delve into your food instead of just eating it. It will be much more satisfying.
Here is hoping you will never eat the same again as we urge you to go and conquer the culinary world, one cheat code at a time.