Red Curry Lentil Soup with Quinoa and Tofu

Maybe you’re worried about your health or the environment. But whatever your reasoning, we could all agree that eating less meat is a good thing. The lentils in this eight-hour stew are melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the red curry paste gives the stew a pop of flavor. But your three children require constant supervision, and if you devote even an hour to cooking, odds are one of them will end up in the emergency room. Again! You’d think Kevin would help, but his sailboat was last seen in November off the coast of Ibiza. So bookmark this page and tuck in to a granola bar and a glass of Kim Crawford while your kids eat Dino Nuggets.

Seared Short Ribs with Pancetta

Food scientists have a term for that feeling you get when you’ve got a hankering for a juicy, rich cut of meat. They call it meat hunger. Branch out with this meat hunger-satisfying dish. Short ribs seared in rendered pancetta fat sit atop a bed of broiled shiitake mushrooms. With warmer weather on the horizon, the richness of the ribs plays perfectly with creamy polenta. Unfortunately, you haven’t worked in over a year, so you don’t have much to say about what’s for dinner at your brother’s house. He and his wife will be having the short ribs, and you’ll be having black beans and rice. Yum!

Classic Shepherd’s Pie

Adventurous eaters like us wear the title of Foodie like a badge of honor. We try new things, search out the best and most exotic ingredients, and live our culinary lives to the fullest. But sometimes it’s nice to go back to basics. The ground lamb and pie crust, with tender peas and carrots are perfect for when you’re craving a dash of comfort food. But you’re serving a five-year prison sentence for kidnapping a petting zoo llama. Ironically, dinner in the prison cafeteria tonight is also shepherd’s pie, but it’s not really the same.

Bittersweet Chocolate Soufflé

Sure, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s will do in a pinch. But put in the time and we promise, the juice is worth the squeeze on these decadent, impressive desserts. Making your creme anglaise from scratch puts these indulgent indulgences over the top. But you’re serving a one-year prison sentence for embezzling $14,000,000 from the state of Indiana. So much for homemade creme anglaise! Yours will be store-bought, and you’ll have to eat your bittersweet chocolate soufflé with a plastic spoon.

Lemon-Zested Tortellini Soup with Kale and Rosemary

Elevate your homemade pasta game with this authentic Italian classic rendition of tortellini en brodo (in broth). Parmesan cheese reduced with cream, butter, and tart white wine forms a thick broth; the pasta swims in it like little happy pasta fish. But you’re a madman, a lunatic prowler. Your stinking rags hang off you like the scraps of a mummy’s wrappings as you roam the streets, cackling to yourself and scaring the local children. After you finish the day’s howling, treat yourself to the same dinner as always: an onion boiled so long you can eat it with a spoon as you watch a cracked TV, which is not turned on.


Hungarians have always embraced gulyás—a savory pork stew where paprika reigns supreme. But to many of us, goulash remains a mysterious novelty. Lift the veil on this delicacy! The secret ingredient is pork fat, which provides a solid base of flavor. But you’re a nine-year-old boy, and the thought of eating anything adventurous scares you. You haven’t always been this way. In fact, you used to love trying new things. But your dad, Kevin, wanted adventure, and he hasn’t been seen in months. Maybe he was just kidding about faking his own death when you overheard him on the phone that one time, and eating only bland kid food will bring him back. That makes sense! Enjoy your Dino Nuggets.