When You’re Feelin’ Fancy (But only want to put forth minimal effort)

by Lehni Lester

I’ll be honest with you guys. I was feeling really lazy this week. You are totally going to be able to tell, both in the recipes and in my writing. That being said, I didn’t want to completely abandon good food, only the effort level. So, I nixed crock-pot recipes, anything that involved thawing, anything that needed more than two range surfaces, anything that involved multiple prep steps, and anything that involved more than a handful of ingredients. The result? Sunday night was pasta with shrimp and sausage in Alfredo sauce, and Thursday night was prosciutto wrapped rosemary chicken thighs with red potatoes and green beans. 

Overall, my pasta dinner was incredibly unimaginative. The plan was to make something way cooler (shrimp and sausage boil bags with corn and potatoes). However, my willingness to do any real cooking was negligible, so I stopped at the store and got a jar of Alfredo sauce and some gluten free pasta. I already had the shrimp and a ring of smoked sausage from (you guessed it!) WinCo. So, I dumped the sliced sausage and 2 lbs of peeled, de-veined shrimp into a skillet with a sufficient amount of Tony’s Cajun seasoning, boiled up the pasta, and, once drained, dumped it all into a pot with the Alfredo sauce and sprinkled some left over shredded Parmesan cheese over top (Booya!). To really round out the laziness, I didn’t even get fresh vegetables. I got a damn bag of frozen veggies that you can steam in the microwave. Yep . . .

I know this isn’t exciting to read about at all. It served as a good reminder to me though, and maybe it will be a good reminder for you too. Sometimes when I think about making dinner it just seems daunting because I feel like I need to do something special or extravagant if I am going to make dinner. But it doesn’t need to be that way. You can totally make quick easy dinners that still taste decent and don’t take 5 hours to put together. I’m not judging you for using frozen and re-packaged shit.

My Thursday night dinner was a little more entertaining. It sounded more involved, but, overall, it really didn’t end up being that difficult to manage and only involved a few awesome ingredients (chicken thighs, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, green beans, red potatoes, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar, and lemon slices). For the chicken thighs I bought a package that was already thawed and trimmed (because trimming and thawing was out of the question). That easily cuts your time down by 76% right there. (I really, really hate trimming chicken thighs and legs.) For the garlic, please do yourself a favor and get real garlic cloves for this one. Once again, I was feeling super lazy, however, I was not lazy enough to skimp on the garlic (I have been known to just toss in some garlic powder, but for this recipe real garlic was too important to pass up). Definitely don’t use the pre-chopped stuff from the jars. That is just kinda gross.

When it comes to actually wrapping the chicken in the prosciutto with the rosemary sprigs, it was a lot easier than I anticipated. (I made Chicken Cordon Bleu a little while back, and stuffing the chicken breasts was a real pain in my ass; this was child’s play comparatively.) Just salt and pepper the chicken thighs, dip them in the olive oil/garlic/rosemary mixture, place a rosemary sprig in the center of the thigh, and roll it on up. (You’ll want to leave one end of the rosemary sprig sticking out so that you can pull it out once you are ready to eat.) After the chicken is rolled, wrap a slice of prosciutto around each roll, and you are good to go. The recipe recommends grilling or pan-frying but also provides a baking option. I opted to bake (duh), and I’m glad I did. Once again the clean up can’t be beat, and my whole apartment didn’t smell like cooked meat and hot oil.

For the green beans I actually bought fresh ones, but I did still steam them in the microwave, what can I say? Gotta stay on the lazy train when you can sometimes. For the red potatoes I used some of the left over rosemary from the chicken recipe with salt and pepper and cooked them covered, in a skillet for about 15 min or so. I was actually really pleased with the results on this one. I thought that the balsamic vinegar and squeeze of lemon complimented the chicken very well, and you can’t have too much rosemary so I’d call it a win.

Welp, that is it for this week. I am feeling so lazy that I’m not even going to proofread [Editor's note: Someone else proofread it] this bad boy. Hope you enjoy, and maybe I’ll come back with something a little more involved next week! Cheers.