Summer is coming to an end (sob!) and since many writers are parents and/or teachers too, life is about to get even busier. Who has time to make dinner? But on the other hand, who wants to alternate between pizza and cereal for weeks on end?
Never fear! We’ve compiled a list of recipes just for writers. Quick, easy, relatively healthy, and perfect for fueling your writing, these are some of our contributors’ actual favorites. Read on to find your perfect recipe based on where you are in your writing process!
Beta Reader Baked Ravioli (contributed by Tasha, adapted from this recipe)
For those times when feedback leaves you staring at the screen (insert weeping or giggling here as necessary) and suddenly it’s time for dinner.
- 1 bag frozen ravioli
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13” pan with a thin layer of marinara sauce, then cover that with a single layer of ravioli.
- Cover the ravioli with another layer of sauce, then a layer of cheese. Then repeat: ravioli, sauce, cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake at 400 F for 30 minutes while you re-read feedback and alternate between weeping and giggling.
- Remove foil and continue baking (and reading feedback) for 10-15 more minutes.
Resolution: A delicious dinner that looks more difficult than it is! Unlike writing, which often looks much easier than it actually is. This goes well with salad and bread, or a large helping of chocolate.
“Don’t Be Chicken” Taco Soup (contributed by Elaine, adapted from this recipe)
A recipe so easy you only need to be able to operate a slow cooker and a can opener, perfect for those days when you’ll need to spend 8+ hours with your finger hovering over the mouse, daring yourself to finally send your precious to your agent/editor/betas.
- 6 cans of stuff: 1 corn, 1 tomato sauce (small), 1 chili beans, 1 black beans, 2 diced tomatoes with green chilis (Note: We use mild everything because we are wimpy.)
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- ½ packet taco seasoning
- 3 chicken breasts
- Dump all this stuff into the crock pot, stir, and cook on low 5 hours while you obsess about your work.
- Shred the chicken, then stir it back in and continue cooking 2 more hours; resume daring yourself to send and/or tweaking small details and/or pacing the room.
Resolution: Delicious dinner, especially when served with sour cream, shredded cheese, and tortilla chips. And the leftover are tasty enough to be tomorrow’s dinner, because you’ll be busy staring at your inbox!
Chapter Revision Chile Relleno (contributed by Helen, adapted from this recipe)
An easy casserole version of this Mexican dish for those days when you have to feed a mouthful but have a handful of revisions to conquer!
- 2 (10-oz) cans whole green chilies
- 6-oz Monterey Jack cheese, cut into strips
- 8 eggs
- ⅔ cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9×13″ dish with cooking spray.
- Drain the green chilies, then stick a strip of cheese inside each chili. Place the stuffed chilies in the baking dish.
- Whisk the eggs, milk, flour and baking powder together in a bowl until they’re smooth.
- Pour egg mixture over chilies, then top with cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes until the egg is puffy and the cheese is bubbly and you’ve revised at least one chapter, even though you know you’ll be coming back to it at least twelve more times.
Resolution: This one makes great leftovers for breakfast, just in case you’re revising all night…
Pardon my French Dip Crescents (contributed by Tasha, adapted from this recipe)
For when you have gaps in your story, underdeveloped characters screaming for your attention, and your family wants dinner at the same time.
- 2 packages crescent rolls, 8 count
- 1 pound deli roast beef, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces Swiss or provolone cheese, cut in 16 equal sized pieces
- Unroll the crescent triangles, put a piece of meat and cheese (and a dab of horseradish, if you’re feeling zesty), then roll toward the point.
- Repeat for all sixteen, then place finished rolls on a baking dish.
- Bake at 375 F for 11-13 minutes, during which time you can make au jus or brainstorm a juicy new character or scene. It’s a win either way.
Resolution: Tasty and a total crowd pleaser. Just like your manuscript will be when you fix all these blasted problems. (WHEN! Not if. WHEN!)
Okay, readers. I’m still looking for more recipes! What are your go-to meals for those days when you’d just rather be writing?
Elaine Vickers is the author of LIKE MAGIC (HarperCollins, 2016) and loves writing middle grade and chapter books when she’s not teaching college chemistry or hanging out with her fabulous family. She’s a member of SCBWI and represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of EMLA. You can find her at elainevickers.com on the web, @ElaineBVickers on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, or generally anywhere there are books and/or food for her consumption. 🙂