Heartwings says, “Experimenting in the kitchen leads to useful results.”
I have always enjoyed cooking. I even did when I never knew how many would be sitting down for dinner. And I even enjoyed it many years ago when certain children, imitating their father, would turn up their noses at whatever was on their plates. Be that as it may, it’s true I didn’t inherit this love of cooking from anyone in the family. My mother was of the “food is just for nourishment” school of thought. One grandmother cooked for her dog, but for herself, rarely. The other hired cooks for the household and guests.
Once I married, I had more freedom to cook and eat as I wished. Of course, when my children entered the picture and joined the family dinner table, I was no longer as free. Enlisting their help as they grew more competent was a treat and even of real help. I taught every one of them to cook, even the boys. I used to listen to NPR’s Reading Aloud, I think it was called, with my son as we prepared food. Later, I focused on staying within a limited budget, attempting nutritious family meals on little money. Like now, eh?
As I got older, I began to care about calories. Now I like to do what I can to cut out unnecessary ones. My first hint is something I’m quite proud of. When reheating something, prep the frying pan you will be heating your leftover in, with a thin skim of water. Let it start to bubble and add your ingredients. Your tasty odds and ends will not burn and may benefit from added moisture. I often combine smaller portions of left overs from different meals to form new ones. Anything with rice does especially well when you use water. Voila, no additional fat calories.
Lentil soup is an easy and nutritious as well as an economical soup to have on hand. My next hint is this: Save the cooking water from any vegetables you cook except broccoli. It’s too strong a taste to use. When you measure out 6 cups of water for the soup, start with the veggie water. It adds richness and good taste. Add 1 cup of lentils and bring to a boil, reducing to a simmer once it has boiled. Now add around one cup celery, one of onion, using hint #3, scissors to cut celery and even to reduce onion if you rough chopped it and want it smaller. Add carrots if you wish, hint #4 is save time and energy by using carrots cut and peeled and made to look small. (Baby size?)
Next add herbs and spice of your choice to taste: thyme, lemon pepper, ground garlic, some salt, and or cumin, mustard powder (strong, so less of this), ginger, curry, and or your favorites as you wish. Do cook at least an hour, and more is even better. Tastes great next day, and keeps well for additional meals. This serves at least 4 generously, and can be doubled for sure. Bon Appetite!
May your time in the kitchen be joyful and nourishing,
Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert
PS I so enjoy hearing from readers . Please email me at Tashahal@gmail.com or comment here. All suggestions, likes, dislikes and comments welcome and I will respond, thanks.