When you come back home for a visit (short or extended), and your eating habits and restrictions have changed, or at occasional odds, with what’s being served, you may find yourself having to throw together* some meals rather quickly and with whatever is on hand.
*I love this expression by the way. It evokes so much chaotic fun.
Considering that’s kind of how I normally operate in the kitchen on a daily basis anyway, this spontaneous cookery hasn’t caused me too much stress or anxiety. In fact, some of the food I’ve concocted ‘on the fly’^ or with no clear plan has been downright delicious.
^Funny expression, no? What if we actually cooked on the back of a fly?
I might do something as simple as throw together some cooked spaghetti squash with leftover crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, spices, and nutritional yeast, then heat and eat. I might concoct a 5-Minute Mexican Tomato Soup, made from leftover diced tomatoes, Penzey’s Southwest Seasoning…
*OK, just a knife. I don’t have my own personal one on me at all times, because I think that would be potentially very dangerous.
Stepmama Smart has been trying to expand her vegan repertoire, but I did offer to help cook dinner some days if she wanted me to. [Fun for me, easier on her.] A great success was a Lentil & Kale Stew I made, based on a South Beach recipe.
I started with the basic recipe, and from there, started throwing together spices and seasonings I thought would work well and heighten the fairly bland recipe.*
*Nothing against South Beach, as they have some great, easy recipes, but they always neglect the seasonings!
The final stew was something I hope to recreate again, but I’ll share with you what I threw together that night (as best as I can remember it).
1 small onion, diced (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
3 stalks celery, diced (approximately 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups low sodium V8 Juice
2 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 bunch kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped (or ripped apart with your hands)
1. Cook lentils according to package directions until al dente (just nibble-able).
2. Saute onion, celery, and garlic in a large soup pot over medium heat.
3. Once onion and celery have softened, add seasonings, stirring well.
4. Add lentils, broth, juice, and tomatoes; stir well and bring to a simmer, adjusting seasonings as necessary.
5. Stir in kale and cook 15-20 minutes before …or let it all mellow for a few hours (or overnight) and reheat for even MORE flavor.
Except that all this talk of throwing things together makes me want to go start a food fight.
Have you thrown together anything yummy lately?