There are some days (especially these COVID days) where my access to fresh produce is limited at best, and my access to the time and attention it takes to really follow a recipe as well as any additional budget to buy ingredients is also severely limited. Enter my go-to lunch these days: a bag of frozen vegetables, some butter and soy sauce, and something else- some sesame oil and chili flake, seed or nuts for texture, scallions, a soft-boiled egg, some torn up tofu, shredded chicken. Eaten from a bowl with a spoon, it feels virtuous and nourishing and not at all befit of the category "sad desk lunch." Although really, isn't any surface you put your laptop or notebook on these days considered a desk? —Girlfromipanema
frozen vegetable of your choice (I usually like a medley- but even our old friends string beans will work beautifully, peas or corn are especially nice)
add-ons of your choice, such as roasted sesame seeds, an egg cooked to your liking, whatever protein lurking in the fridge, chopped scallions, kimchi or pickles
Open the bag and pour frozen vegetables into a microwave safe bowl. Note that the quantities here are pretty flexible- what will make you feel sated? Frozen vegetables decrease in size as they cook- go ahead, heat up the whole bag.
Microwave the vegetables according to package directions until nice and warm.
While still warm, add butter, soy sauce, crushed chili flake (optional, and to taste) and (optional) sesame oil and mix, slowly watching the butter shrink and envelop your heated vegetables. Take a taste (careful not to burn your mouth)- need more butter? More soy? Add it.
This bowl of buttery, soft vegetables is a meal unto itself, but if you so care to, top with whatever add-ons you desire as noted in the ingredient list.
Note: if you would like to make this vegan, you can by all means use coconut oil or vegan butter.