When I introduced my Pantry Staples series, I joked about rice and beans being so much more than just “dumping plain white rice and canned black beans into a bowl and calling it dinner.” Cough. Well. Um. I can’t lie – what I’m about to share with you is really little more than that. But hear me out; I promise it’s justified.
It’s justified because sometimes you just can’t find it in you to do much more than heat up canned foods. Sometimes the thought of breaking out a knife and chopping veggies is just too much to handle. Maybe you worked late and came home and are really hungry and also exhausted and you have a headache and it’s already seven thirty and you’re angry and tired. Maybe you had a really exhausting day of truly back-breaking labor. Or maybe you’re just lazy. That’s okay. I won’t judge. It happens to the best of us. Whatever your reasons, here’s one way to use little more than pantry staples to create an easy, tasty, and filling dinner.
In all honesty, this is really your basic burrito bowl… on a plate. It’s just rice, canned refried beans (go for the low-sodium option!), store-bought pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, and sliced avocado. It’s simple, easy, and tasty. It’s not gourmet, but let’s get real – even those of us who could happily talk for hours about complex, multi-step meals sometimes resort to white rice and canned refried beans for dinner. And you can too. It’s okay. Avocado makes anything 35% more delicious (it’s Science!), and pico de gallo adds a pleasant, cool freshness to an otherwise warm meal.
A note on rice – I am a believer in brown rice. I love its complex, nutty flavor and its elevated nutritional profile. But S and I are working through a giant Costco-sized burlap sack of white basmati rice that S had before we moved in together, so we often resort to relatively quick-cooking white rice for dinner. You do what you can.
Because, really, that’s what being vegan is all about – doing what you can. We know that we can’t save every single animal, but by eschewing animal products and pushing corporations to provide us with cruelty-free options, we do make a difference and we do save some animals. And some is a better amount than none.
So do what you can, and when you can’t, don’t worry about it. Don’t try to craft three-layer vegan lasagnas with homemade tofu ricotta and pine nut crema for every single meal. Instead, when you’re feeling beat, enjoy a lazy meal while watching 30 Rock on Netflix and cuddling with your loved ones. You’ll be happier for it. I promise.
What’s your lazy meal of choice?