Weeknight Dinner

When life hands you research papers, make tacos.

Last night after a few hours of (mostly) productive studying, my friend and I decided to celebrate by making dinner and watching a good old fashioned Korean horror movie on Netflix.  A winning combination, to say the least.

We decided to make tacos because they’re pretty easy and we had most of the ingredients on hand already (I still had tortillas in the freezer from the store at Pike Place Market, and plenty of veggies and salsa). We stopped at Trader Joe’s beforehand to grab a few things to add to the things we already had.

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For the tacos, we tried out Trader Joe’s version of vegetarian ground beef. It’s cheaper than the Boca version, and sounded promising for taco filling. It’s pre-cooked, so all you have to do is heat it up on the stove quickly before eating it– I just added it to the pan with some red onion, garlic, and mushrooms that I’d already sautéed, and let the whole thing cook two minutes more. Honestly, it wasn’t bad, and I’d probably buy it again, but it isn’t as seasoned as the Boca brand stuff, so if you plan on using it, you definitely need to add a lot of flavors to make it taste great. I probably should have added more spices like chili powder and cayenne. Overall though, it’s a good meat substitute that’s pretty affordable, and it works well for things like tacos.

20130316_183116For a side, we mixed some black beans and corn together, both from Trader Joe’s. This time, I got the Cuban black beans instead of the plain kind. The Cuban can has diced green peppers, onion, and some seasoning added. It’s pretty good, especially when you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to take the time to add seasoning/spice yourself. For the other side to our meal, I had a box of Spanish rice in my pantry. I usually hate to buy those flavored boxed rice things, because they have a bunch of sodium and additives and aren’t very healthy, but they’re really cheap and so I’d picked up a box of the Rice-a-Roni whole grain Spanish rice (I’ve read that that’s the healthiest option out of the different flavors they sell) a few months ago for an occasion like this when I wanted rice but didn’t want to take the time to make it properly. Hey, it did the job!

We also picked up some cookie dough at Trader Joe’s, because it sounded delicious. For some reason, I could have sworn they had a few different kinds of cookie dough, but when we were there they only had chocolate chunk cookie dough, so that’s what we got. I didn’t take a picture because we ate them too fast, but I assure you that they were delicious fresh out of the over, whether they were crispy or soft (I made both). The dough alone wasn’t as good as other cookie dough, but it was still a worthwhile purchase.

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I like cheese, clearly.

Overall, the meal only took about thirty minutes to put together. I put on the rice first, which took about 25 minutes, and when it was almost through we cooked the taco filling and warmed up the beans/corn and tortillas. The whole thing was a fairly inexpensive, super simple dinner that was great for a movie night in. And yeah, the cookies helped.

 

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