27 July 2007

A Lazy Dinner (Simple Pleasures in Life)

I didn't plan to cook dinner tonight, I wanted the easy way out: packing in. Unfortunately, I only felt like eating the meehoon kuei at the coffee shop below my flat, but the stall was closed, so I glumly made my way home and decided that I will have to whip up something instead.

I'm in trouble, I thought. I don't feel like anything too rich and creamy, I want something light and somewhat healthy, I don't want to shop for groceries, and I am feeling lazy yet fussy. How to have dinner??

Rummaging through my pantry and fridge, I found some odds and ends of vegetables that I used or that my mum bought: some celery sticks, half an onion, tomatoes. There were several cans of tuna soaked in brine, olive oil or teriyaki. I don't know who bought that teriyaki tuna, it sounds vile and there's no way I'll touch that, so I settled on the tuna in olive oil. (It also said "Lite!" on the can cover, so it's considered low-fat. Healthy!)

So it will have to be tuna-something. I could do a tuna-mayo sandwich, but I'm really not excited about tuna-mayo sandwiches. Tuna cream pasta? Ugh, too creamy and fishy. Not good. The only way I like tuna is when it's paired with tomatoes and vegetables in a tuna-salad, but I don't have the vegetables! Hmmm, let's just go by "feel".

Feeling really lazy, I decided that I'll just soak the spaghetti in hot water in a beer mug rather than go through the hassle of boiling them in salt water and straining them then washing another pot + strainer. I chopped up a bit of celery and a bit of onions and fried them with a bit of oil, followed by half a can of tuna and four tablespoons of cream pasta sauce for just a teeny bit of cream sauce. I threw in the undercooked spaghetti into the tuna-veg mush and let the heat cook the noodles for a bit. Taking the tomato out of the fridge, I sliced it into slim pieces for easy chewing and threw in a quarter of them into the tuna-veg-noodle mess in the pot while keeping the others aside.

When the noodles were cooked (they were al dente! a first!), I dumped the pasta into a bowl and arranged the tomatoes around it. And I dug in.

Tuna is usually tasty for the first few bites but it can get quite sickening after a while, so the celery and onions helped neutralize the fishy taste. The cooked tomatoes added some moisture and tang to the dish while the cold, fresh tomatoes really complemented the tuna pasta in a refreshing way. Mmmm. In that meal, there wasn't a lot of oil or salt; there was a good balance of vegetables, protien and carbs--fairly healthy, wouldn't you say? And it was actually pretty delicious!

The best part was that all I had to wash up after that was one pot and one bowl--perfect for lazy fussy me. Another simple yummy meal, another simple pleasure in life =)

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