Shutterstock

Dine In: 4 Oddly Specific Meals You Should Be Able To Cook By Now

By

Too often I hear women discuss their inability to whip up hearty meals on a whim. But much like reading, cooking is fundamental.

Granted, I'm no Food Network star, but my culinary competence does exceed boiling water and breakfast cereals. As a functioning adult (well, sort of), your daily skills should include a handful of basic recipes that can save you from scarfing down Ramen on the regular.

Aside from saving money, cooking for yourself comes in handy when you're racking up gym mileage and curbing unnecessary takeout calories. More importantly, being able to burn (figuratively) in your kitchen will bail you out of any unforeseeable food bind.

Bottom line, you can no longer afford to get by solely on college-student grub. You also don't want to be the notorious non-cook of your friends and family.

Since salad is a lie, it's best to master a few specific dishes so you don't resort to Seamless every time your stomach growls.

Here's what to prepare when all else fails:

When you're sick and your mom won't pick up her phone.

Shutterstock

At first sniffle, you're quick to call your mom for soul-warming fare. She knows best, right?

But when she's too busy or lives too far away to pass down your Grandma's surefire recipe, don't just run to Campbell's "mmm mmm good" formula to kick your coughing.

Instead, take your thyme, garlic and bay leaves and slow cook a hearty chicken and noodle soup that'll keep you alive long enough to brag (or whine) to your mom when she calls back.

When your reservation for date night gets canceled.

Shutterstock

When you live in a busy city, you can kiss your table goodbye if you're so much as 15 minutes late for a reservation on a Friday night.

Blame your date and your two (or five) outfit changes, but that Italian meal you craved is now being served to the hottie at table six.

Plan B? Recall all your "Chopped" binge-watching and whip up shrimp scampi with linguine at home. Cook enough for two and make it a movie night.

When you don't have a taste for anything.

Shutterstock

Sushi, pad thai, pizza, salmon –– none of your go-to foods sound appetizing enough to reorder, but you're literally starving. Even foodies have days where their palettes aren't loyal, which calls for cooking out-of-the-ordinary but satisfying chow.

Switching up your food schedule (i.e. breakfast for dinner) is a fail-safe way to re-inspire your taste -- sans a complicated "Iron Chef"-approved dish that takes several hours to concoct.

Whisk up a 1-minute Texas-size southwestern omelet, topped with sour cream and salsa, and jolt your taste buds back on track.

When you're on your period and want to eat everything.

Shutterstock

All foods are up for grabs when Aunt Flo stops by. But when you have crippling cramps and bloating, it's best to stick with cuisine that calms your PMS symptoms, not agitates it.

It takes less than 20 minutes to bake tasty wild-caught salmon and steam broccoli cuts. Not only does it add points to your fitness goals, it's also filling enough to curb your hangry behavior.

And yes, you can buy chocolate ice cream for dessert.