Saturday, October 25, 2014

Eating on the Fly: Recipes for Survival!

Harrumph! This is what you think you  hear as you watch me collapse into the chair at the end of a hectic day.  If perchance you were an outside observer of my days.

I am still trying to find healthy wholesome meals to put on the table without too much effort. I remember ( now ashamedly) trying to dispense advice on this blog about wholesome cooking on a budget when I was a stay at home mom. It is dang difficult.

First, one must have a plan. I write my grocery list out with a planned menu for the week.  I combine a few easily prepared meals with a few more involved meals for those time when I have time. I plan meals that I can save for leftovers. But even then there are just some days when I get home that I can't muster the energy to cook the meal; never mind cleaning up after it!

With all this in mind I have learned a few things. The crockpot is the best invention since sliced bread. Oh, wait, scratch that! I bake my own bread and slicing it is not that difficult. The crockpot is the best thing since the internal combustion engine! Oh, wait, that contributes to climate change. The crockpot is the best invention since..since..THE WHEEL!

The crockpot is the wife I never had. She takes a mix of vegetables and protein, a dash of finesse  ( or tamari, curry or  pesto) and voila...I walk through the door and the house smells like someone has been cooking all day!

Many things I used to make from scratch are now purchased. But then I was a little crazy about making everything from scratch at one point. So I no longer make tortilla from scratch. I no longer make mayonnaise. I still make salad dressings ( okay, really, all I do is put the oil and vinegar on the table and tell the boys," have at it!").

Risotto. I have learned that one must learn to make risotto. A little wine, a quart of chicken stock...cheese. Simple. It is the perfect food to prepare when you need to downshift from a busy day as you stir in one cup of stock at a is the perfect quick meal And you can add all sorts of things to it. It is yummy as a whole meal, a side or or a cold lunch a day later. It has an essence of magic and elegance. Below I have a basic risotto recipe using some things found in the garden this time of year

Karin's Hectic Risotto
1 Cup wine ( for the risotto, not you!)
2 leeks chopped
1 table spoon butter
1 quart boiling chicken stock
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
salt and pepper to taste
optional steamed brussel sprouts quartered, panchetta or chopped turkey

Saute leeks and rice in butter. When leeks soften add wine. When rice has absorbed the wine start adding chicken stock, one cup at a time as stock gets absorbed. After adding last cup of stock add cheese to melt. You can add anything else at this point. Risotto is done when it is creamy but not soupy.