I have officially learned how to make a decent lentil soup/stew thing. It’s very exciting because A) lentils are cheap and healthy and B) this brings the total number of dishes I know how to make into double figures with 10. Lentils are also awesome because overcooking them seems to have no impact on the taste of the food. They just get mushier and mushier but taste exactly the same.


  • Bag of lentils (sold near the rice)
  • Water–twice as much by volume as the lentils
  • A few carrots
  • A fatty onion (yellow is tastiest)
  • Ham
  • Salt
  • Tabasco sauce


  1. Combined in a pot made of something that won’t melt, bring the lentils and water to a boil and then turn the heat way down.
  2. Chop up the onion, carrots, and ham, and add them to the pot.
  3. Add salt and tobasco sauce to taste. You’ll probably end up adding way more than you expected because lentils just soak that stuff up.
  4. Wait for a while. Twenty minutes seems to be pretty good.
  5. Eat ’em!

My inability to cook is just plain old silly. It’s costing me money (did you know granola is like 6 times cheaper than granola bars?!?) and making me eat unhealthy crap, so I’m going to learn to make things to eat for myself. I’m talking beyond adding milk to a bowl of cereal. So here’s the first in a series of recipes that I can actually cook. And if I can do it, I know you can do it.


  • Box of Zataran’s Spanish Rice Mix
  • Can of Crushed Tomatoes with Peppers (15 oz)
  • 1/2 Pound ground beef
  • Pepperjack Cheese (to taste)
  • Green Bell Peppers (3)
  • Half a yellow onion
  • One clove of garlic


  1. Follow the directions on the Spanish Rice mix box. While waiting on the rice:
  2. Chop the tops off the bell peppers and pull out the seeds and stuff.
  3. Brown the ground beef in a frying pan, along with the onion and garlic.
  4. Preheat the oven to about 350.
  5. By now, the rice should be done. Add the ground beef and cheese and stir it up.
  6. Put the rice-beef-cheese mixture into the peppers. Fill ’em up to the top!
  7. Pop the peppers into the oven and leave them there for 12-15 minutes.

So, I realize that using zataran’s is cheating and that it’s easy to make spanish rice without a box, but that’s more complicated than I’m ready for at the moment. Anyway, this stuff is actually pretty good! Enjoy!

Lately I’ve been weighing job offers and trying to figure out how I can survive on a miserable pittance of a salary. Crunching some numbers on a spreadsheet, I realized that I eat out way too much. And when I don’t eat out, I usually eat processed foods (like those ready-made burritos at safeway) that cost almost as much. So now I’m trying to figure out what I can actually make to eat for myself without resorting to heavily processed foods. And note, I put the word “heavily” in there because I’m still not willing to cut up vegatbles for myself. Not going all hippie here…:

  • Chili: remarkably easy–you just chop up some stuff, mix it with some ground beef in a pot, add some spices and heat it up!
  • Stuffed Peppers: fill a green bell pepper with rice and stuff and stick it in the over for a bit. So far I’ve just used Spanish Rice mix from the grocery store, but next time i’m going to mix in a little ground beef. I might even try to make my OWN spanish rice.
  • Stir Fry: rice+bag of frozen veggies that say “stir fry”. I realize this doesn’t really count, but it’s easy and tasty!
  • Nachos: Chips, cheese, salsa, and whatever other Mexican-type ingrediaents you have lying around.
  • Spaghetti: Using store-bought pasta sauce, of course.
  • Quesadillas: continuing the easy-to-make tex mex phenomenon
  • Eggs: scrambled, fried, etc…

Embarrassingly, that is literally everything I can think of right now. I almost added “frozen pizza” and “granola bar.” Clearly, I have some work to do.