Five Ingredient Meals You're Too Depressed To Make

When you’re in the fogs of depression, doing anything besides barely existing can be challenging to the point of impossible. Making a meal can seem like climbing Mount Everest, so it’s good to start with a bunny hill. That’s why 5-ingredient meals are so excellent. The grocery list is manageable - these are conquerable recipes. But, per usual, some part of your serotonin deprived brain is not going to let you conquer. It’s alright, you gotta be forgiving to yourself. Even if you’re not going to make them, it’s nice to look at the recipes at least, so enjoy this list!


Minimalist Baker’s 5 Ingredient Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

This recipe comes up on your Facebook feed and you’re immediately intrigued - sweet potato and black beans? You’ve definitely got a can of black beans in your pantry from that Taco Night you were going to go to, but ghosted on. And sweet potatoes! Those are healthier than normal potatoes, right? They’re more expensive, so they must be.  You click on the recipe, but see that this Minimalist Baker deceptively didn’t count spices in the “5 ingredients” of the title. Also!! There’s salsa as one of the counted ingredients, and that technically has like eight ingredients probably. But everything can be broken down into smaller parts, right? Whoa, you feel overwhelmed right now. You should go lie down and accidentally fall asleep and wake up too late to cook anything.


Tomato Basil Salmon

According to recipe author, CHEDDAR97005, "This quick salmon dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner. Serve with a side of sauteed spinach and a glass of pinot noir." Oh, Ched (can I call you that?), you’re funny. A weeknight dinner? That’s usually the crumbs at the bottom of the Cool Ranch Doritos family sized bag you grabbed from the conference room at work (after they had been left unclaimed for at least four days). This is a fancy meal for you, but you’ll try it. Maybe. If you can make it to the grocery store on time. Yes, you know that grocery store is 24 hours. Please stop asking questions.


Summer Pea, Watermelon, and Farro Salad

You scrolled past a picture of this recipe on instagram and were immediately intrigued. Fruit in salad is your game. Or, more accurately, fruit in salad was your game when you were manic last fall and went wild on salads. Remember the illustrated salad topping matrix you made? That was cool. Farro is new to you, so you google it and then it’s 4 hours later and you’re waking up from a wiki k-hole that started with the taxonomy of wheat, then took you to the Fertile Crescent and then you really went hard on some ancient languages reading. It’s now 11:15 pm and you’re not mad at yourself, just disappointed.


Spaghetti Carbonara

Despite having intentionally searched for 5-ingredient recipes because you know you need to start cooking simply, you’re offended by the easiness of this dish. Boiled pasta and cheese and egg?? Who do they think you are, a toddler??


Individual Pesto Feta Pita Pizza

Hey, this is a cool recipe! It looks really easy, and it’s a single portion so you’re not going to have leftovers that you’d inevitably forget to eat and then feel bad about. But it seems really sad to just cooking one portion. All that work just to feed you. And what if it’s not good? It’s just like how you’re doing all this work to keep your singular miserable existence going. Ok that’s not a healthy comparison. Let’s get your mind on something else. That something else will be Taco Bell. Cool.


Zesty One Pan Chicken and Potato Bake

Zesty, huh? How can you trust a recipe that believes that using Kraft Italian dressing as the exclusive seasoning makes a dish zesty? Whatever, the one pan promise is appealing. When you’re in the dredges of sadness, basic tasks like dishes or blowing your nose are hard to the point of impossible. So a single dish is manageable! You can do this! But you won’t! You weren’t going to bake this zest-ish dish and you never are gonna do the dishes.


Curried Chicken Legs with Carrots, Rice, and Lime

You’ve always respected Martha Stewart - she’s the bad girl of domestic goddesses, so her recipes have an air of understanding and wisdom that’s beyond what any Giada or GOOP dish could provide. This recipe is great! The flavor combination of curry and lime sounds like it could wake you up, which you desperately need. This simple recipe calls on you to prepare side dishes, something your trash fire brain has forgotten both that they exist, and that you love them. However, your depression appetite means you’ll half heartedly eat a plate of this meal and let the rest rot in mismatched tupperware in your fridge. You should just have that frozen burrito tonight, it’s fine.


Crockpot Dr. Pepper BBQ Chicken

The absurdity of this recipe has you laughing harder than you have in weeks. Dr. Pepper with chicken?? What is this world coming to?? This recipe is weird and gross, but the sheer hilarity of it has revived you in a way that a dozen Cognitive Behavioral Therapy sessions could not. You share it on Facebook and get lots of #engagement, and therefore validation. It’s a shallow way to feel better, but you’ll take what you can get!

Stephanie Onderchanin