Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Simple Lifts

I'm recently separated from my wife and have been trying to deal with cooking. Cooking or rather eating on the off days when my children aren't around can be trying. You don't want to make a bunch of dishes that you aren't going to eat and just leave the leftovers to gather blue moldy friends in the fridge. So, a few tricks for those who want to cook but don't want the hassle of "cooking" or the over reliance on processed foods.

Cook Simple

Make a simple dish that can be changed up every day. Think of it as a base recipe that can be used over and over. Stock and tomato sauce are two good examples. Stock is really easy and can be made into soup, sauces, and used to cook vegetables in and all sorts of fun stuff. Tomato sauce has similar properties. Pasta sauce, used on a sandwich, base for chili or curry, add flavour to a soup...

Add Something Special

Some good ingredients from your pantry can be added to a regular meal and make it something different. This is especially helpful if you have leftover carbs (potatoes, rice, pasta, bread and on and on). What you have in your pantry that you consider special is up to you. I like to have different kinds of curry powder, dried fruits (currants, goji berries, tomatoes), different dried peppers, vinegars and flavoured oils. These are more geared towards adding to salads and rice but if you were a potato person make sure to have dill, celery salt, flavoured oils and other things that work.

Mess Around

The risk when cooking in a small batch is low. If you mess it up, you only have to throw out a little. This is a great time to experiment and see how chopped up pickles work with fried potatoes or dropping a few fruits into miso soup. Cook like a hippie with the munchies. You never know what will work.

Make Something Special

You deserve it. It doesn't have to hard.

I made these poached pears to add to sandwiches or to act as a savoury sweet component to desserts like ice cream or served with some cheese. It took fifteen minutes. There are pears, sugar, maple syrup, black pepper, saffron, bay leaf, clove all put together and simmered. That is it. The hardest part was cutting up the pears. 

I'm not quite sure this post will inspire anybody to change their Chef Boyardee ways or I suppose now a days it is Lean Cuisine but hopefully it will get you to thinking. 

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