Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Empty Vessels?...Make them full!

Cooking food everyday can be intimidating for many, especially if you allow recipes and traditions to keep you on the straight and narrow path of daily deliverance. Cooking can be quick and simple. Always keep nutrition as the target and wholesome as the objective! I only use a recipe when making a quickie cake, which in turn was hand written by a friend and is called my "Bobbie cake"! All else comes straight out of my head and my eye is always on the clock! For me I believe in no frills but just good sensible meals that are tasty and keep you fit.

Be decisive in your kitchen. Don't allow for the family to place "orders" or give children multiple options in food. Keep a stock of the essentials in your larder so that you are not forever "hopping in and out" to furbish a dish. "Exotic" is great on a menu in a restaurant, but tedious when you have to do it yourself with half the ingredients not being readily available and substitutes that just never match up to the intended ingredient. Keep things tidy when making a meal and have a methodology where, if you use a vessel or knife or cutting board or whatever, wash it immediately so the pile up doesn't have you staggering under an avalanche of washing that never ends!

I make stews and curries, stir fries and pullavos that have numerous things thrown in together, but the trick is to "mix and match" correctly so that the dish does not become an experiment gone wrong leaving people pushing the food around their plates politely! Left over from bits of "this and that" are great to make re-invented dishes from. Parathas stuffed with fried mutton, last nights cabbage sabji, left over mushroom stir fry....all yummy innovations that can be christened with new names to dress it up for fun!

I always worry when I hear of working moms and dads taking the line of least resistance and going the MacDonald's route because in doing this we set a precedence that makes good healthy eating something that appears to be tedious. Schools too need to take a tip or two from Jamie Oliver the British chef who revolutionised the school canteen lunches in his country, by taking up the issue of junk food at schools in parliament, and getting laws passed that insist on healthy food being available for school going children in the UK.

Lets love our kids without the grease and fat and extra cholesterol diets we ply them with, and instead make daily meals with attention to the requirements of health, age and climate. Plan a meal instead of dreaming up a dish. Keep it simple and you will reign supreme in your kitchen and at your table. Believe me it is effortless if you set about with a game plan that you feel comfortable with. So happy sensible cooking and eating, because being healthy is what ultimately matters the most!

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