Some days are all about muddy puddles.
Last week I experimented with Hello Fresh, getting three of the week’s meals delivered as one of their meal kits. This week, I took a different tack, relying on batch cooking, some quick fixes, leftovers and the slow cooker to get us through the week. This week was the decidedly easier cooking week. It was also more satisfying from my perspective, allowing me to try a few recipes from new cookbooks, and to work with the ingredients in the fridge (more or less).
So a leftover piece of whole roast cauliflower, and some cooked potatoes were combined with flat beans, butternut squash and red lentils to make a big pot of vegetable curry on Sunday. This was served with a small portion of leftover chicken curry from the freezer, and supermarket naan. Monday was the same, but with rice and a little of the leftover bread. Tuesday was an Anna Jones-inspired traybake of grated courgettes, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and red peppers, with roast chicken pieces. Wednesday was the leftovers of the veg, with leftover rice from Tuesday. Thursday was a piece of pork shoulder, cooked all day in the slow cooker, and served with baked potatoes and a broccoli pesto. Tonight we’ll have the rest of the pork with tomato sauce over pasta. It probably amounts to about the same effort as the three meals from the previous week, but from my point of view, divided up in a more sensible way.
- Bakewell tart – from ‘How Baking Works with a raspberry-cherry jam filling.
- Slow cooker chickpeas – from Slow Cooked, but the recipe is just chickpeas and water!
- Baking tray ratatouille with chickpeas – adapted from ‘A Modern Way to Cook‘ by Anna Jones
- Sweet and savoury slow cooked pork – Food52 – but done in the slow cooker rather than the oven.
- Broccoli pesto – The Green Kitchen: an approximation of their recipe, using blanched broccoli, garlic, lemon juice, a few chickpeas and olive oil. A bit too garlicky in the end, but good on top of baked potatoes.
Without a recipe:
- Vegetable curry with lentils
- Pasta bolognese
- Quick tomato sauce, with meatballs from the freezer
- I finally finished Bee Wilson’s glorious ‘First Bite‘, a book about how we learn to taste and enjoy food, where it can go wrong, and how to get back to enjoying food that is good for you. It is both highly readable, and diligently researched. No wonder she won a special commendation at the Andre Simon book awards this week.
- If you’re doing the whole decluttering thing, Alice Medrich has some good advice on what to get rid of in your kitchen.
- Chickens were domesticated by humans for thousands of years before we came around to eating them.
- On the theme of easy cooking, four recipes using a single batch of butter beans sounds ideal. The bean and leek soup sounds especially comforting. I’ve also seen a recipe for a sponge cake using white beans in Anna Jones’ book, which I’m interested to try out.
- Possible recipes for the weekend: Heidi’s exceptional ginger carrot dressing sounds intriguing, and a good way to bring more excitement to winter vegetable dishes. With enough time on my hands, I might attempt Mary-Anne Boermans’ Luxury Bath Buns. And I’m pretty sure I’ll have a go at David Tanis’s tomato-less california pizza recipe.