Interlude: Making the Best of Limited-Energy Meal Preparation

I'm emotionally exhausted (like many people these days), and I am still nursing my usual autoimmune issues at home (which gets more challenging under emotional stress), so sometimes it seems like the slightest thing can derail me. This post, like the others of this genre, reflect me telling you you're not alone. And also that those times, if you can find it in your brain to make the best of it, and your body will cooperate, you can sometimes get some pretty good meals anyway.

Behold, a sandwich. It had vegan prosciutto, smoked Tofurky, Chao cheese, butter lettuce, red onion, and tomatoes with Vegenaise on white bread. It was pretty great--definitely a step up from plain Tofurky and Daiya cheese, which is often my default in the dark place. Putting in my little picks from my bento stash was a nice little touch to make this cheerier.

Though this may seem like cooking, it was less effort than the sandwich. I cooked some tater tots and a Boca chick'n patty in the toaster oven while boiling some corn the cob. I mixed some chives into some margarine with salt and used that as a compound butter on the corn. It was mildly fancy for a "can't face the world even if I was allowed to face the world in the first place" meal. And there are few things as easy, yet as delightful, as a fresh ear of corn slathered in (vegan) butter with salt, or tater tots with ketchup; put them together and it's glorious.

I also decided that one day for lunch I wanted fruit salad with my sandwich. The sadness of the sandwich--white bread, Vegenaise, smoked Tofurky, and Daiya cheddar tastes good together but looks pretty dreary--vanishes immediately because of the pop of color.

With any of these meals, a treat is a boost, too. I realized that I would have gone to a convenience store near the library where I work to pick up the occasional little something, and that's no longer an option. Thus, even though it felt really odd to do it, I added Swedish Fish to my grocery order. They have almost no nutritional benefit other than calories, but sometimes that's the point! Putting them in a plate is a small but somehow meaningful step. It helps stop me from mindlessly eating half a bag!

I'm not claiming that my limited-energy meals usually take on anything resembling attention to detail or presentation. They don't. In early June, I showed you some of the saddest of the sad. Sometimes I still have granola for dinner, or a plain bowl of ramen, or crackers and whatever is in the fridge. But sometimes I do find the in-between space, which can be a little more comforting.


  1. Putting your swedish fish on a plate is a great idea. I too often just mindlessly eat out of the bag. I have been really struggling for motivation to do anything about lunches lately. Dinner I kind of push myself through making (because I cook for my parents as well), and thank goodness for granola and yoghurt for breakfast.

  2. Your meal of corn, tater tots, and Boca looks good to me; I don't have corn on the cob often enough! And the fruit salad definitely brings a lovely burst of color!

    1. I don't eat corn on the cob often enough, either! But it grows here and it was corn season (still is, I think?) and I feel like I have an obligation. I had initially planned to make something else with the corn but in the end just eating it as it was was pretty great, too.


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