Although I haven’t shared it much on this blog. I do love to cook. I don’t bake, I leave that up to my DIL, she brings over great baked goods.
Every time my Dr. makes some comment about health issues, I inform him that this is how my body is reacting. When it comes to what I eat – he’d be thrilled if just a quarter of his patients ate like me.
No, I don’t care about organic foods. The quantity of organic food on the market lets me know – that they have to be using some chemicals, they just aren’t telling us what. But, I am always cooking with fresh fruits and veggies, meat, chicken and fish. I no longer rely on all the prepared food or semi prepared food that is out there. Sure, when I was raising my boys, anything to help in the kitchen was welcome.
Two and a half years ago I bought the instant pot. I LOVE it. I use it all the time. This morning it was a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. You can probably see beyond the pot that it is raining out there. It will be soup tonight.
A caterer friend showed me how when she roasts veggies for a client, she throws all the odds and ends into a pot to make stock. Since I don’t cook in large quantities I have come up with a way that works for me. I collect all my odds and ends of veggies, from the tips of carrots to the parsley stems. As well as veggies that are on the brink of going bad. I throw them into the freezer. Once the bag is full, I’ll add onion, carrots, parsnips, celery root, and I cook it up in the pot.
Then I have stock on hand, salt, other seasonings are added when I actually make soup or cook rice with it.
Immediately after straining the broth, I used it to make lentil soup. My favorite.
As wonderful as the instant pot is, cooking is very much trial and error. After cooking for 30 minutes, the lentil hadn’t broken down enough, so I cooked another 30 minutes. then the soup was nice and thick. At this point I released steam and added celery, mushrooms and zucchini for only 7 minutes. I want these veggies to hold their shape.
These last pictures were taken with my phone. You can really see the difference. I made the soup in the morning and at dinner time I took these pictures. I had taken some of the soup to my grandsons – omg did they love it! Spending time and sharing good homemade food are ways to show love.
I no longer set the pot and go, I tinker, a lot. So along with the soup I made salmon and rice. I had tried cooking them together, but the rice didn’t cook well.
So here is my new method, I used brown rice, which takes much longer. I cook the brown rice for about 10 minutes, it’s not fully cooked yet. As it’s cooking I prep the salmon. Lemon juice, spices, a lot of butter, as well as lemon spices and some fresh oregano.
I put this on top of the rice, add some veggies to the rice, in this case chopped green beans and carrots and cook for another 7 minutes.
Here we have it. It was Valentines day, a day I never go to a restaurant. That and mother’s day.
One of the things about cooking and eating at home is the presentation. I learned this from a neighbor in Israel years ago. Alway use nice display items (yes she had a lovely households goods store). So even when it’s just the two of us, I always transfer the food from the cooking utensils to nice platters and bowls. Sometimes I’ll simply do the plating in the kitchen. Like with the soup, but then, the remainder of the meal is on these nice dishes. Food isn’t just sustenance, it feeds the soul as well.
And now, to enjoy a few hours of sunshine before the rain comes back.