Andrew and I try and have some quick dinner recipes in mind at all times, for those nights when one has ten minutes of energy and time for dinner preparation. Every night since January 2010, for example.

Here are a few. There’s a lot of ready-made things in here that aren’t that hard to make oneself. But that hard is too hard, on the nights in question.

  1. Wraps: buy tortillas. Buy filling (mince for us), fry it or whatever is appropriate. Place in tortilla, add lettuce, chopped tomato, salsa and natural yoghurt, or subset thereof. Eat.
  2. Gang Show Chicken. Buy roast chicken, cream of mushroom soup and olives. Combine in saucepan until soup is heated through. Eat. (It’s called Gang Show Chicken because in my early teens I was a Girl Guide and in a few Gang Shows. Rehearsals were Tuesday nights I think and my mother also had something on those nights. So this level of preparation was what the household had time for.)
  3. Tom Yum Goong. We use this recipe. This one needs a few practice runs to bring it down to easy cooking. It is a little bit trickier in terms of sourcing the ingredients, although you can buy kaffir lime leaves in supermarkets in Sydney, but you probably want your nam prig pow in advance. (It’s often not transliterated into English, so you get a jar with Thai characters and an English description along the lines of “roasted soya beans in chilli”.) Note that adding more lime juice makes this better. There’s probably some upper bound on that, but we haven’t found it.
  4. Larb/laab. More or less like this, except we use chicken or kangaroo, skip the shallots and a purple rather than green onion. OK, so not lots like the linked recipe.
  5. Daal, to Stephanie Alexander’s basic recipe in The Cook’s Companion. This has a rather long cooking time.
  6. Lazy pizza, as in, we buy the base. We buy Bazaar Breads of the World bases, which beat McCain’s anyway. Then tomato paste, olives, pepperoni, purple onion, maybe some finely sliced garlic, and cheese.

Rice, couscous and/or oven baked potatoes usually fill out meals of this style for us.

Six is a decent number of options, although more vegetarian dishes would be good. What are your “I feel like the very soul has left me tonight” home dinner options?