Do you sometimes feel cooking is a chore and you’re totally not in to it?
You’re not alone.
Although I’ve always liked to cook since I started doing it in college, I still have those moments that I don’t feel like cooking. At all.
But still there is this stress that we have to cook. To be healthy. To feed your family. To be a good person. To …
Whatever the reason, we’ve never learned to look at it from the other side. Cooking is fun. It’s relaxing, an creative outlet, a way to explore various cultures. We only need to learn how to get (back) into the mood.
‘But Edie’, I hear you stutter. ‘How do I get in that mood?’
There are many tricks to help you find your cooking flow. Today, I’ll be sharing one of my favorites.
Take an ingredient you like and make something totally different with it. Something you’ve never made before.
Yes, it’s that simple. Most of us only have a few recipes or a few ways of eating a certain vegetable, condiment or ingredient.
1. You always hide *leeks* in a dish, but have you ever thought about giving it a starring role and create a new meal/dish with them? (Sub for carrots, celery, fennel or any other vegetable you eat often.)
2. Have you bought that condiment for that one recipe? Let google help you find new ways of using it. That’s how I discovered how a little bit of miso could make my ordinary mashed potatoes a bit more exciting. A whole lotta ‘bit’ that is.
3. Do you like making baba ganoush? Use the same technique of roasting eggplants to make this Balkan eggplant spread with green bell peppers, garlic and mustard.
These are only a few examples. Now, what ingredient would you like to use in another way?
If that’ll be beets by any chance …. come to my seasonal cooking class centered around beets on Monday March 23rd. This is the first of class of the series Cooking with the seasons, and Edie will show you what you can do with beets. And its leaves! More info here.
A few tips:
- Read these tips and use the one(s) that speak most to you.
- Plan ahead. Read and compare recipes a few days ahead so your mind has some time to get into the creative cooking mood. Read the recipe a few times to familiarize with the ingredients and the different steps in it.
- Plan your creativity. Check your calendar and look for a day that you feel free to explore. It can be when you’re eating alone, when the kids are at a club so they won’t be bugging you during cooking or maybe after a stressful work day to get your mind into something else. Whatever works best for you.
- Meal prep: if it’s an ingredient or dish that takes time to cook, try to find a moment ahead to cook some parts of it. Or buy it. There really is no reason to believe you’re not properly cooking when you parts of your dish are cooked ahead or by others.
- Have a back-up plan. Mine is my favorite pizzeria.
roasted red beets with Meyer lemon honey glaze
A great side with duck and buckwheat (boiled in vegetable stock with 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, some salt and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme). But you can have ’em with mashed potatoes and some nice fish as well. I’m thinking salmon!? Hmmm, will definitely try the glaze on that one as well one day.
You need for 2:
1 lb | 450 gr red beets
1 tablespoon duck fat, or use olive oil or butter
1 Meyer lemon
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons water (or stock)
some salt and pepper
Roast the beets. Wrap them in aluminum foil and cook in an oven of 400 F | 200 C degrees until done. When you can stick a knife in the beets without any resistance, they’re fine. Depending on their size that can take up to 2 hours. So plan ahead!
Make the glaze. Heat the fat in a skillet till quite hot. Slice the Meyer lemon into very thin slices and brown them until the juices in the lemon slices start bubbling. Turn and repeat. Add the honey and water and stir well. Let simmer for a short while. Sieve the glaze, with a spoon press the juices of the lemons for more flavor.
Do the glazing. Carefully peel the hot beets, cut in parts and mix with the glaze. You might want to start with half of the glaze first, as it can be a bit tangy. Which is nice and brightens up the dark earthy beets, but I can imagine you want to be careful the first time you make this.
Tip: Left-over beets and buckwheat with green lettuce leaves, half an apple in pieces and some extra olive oil make a great lunch!